Oct 262009
Authors: Josh Phillips

When Obama was elected president, he suggested that he was going to usher in a new era of transparency and non-partisan politics in America. His proponents claimed that he was the smartest, most educated and most tolerant name on the election ballot in perhaps decades.

But his recent attacks on the Fox News network has been anything but tolerant or non-partisan. Obama’s tantrum seems to have begun with his dismissal of Fox News in mid-September, when he opted to meet with every major media news outlet except the one that has the most viewers overall.

Now his temper-tantrum has extended to engaging in what his administration has called a war on Fox News. In an Oct. 21 interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Obama was asked if he felt it was appropriate for the White House to determine what a news organization is. As any typical politician would do, Obama conveniently sidestepped the question, saying that the people were more interested in the health care issue and the situation in Afghanistan.

It seems that maybe the people are the only ones concerned with these issues, considering Obama’s first few months were spent on visiting as many late night talk shows as possible and even nationally announcing his fantasy football picks.

Or maybe the media just made a big deal out of his fantasy football picks, just like they tend to glamorize Michelle Obama’s underarms. Regardless, Obama doesn’t seem to mind if the media portrays him as the national savior or if they portray his wife as a stylish, sexy supermodel. Anything less, and he gets huffy.

For all of Obama’s supposed intelligence, he seems to have trouble understanding the “loyal opposition” and its value. It has existed since Ancient Rome and keeps the governing party in check, but Obama tends to believe that he is immune to criticism. As such, he dances with the great “liberal no-nos” – intolerance and the undermining of free speech.

I’m no stranger to Fox’s constant attacks on liberal ideology or their hypocrisy. When George W. Bush was in office, they typically took a stand against protests; but now that citizens all over the country have begun to protest Obama’s social health care plan, Fox News has become a staunch supporter of the First Amendment.

And since the inauguration of our latest president, I find that Bill O’Reilly, my favorite Fox News opinion talk show host, has become less polite with his guests and has fallen into step with cliché conservative arguments.

Despite Fox’s conservative slant and their misleading “Fair and Balanced” slogan, they have every right to remain a legitimate news corporation. Obama has forgotten that he has all the other news networks on his side, and his attempt to rally them against Fox reveals an immature, petulant man incapable of the slightest amount of criticism. Say what you will about George W. Bush, but he never acted like a spoiled child when he came under fire.

Obama and his administration have become a stunning example of how we have stooped to adopting a particular ideology when it suits us best. Obama preached free speech up until the loyal opposition came into view, and now he and his administration are putting in their best effort to have it silenced.

This is the same self-indulgent entitlement attitude he displayed before the election, and it’s the same selfish policies he promised the American people. Check the Gallup polls, Mr. President – most of us don’t believe you any more. The honeymoon is over and the mask has slipped off.

The only way that Obama can recover from this self-induced political suicide is to welcome Fox’s questions and answer them honestly as promised. If he truly is courageous in the political ring, and if he’s half as smart as his supporters suggest he is, he should have no problem putting Fox News to shame.

But if he continues to pout, the only people he’ll convince are those who watch the other channels. Too bad he’ll only be preaching to the choir rather than reaching out to the moderates who are seeking answers and the conservatives who continue to doubt.

Josh Phillips is a senior business administration major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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