The White House's logic seems to be that there's no point in trying to be fairly portrayed on Fox News. Even if they send administration officials to try and reason with its hosts and viewers, the way the information gets presented eliminates any net benefit.
But there are plenty of negatives to this take-no-prisoners approach. To begin with, each regular Fox News viewer does not only represent one vote lost to President Obama.
So if Team Obama ignores Fox, it just gives the network's talent the chance to further caricature him as a socialist, foreign, effete, America-hating Other. It isn't a racist portrayal, necessarily, but is certainly one that gives actual racists a lot of comfort. Not countering that will help Fox viewers conveniently forget that Obama is intelligent and well spoken.
Barack Obama himself doesn't need to answer all of the insane rhetorical questions asked of him by Glenn Beck and his compatriots. That would obviously be a mistake. But legitimizing Fox News in this manner seems nearly as bad. Either way, he's playing their game.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
President Obama sure does have some thin skin: