Censorship

"It's hard to kill the press, but it is not hard to chill it"

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Writing at The New Yorker, liberal historian and essayist Louis Menand makes an essential point about the Obama administration's attacks on Fox News:

The dubious efficacy of a war on Fox News is not the only reason to feel qualms. It's hard to kill the press, but it is not hard to chill it, and this appears to be the White House's goal in the case of Fox. "The best analogy is probably baseball," Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said—meaning that throwing a few inside fastballs, a little chin music, gets hitters to back off the plate. Maybe, but he should also remember that deliberately throwing at a batter is grounds for ejection. The state may, and should, rebut opinions that it finds obnoxious, but it should not single out speakers for the purpose of intimidating them. At the end of the day, you do not want your opponents to be able to say that they could not be heard. It may be exasperating, but that is what the First Amendment is all about.

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  1. “The best analogy is probably baseball,”

    If I was the amazing carnac I would have said “How does the press secretary avoid being aroused when in his boss’s presence?” before opening this envelope.

  2. Considering that Obama can’t even throw the ball to the plate without skipping it on the grass a couple of times, I don’t think “chin music” is the best analogy. Maybe “shoelace music”.

    1. Pointing out that Obama throws like a girl is both sexist and racist.

      1. Generally the truth is.

  3. Well, at least Obama hasn’t bombed Fox News HQ in Baghdad. Yet.

  4. I think a better baseball analogy is the manager storming out of the dugout to scream at the ump for a bad call. You know he’s not going to change it (unless it’s one of the rare replay calls), but maybe he’ll shade things your way next time to avoid the hassle.

  5. The problem here is I don’t think it is intimidating. As anybody who has ever served in the military knows, you never show they’re getting to you. If anything, FOX should be encouraged to redouble their efforts at maligning the president. They’re obviously effective.

    1. Agreed. Pathetic whining about someone you don’t like is not intimidating. It’s almost as if their goal was to get more viewers for Fox News.

  6. “It may be exasperating, but that is what the First Amendment is all about. ”

    That assumes that this Whitehouse gives a d*mn about the Constitution — as far as I’m concerned a “fact” not in evidence since January 2009

    1. That assumes that this Whitehouse gives a d*mn about the Constitution — as far as I’m concerned a “fact” not in evidence since January 2009

      Oh yeah, Jan this year marks the turning point when the Whitehouse began ignoring the Constitution. Remember how W kept saying how he wanted to do this and that, but couldn’t because he didn’t have the constitutional authority? Yeah me neither.

      1. George “WTF” Bush did it too! That means no one can complain about it…

        1. Complain all you want. Just don’t say it started with Obamaman.

          1. No, Obama didn’t start the trend of ignoring the Constitution… but he damned sure isn’t ENDING it, either.

          2. So… don’t say something that no one here actually said?

            Gotcha.

      2. I seem to remember people claiming the Dems were great on civil rights issues like freedom of the press.

  7. I have to wonder if the “useful idiots” in the media even understand that they’ve been played by the smiley faced communist dictator on a mission to destroy the country. This White House declared war on America long before the FOX news channel.

    Obama gave Chris Matthews a “thrill” up his leg Vs. Glenn Beck reporting on the communist czars, The robbers, looters running the country into the gutter as we become a 3rd world county.

    Barack “il duce” Obama is a typical communist dictator. The press in Europe is doing a better job of reporting than the American press. Why is that?

    1. While Mussolini was a prominent Marxist at one point in his life, by the time he was referred to as “il duce” he was a fascist, which while in many ways a variant of socialism, is not the same thing as communism.

  8. At the end of the day, you do not want your opponents to be able to say that they could not be heard.

    No worries.

    At the end of the day, they won’t be able to say that.

  9. At the end of the day the sun will set, and there will be pushback.

  10. At the end of the day, they won’t be able to say that.

    Well, they will, but no one will hear them.

    1. You folks are more confident than I.

      I hope you’re right that there will be an opposition left.

      1. Obama and his zombies have no idea what sort of opposition is out there.

        Keep in mind gun and ammo sales are way up and it ain’t liberals buying them.

  11. Baseball analogy, Mr. Gibbs? Don’t go there with the Sissy in Chief. He throws like a girl and can neither bowl nor toss a ball around with the guys.

    Oh, yeah I forgot – President Pinochio is now an aspiring golfer. Tee hee..

    The White House is getting their “clock cleaned” with the TRUTH. And CNN is in fourth place, down 68% from last year at this time. Chickens coming “home to roost”, Reverend Wright?

    “Make my day” should be the response of Roger Ailes to the White House lickspittles.

    1. Guess you missed that video of Obama in Iraq during the campaign, where he sunk a three-point shot while the troops were cheering. The guy’s a lot of things but “sissy” ain’t one of them.

      1. /snicker

        The President can play HORSE. He’s a regular GIJoe.

      2. Girls hit three-pointers all the time. Just watch the WNBA (for the solid fundamentals, natch).

        1. Admit it, Timon. Fundamentals be damned, you like the butch ones. That’s why you watch.

          1. You’ve caught me purple-handed.

      3. Not a sissy? Let’s contrast with his audience in your scenario.

        Shooting 3 pointers on a basketball court while a security detail watches everybody like a hawk.

        Humping body armor and gear in the hundred degree heat while kicking in doors and dodging IEDs.

        I think I know who I’m gonna call the sissy in this scenario.

  12. This whole thing was intended to test the waters to see what the administration could get away with. The press isn’t servile enough yet to actively punish dissent. It will be in the future for some upcoming administration, then the next step will be prosecuting public opponents with those vaguely interpreted federal statutes that everyone unwittingly breaks. The system isn’t consciously designed this way but any government’s ultimate trajectory is totalitarianism.

    1. Yes, dennis. It’s not just Obamanoids expanding the envelope, it’s them pumping up the balloon to see how much space they can take from us freedom and liberty lovers.

      I sure hope this socialist tyranny expansion will pop soon.

  13. I would love to see someone bean Gibbs in the head in retaliation.

    Hell, if it was legal, I would contribute financially to said project.

    1. The Iraqi shoe guy is out of jail, right?

  14. Five minutes ago on Family Feud: “Something people buy newspapers for.”
    Number One answer: “Horoscopes”

  15. I’m beginning to think the Obama gang is every bit as incompetent in the message machine line as the Bush gang when it had Scott McClellan sweating in the spotlight. As Casey Stengel once said, “Can’t anybody play this game?”

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