At last someone gets it:
I have come to believe that the nearly daily back and forth between the White House and Fox News is good for both sides….The White House wants us to believe they are standing up to Fox's bullying–and they are. But what they are also doing is playing the Fox game: The White House's pretend sanctimony is like Fox's pretend sanctimony; it's all for the show of it, everybody's a big ham, everybody's playing everybody else.
That's Michael Wolff writing in Newser. Aside from the silly use of the word "bullying," he's exactly right. Like Nixon before him, Obama understands that he makes his base happy when he attacks unfriendly media, and that he might attract some sympathy from press-hating independents in the process. Meanwhile, Fox News sees its standing elevated, movement conservatives rally 'round it, and Glenn Beck gets a mountain of material. Anyone who looks at this contest and asks whether the White House is beating Fox or vice versa is missing the dynamic at work here. It's a win/win.
Now, that doesn't mean everyone else is winning. It isn't good for the First Amendment for the White House to play these games, and I don't think it's good for the president's other critics if Fox is the foremost face of dissent. But the people putting on the pro wrestling show—they're doing great.