Not only is the mainstream media’s honeymoon with Barack Obama over but also Obama lost his war against Fox News after a mean-spirited effort to shut the network up.
That’s the view of longtime media insider and uber-journalist Ken Auletta, who also declared Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Obama’s attacks on Fox News and conservatives in the media was “Nixonian” and said the Obama team has long viewed the press as “jackals.”
Asked what Obama’s strategy was in attacking Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and others in the media, Auletta said: "They actually think they were too slow off the draw to go after Glenn Beck and others on Fox News, and the push within the White House in late summer and fall was, we have to be more aggressive.
“That argument won out and ultimately what they did, they went after Fox, they went after some others in the press, and then they found out the press kind of joined in and said, 'Hey stop this. This is outrageous.' This is Nixonian actually was the argument that was made. And the White House has sort of backed off.”
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Auletta writes in a new article for New Yorker magazine: “During the 2008 elections Obama was the object of near veneration, possessed of a persona and a campaign that were irresistibly compelling. . . What complaints the Obama campaign had about coverage it generally kept to itself. But now that the president has rolled out his ambitious initiatives. . . he bristles at the way he is treated in the media.”
Auletta was asked Tuesday morning to characterize the relationship now between White House and the mainstream media.
“Post-honeymoon,” he declared. “The honeymoon’s over.”
Host Joe Scarborough noted that, if Martha Coakley loses the special election in Massachusetts today, “it may be counseling time.”
Columnist and MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle noted that Obama previously received “kid-glove treatment” from the press, and asked Auletta whether he senses “any tone of arrogance in the White House” to press coverage.
“I do,” Auletta responded.
“One of the things I found in my reporting is, below the surface, the Obama administration and its people were angry at the press all throughout the campaign, despite the press coverage they got, which was very favorable.
“In fact, in David Plouffe book, his former campaign manager, he describes their attitude as ‘the jackals.’ They referred to the press as 'the jackals'.”
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