First They Came for the Multibillion-Dollar Media Companies…

Candace de Russy raises the alarm over at Phi Beta Cons:

In “First They Came for Fox News,” Claudia Rosett remarks “how dangerous it is when the President of the United States gives his staff and advisers a green light to single out and denigrate by name a specific news organization,” namely, Fox, which has had the gall to expose and criticize Obama’s radical left-wing agenda.

In particular, Rosett singles out the television networks and major newspapers for failing to speak out against the president’s vendetta, declaring “They could be next.”

Not surprisingly, there’s been nary a peep about this outrage against free speech from the academy. Schools of journalism, above all, should be screaming bloody murder, for they too — given the twists and turns of radicalism — could be next.

“The academy,” de Russy writes, “should be echoing Rosett’s message:”

The matter of deciding whether a news outlet has “a perspective” — and many do &mdash is something that in a free country, if the country is to remain free, should be left to the private customer …

Government personnel getting into this act is altogether different. These are people paid out of the public purse, and speaking under the imprimatur of public institutions &mdashh; in this case the White House. Here they are, urging White House-favored news outfits to follow the White House lead, and ostracize a specific news outlet the White House doesn’t like. This is Banana Republic stuff, a stock tactic of pressure and intimidation. The effect of such stuff, as a rule, is not to promote accurate news coverage, but to cover up stories the government doesn’t want aired, and shut up critics.

So why isn’t the academy up in arms about this grievous instance of a powerful political figure needlessly bashing an innocent little news channel?

Let’s review. Senior White House aide David Axelrod told Politico that Fox News is “really not news — it’s pushing a point of view.” Another Obama aide said Fox is “a wing of the Republican Party.” They’re referring, of course, to a network whose roster of commentators is full of folks who condemn liberals and Democrats as anti-American, and who aren’t sure whether or not Obama is in the process of using FEMA to build concentration camps for conservatives and Republicans.

Oh, and Fox is getting an average of 1.2 millions viewers per show and has benefited greatly from the feud.

But yeah, I am shocked that academics have not stepped up on the network’s behalf.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.