Fox targets Obama’s vacation

During George W. Bush’s two terms as president, he spent all or part of 977 days at Camp David or at a ranch in Texas. That’s the equivalent of more than two and a half years, and it set a modern record — no president has taken more time off than Bush since records started keeping track of such things.

With that in mind, it’s amazing to see Fox News whine about President Obama taking two weeks off around the holidays.

For those who can’t watch clips online, the cast of “Fox & Friends” spent some time this morning complaining about the president planning to take some time off at the end of the month. Dana Perino, Bush’s former press secretary, found Obama’s vacation plans — 17 days off — so ridiculous, she thought the reporters were a joke. She added that the trip has something to do with the drop in unemployment, and was announced on Friday afternoon (when Bush’s White House released all news it found politically inconvenient).

Steve Doocy said Obama deserves to take more heat than his predecessor because Bush “never had a surfboard.”

Is it any wonder Fox News viewing warps news consumers’ understanding of current events?

Gretchen Carlson, meanwhile, suggested the presidential vacation is problematic because the country is facing so many challenges. I’d reminder her that Bush took 216 days off in his first 18 months — a period that included the attacks of 9/11 and the launch of a war in Afghanistan. Hell, a terrorist tried to blow up an American passenger jet in December 2001, and Bush not only stayed on vacation, he didn’t even mention the incident for nearly a week.

There have to be more interesting lines of attack for the GOP. This is mind-numbing.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.