Surely President Barack Obama and his advisers don't really think that their feud with Fox News will do anything but enhance the cable network's viewership. A deeper problem is what the flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing.As far as it goes, it's at least a beginning...perhaps other voices will begin to question what is occuring. Here's my response to his column:
I'm not happy about that. It does not fill me with glee to see Fox News star Sean Hannity joyfully replaying Obama's 2004 come-together speech about how we're "not red states or blues states" but "the United States of America" and asking where is Obama's promise now?
I don't agree with Hannity on much. He's only a tad more serious-minded as a news clown, in my grumpy view, than his colleague Glenn Beck. But, as much as my wife might run from the house when she hears me say it, Hannity's right on this one
This letter is in response to your column on Mr. Obama's new "War On Fox News". Mr. Obama has more than Fox News on his "enemies" list. It apparently has entries for any organizations that oppose his policies. They are branded as "evil" and must be ostracized. Corporate leaders in the financial industry were stigmatized for "earning too much". Later the "enemy" was the health insurance industry for changing their minds about participating in their own destruction as an industry.
Yet another "enemy" who opposes some of Mr. Obama's policies is the US Chamber of Commerce who opposes the "Cap & Trade" bill which if enacted will literally destroy what is left of the economy. Individual household energy costs will add approximately $2000.00 per year. I'm barely making ends meet now. That kind of energy cost increase, along with the tax increases that are hidden in the various incarnations of the health care bills will literally put me and my family out on the street.All they, and Fox News are guilty of are opposing, as any American is permitted to do under the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution is to express their opinions, or report what they deem to be news. On the other hand, John F. Kennedy said in a speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, Apr. 27, 1961
" No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.
I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers--I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: "An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it." We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed--and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment-- the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply "give the public what it wants"--but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion."
Any president that does stifle opposition is skirting if not shredding, the US Constitution. Think about it. How much of a leap is it to being from being labeled "not legitimate" to "enemy of the state"...
Thank you for allowing me to take up so much of your time.
Richard A. Vail