From Ken Rudin's October 22 post on NPR's Political Junkie blog:
I made a boneheaded mistake yesterday, during the Political Junkie segment on NPR's Talk of the Nation, that I'd like to correct right away.
It was part of a conversation regarding the White House's war with Fox News.
I happen to think that the administration made a mistake in deciding to take on Fox. Yes, you can make the case that Fox "started it," as the White House is saying, though that sounds a bit juvenile to me. Fox News has been baiting President Obama from Day One -- and before. Yes, there are commentators on Fox (Glenn Beck comes to mind, but there are others) who trash the president on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Yes, there are some days where the work of good, legitimate Fox journalists -- such as Major Garrett, for example -- get overlooked because of all the attention directed at the rancor coming from its commentators.
Yesterday, in expressing my belief that the White House should have known better, I actually said this on the air:
Well, it's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixonesque. I mean, you think of what Nixon and Agnew did with their enemies list and their attacks on the media; certainly Vice President Agnew's constant denunciation of the media. Of course, then it was a conservative president denouncing a liberal media, and of course, a lot of good liberals said, 'Oh, that's ridiculous. That's an infringement on the freedom of press.' And now you see a lot of liberals almost kind of applauding what the White House is doing to Fox News, which I think is distressing.
Where do I begin. I will tell you, that the Nixon "enemies list" is the first thing I thought of when the topic came up. And obviously, that's what was going through my mind during yesterday's conversation.
But comparing the tactics of the Nixon administration -- which bugged and intimidated and harrassed journalists -- to that of the Obama administration was foolish, facile, ridiculous and, ultimately, embarrassing to me. I should have known better and, in fact, I do know better. I was around during the Nixon years. I am fully cognizant of what they did and attempted to do.
I still think the Obama administration showed a childish, thin skin in its dealings with and reaction to Fox.
But childishness is a far cry from illegal and unconstitutional activities. And for that I apologize for a dumb comparison.