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Targeting TMZ

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"The truth is that Obama has lost the public debate on health-care reform, and he's left with only the option of slamming something through Congress that will be incredibly unpopular, and then blame its unpopularity on Fox News. That's undignified, Nixonian, and futile, all at the same time."

On the liberal side, WashPost's Ruth Marcus also is left scratching her head:

"The Obama administration's war on Fox News is dumb on multiple levels. It makes the White House look weak, unable to take Harry Truman's advice and just deal with the heat. It makes the White House look small, dragged down to the level of Glenn Beck. It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian -- Agnewesque? -- aroma at worst. It is a self-defeating trifecta: it distracts attention from the Obama administration's substantive message; it serves to help Fox, not punish it, by driving up ratings; and it deprives the White House, to the extent it refuses to provide administration officials to appear on the cable network, of access to an audience that is, in fact, broader than hard-core Obama haters. . . .

"Has anyone at the White House clicked over to MSNBC recently? Or is the only problem opinion journalism that doesn't match its opinion?"

But HuffPost's Jason Linkins says MSNBC is very different because it criticizes Obama from the left. And besides: "Another way Fox has simply left the fold of legitimate news organizations is by placing a nonsensical amount of emphasis on bizarre issues. Rationally speaking, White House communications director Anita Dunn and the Mao quotes she cites in lectures are simply not going to have a measurable impact on America. But skyrocketing unemployment certainly is. Similarly, the war in Afghanistan is a gripping issue in which all Americans have a huge stake -- in some cases, a life-or-death one. But the White House 'Pay Czar' is only going to have an impact upon a certain population of Wall Street executives, who could end up being merely super-super-wealthy instead of super-super-super wealthy. Yet Fox would rather concern itself with the latter issue, at the expense of the former."

And Greta Van Susteren responds to Jake Weisberg's denunciation of Fox, excerpted here Tuesday: "Now, un-American? First it was that Fox is not a news organization. . . . and now? now Fox is un-american? Really, un-american??? (Tomorrow I fear I will be asked to register as a sex offender)."

Blaming Bush

Conservatives have found something new to dislike in the president, as we see in this column by National Review's Rich Lowry:

"Republicans needn't trouble themselves to nominate a presidential candidate in 2012. No matter what, President Barack Obama will be running against George W. Bush . . .

"Obama clearly wants Bush to be the Hoover to his FDR. Since his predecessor left office with 34 percent job approval, Obama understandably feels moved to scorn and berate him. But Obama's perpetual campaign against Bush is graceless, whiny, and tin-eared. Must the leader of the free world -- if Obama still accepts that quaint formulation -- always reach for the convenient excuse?. . . .

"When Obama first burst on the scene, he seemed to respect the other side. That refreshing Obama is long gone. Now, he impugns his immediate predecessor with classless regularity, and attributes the worst of motives -- pure partisanship and unrestrained greed -- to those who oppose him. Their assigned role is to get the hell out of his way.

"The acid test of the White House inevitably exposes a president's character flaws: Nixon's corrosive paranoia, Clinton's self-destructive indiscipline, Bush's stubborn defensiveness. Obama in the crucible is exhibiting an oddly self-pitying arrogance."

Maybe, just maybe, the other side isn't showing much respect for Obama? Saying things like, You lie!?


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