Sunday, October 10, 2010

Television Critic and Chief

In an recent interview, President Obama called Fox News “destructive” because of its “point of view.” Of course, Obama forgot to mention that there’s a network with an even more caustic “point of view” just down the dial in MSNBC. Why the selective memory? I guess having a “point of view” is OK with the president, just as long as that “point of view” happens to be his own.

The inconvenient truth is our country depends on the many points of view generated by a free press. Obama should know this. Wasn’t he the guy who was inspired by the book Team of Rivals? Heck, even Obama’s secretary of state has been known to throw a barb or two his way, back when they were opponents.

He apparently got past that, but he draws the line at Fox News.

Of course, I’m not suggesting Fox News doesn’t have a point of view. It does. But if Fox’s Sean Hannity is a weapon for the GOP, then Keith Olbermann is the Democratic equivalent of a weapon of mass destruction. At least Hannity has a worthy adversary in Alan Colmes. There is no such counterbalance on MSNBC. In fact, if you ever see a conservative on MSNBC, it’s because he or she is some kind of wingnut.

Olbermann and Rachel Maddow are a daily duo of destruction. They never met a Republican idea – or heck, even a Republican –they liked. MSNBC’s agenda is to ridicule rather than inform. It is plug-and-play television. With George W. Bush gone and a Democrat controlled Congress in place, I’m surprised they can find anyone to demonize anymore. Thank goodness for Sarah Palin. She’s an easy target, if not an elected official.

It’s OK – even admirable -- for media outlets to have a point of view. It is part of a vibrant Democracy. George W. Bush dealt with it and so should Obama – even if he doesn’t agree with it. After all, he’s commander and chief, not chief TV critic.

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