The President versus the Rodeo Clown

You’d think that in a contest between the most powerful man in the free world, with the resources of the entire government of the United States of America against a self-proclaimed rodeo clown, well, there wouldn’t even BE a contest.  Or so you’d think.  It would be like the Yankees playing against the local Little League champs.

So how is it, would you think, that the self-proclaimed rodeo clown, who is also known in some circles as Glenn Beck, could be so far ahead in the early innings?

Well, it appears that Glenn Beck has the home field advantage.  Obama and Company were first at bat with Anita Dunn leading off.  Dunn was President Obama’s “Communications Director” in the White House, and made the announcement on Sunday, October 11, 2009, that the White House will treat Fox News as an “opponent”.

Let me see if I can phrase that another way.  The center of power for the Executive Branch of the United States Federal government, which employs over 14,600,000 people, spends over $3 trillion annually (of money it may or may not actually have), and has nuclear weapons at its disposal, has apparently declared war on a privately owned company.  A privately-owned company that operates within the borders of the United States. A privately-owned company owned by citizens of the United States. A privately-owned company which employs still more tax-paying citizens of the United States.

The next day, when Fox News had its turn at bat in this first inning, who did they choose as their lead off hitter?  Brit Hume, a man of impeccable credentials and experience?  Nah.  The Fox folks send in their very own rodeo clown, Glenn Beck.

Beck hit a long, long ball into the bleachers with a video of this same Anita Dunn naming a certain head of state as a great political philosopher, and one of the people she “turns to most”.  Who, you might ask, is this head of state? Jefferson? Adams? Lincoln? FDR?

You might also ask, regardless of the answer, why should that score points for Fox?

The answer is that head of state was Mao Tse-tung, and recommending the man who killed off something on the order of 40 million of his own citizens as a role model for a class of graduating high school students would seem to many people to be in poor taste at the very least.

It is somewhat chilling to have any representative of the government of the United States referring to the architect of the deaths of 40 million people who disagreed with his policies in even small ways as a “political philosopher” and someone to whom they turn frequently.

When that same representative announces that anyone that disagrees with the President is an “opponent” or an “enemy”, then chilling is not really an apt adjective.  Perhaps appalling would be more apt.  Or ghastly.  Or even portentous.

So much for the first inning.  Now how do you think the second inning played?

A week later, the White House sent two of its best spin doctors out to do the rounds of talk shows, and both Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod used almost identical phrasing to pooh-pooh the idea that Fox is an actual, you know, news organization.  They were trying very hard to convince the viewing public that voluntarily watching Fox News is roughly the equivalent to voluntarily attending an Amway seminar.  They have a “perspective” and a “slant” on the news.  What a shock!

Axelrod and Emanuel both took advantage of the main stream media to deliver that particular bit of information.

Then Glenn Beck was up to bat again for Fox News, and he showed a previously unaired video featuring Anita Dunn describing how the communications department of the Obama campaign made sure that they controlled the media during the election by never allowing their candidate to be questioned by ANY media types.  Not just Fox News, but any at all.

It appears that both Axelrod and Emanuel were simply continuing their practice of taking advantage of the MSM.

Looks like Glenn Beck’s shot is going, GOING, G-O-N-E!!!!!

In real baseball, the game would continue for all nine innings.  Of course this isn’t real baseball.  So the President has an opportunity to do something that will save him from having to wipe even more egg off his chin.  Stop playing.

I will admit to the guilty pleasure of watching Glenn Beck, but I will also concede that at times he can be irritating.  But as he himself has said, he is not a serious journalist.  He hasn’t even claimed to be a frivolous journalist.  He is a commentator, and an entertainer.  And yet he is making President Obama’s administration look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

The longer this nonsense continues, the more adverse the consequences for the President.  For one thing it almost guarantees a larger audience share for Fox News.  For another, any further attacks on Fox, and most especially against Beck, will only make the President look petty, petulant and vindictive.  It will mirror one of the less attractive personality traits of Richard Nixon.

I mean it’s silly enough to have the same President who is willing to deal with tyrants and dictators from the most repressive regimes on the planet declare that a news outlet is an “opponent”.  Apparently it’s perfectly alright for Iran to develop nuclear arms, for Russia to bully its neighbors, for North Korea to launch missiles as if they were firecrackers, and for Americans to be killed in Afghanistan while he, like a latter day Hamlet, mulls over what he should do, but a voiced difference of opinion about his plans for change are utterly unacceptable and must be stamped out immediately.

This sort of behavior on the part of the White House can only diminish the stature of the President.  I don’t know how to tell him this, but in this scuffle, Glenn Beck appears to have more gravitas than Barak Obama.  And that’s pathetic.

Although, it could be worse.  Al Franken could appear to have more gravitas than the President.


About Jim Yardley

Retired after 30 years as a financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a two-tour Vietnam veteran, and independent voter.
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