Political Animal


August 10, 2011 3:20 PM Fox News’ lack of limits

By Steve Benen

The White House yesterday canceled all public events for the day, as President Obama traveled to Dover Air Force Base to pay his respects to the American servicemen killed in Afghanistan over the weekend. After the caskets came off the plane, the president spent about 70 minutes meeting informally with approximately 250 family members and fellow servicemen and women.

A few hours later, Fox News held a panel discussion on the day’s events yesterday, and Andrew Napolitano saw the ceremony in Delaware as part of a political scheme.

“Instead [of economic moves], [Obama] segued it to something we all agree with, which is remorse and sorrow over the loss the SEALs in Afghanistan.

“That was a very clever way of trying to get the economy off the front page, but it didn’t work, Mr. President.”

This is what Fox News has been reduced to. After one of the deadliest days for U.S. troops in a decade-long war, the Commander in Chief greets returning caskets … and Fox News sees a political ploy.

I could note that if this was some kind of media-manipulation scheme, the White House would have brought a slew of reporters and television cameras, and the fact that this was a private, dignified ceremony belies Napolitano’s cheap accusations, but facts clearly aren’t relevant.

Obviously, the Republican cable news network has a lot invested in condemning the president in every possible instance, but is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • estamm on August 10, 2011 3:25 PM:

    "but is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?"

    Yes, yes it is.
    Your snappy answer for your stupid question of the day.

  • T2 on August 10, 2011 3:27 PM:

    quit watching FOX.

  • Chris Echo on August 10, 2011 3:28 PM:

    we should all ignore fox news. Although i might add that the liberal press did the same thing to Bush 2: always trying to find an angle that may have had nothing to do with what was happening. tit for tat. stop reading the damned news!

  • glutz78 on August 10, 2011 3:28 PM:

    Obama has now agreed to compromise with Fox and only send Biden when multiple troops are KIA. Wait, that was just Obama's first offer. The final deal is that Obama will resign next time even one troop is KIA.

  • T-Rex on August 10, 2011 3:31 PM:

    Does anyone seriously think by now that Rupert Murdoch pays anyone to observe standards of decency?

    There is one interesting bit of information, however, about the Murdoch dynasty -- his kids are much more liberal leaning than he is. That means that when the old geezer kicks the bucket, assuming the whole operation hasn't fallen apart by then, Roger Ailes may be invited to retire, and things may change fast at Fox.

  • ckelly on August 10, 2011 3:32 PM:

    Although i might add that the liberal press did the same thing to Bush 2:

    I'm sure you wouldn't mind rustling up a few examples for us Chris and please identify those pesky, elusive "liberal" presses m'kay? Otherwise, this is just more "both sides do it!" and I call bullshit.

  • martin on August 10, 2011 3:35 PM:

    As the previous Commander In Chief's failure to EVER go to Dover and show some respect for the people who died on his orders was a political ploy, surely the current CIC's choice to go there must also be a political ploy.

    forward furesion adds Mr Captcha

  • ckelly on August 10, 2011 3:35 PM:

    Oh, and my super duper Captcha "warear Regex" I thought was quite apropo.

  • Decatur Dem on August 10, 2011 3:40 PM:

    Try to imagine the storm of abuse Fox would unleash if he did NOT meet with families at Dover AFB.

  • SecularAnimist on August 10, 2011 3:44 PM:

    Steve Benen wrote: "... is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?"

    Fox News blatantly lies to its audience about anthropogenic global warming, which is a clear and present existential threat to human civilization -- and you think that a trivial and silly political poke at Obama is going beyond the "limits"?

  • Ron Byers on August 10, 2011 3:46 PM:

    "but is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?"

    You are asking this of a division of the same media company that hacked the cell phones of murder victims, their relatives, and the relatives of 9/11 victims? Of course, there are no limits for the likes of Fox News, limitless bad taste is a core component of any Murdock media enterprise.

  • Kim on August 10, 2011 3:49 PM:

    In one rightwing blog, I saw a columnist complain that Michelle Obama wasn't with him. They will take literally anything the man does and make it a whining/bitching point.

    On another note.....anyone know if Paul Ryan has done well with his investments since the downgrade? It seems to me that he - or someone in the GOP that was all for default - stood to do seriously well if the country defaulted or the credit downgraded.

  • Dennis on August 10, 2011 3:56 PM:

    If you watched Fox News today, you'd think that the $30+ million spent by outside groups in the Wisconsin recalls was all from unions. At least that's what Megyn Kelly let corrupt Wis. Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald tell us.

  • c u n d gulag on August 10, 2011 4:10 PM:

    There is no depth to which FOX will not stoop to make sure that Obama is a one-term President short of shooting him.

    And even then, I'm not too sure...

  • exlibra on August 10, 2011 4:12 PM:

    [...] is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits? -- Steve Benen

    But they did! They didn't, *this time*, complain that he saluted, even though he wears no uniform. Or didn't salute, even though he's CiC. That was a huge deal the last time he went to welcome the coffins (or the last time that we know about); they stretched their bitchin' over days.

    Kim, @3:49. It was Cantor who invested in USA's crash. Ryan might have also, for all I know, but Cantor was the one about whom there was a buzz.

    "STOOGES ndartur". Arthur has nothing to do with that gang; leave him alone, Craptcha.

  • Toon Moene on August 10, 2011 4:23 PM:

    The Onion has it spot on:

    "New GOP Strategy Involves Reelecting Obama, Making His Life Even More Miserable"


  • Cha on August 10, 2011 4:29 PM:

    fox "news" assholes are desperate, depraved idiots. Think of a cornered, rabid rat having limits. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  • LL on August 10, 2011 4:29 PM:

    but is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?


    Don't be a naif, Steve, even rhetorically. It's getting old. Just start calling Fox a bunch of lying scum. That might get their attention. Because they are, demonstrably, lying scum. They have been for a over a decade. It's their job. To lie. And lie. And lie some more. Murdoch pays Ailes good money to make sure Fox is doing nothing but lying all day, all week, all year, all the time. Fox is Rupert's little lying machine, as has been virtually every single media outlet he's ever owned in his life.

  • Cha on August 10, 2011 4:37 PM:

    @ Chris Echo.. The press covered up bush's shit and anything the corporatemediawhore press said about bush was a fact. The "media" also aided and abetted bush cheney to bomb Iraq.

    bush is an idiot. And, thanks to the Supreme Court Fascist 5 and that corporatewhore press he oozed in as president even though Al Gore won. Oh yeah, and having a brother as gov with katherine harris as SOS in Florida didn't hurt.

  • max on August 10, 2011 5:19 PM:

    "This is what Fox News has been reduced to. After one of the deadliest days for U.S. troops in a decade-long war, the Commander in Chief greets returning caskets and Fox News sees a political ploy."

    Seems like only yesterday Dubya was forbidding any TV cameras as the body bags rolled through Dover AFB. There is no point really to making a joke out of anything that comes out of Fox News or pointing out the obvious ironies in things they say. It's a sham "news" operation, of no value to anyone.

  • Howey on August 10, 2011 5:21 PM:

    During the day yesterday, various Drudge headlines included "Radio Silence - Obama in Hiding", "Obama to fly over Dover", and finally, hidden way down the list much later in the day was the truth where noone could see it...

  • xpatriate on August 10, 2011 6:13 PM:

    I'm guessing you have interns (or use some news service that uses interns) watch these "programs" so you don't have to. I'm also hoping that you are generous in whatever purgative benefits (bar tabs, therapy sessions, etc.) you allow them so they can recover from the experience. I'll bet they get used up pretty quickly.

  • Skip on August 10, 2011 6:17 PM:

    ...of no value to anyone, Max, except its 1.8 million prime time viewers who then take a glut of misinformation to the voting booths and elect empty headed mouths who can't step up to the plate, let alone work to solve critical national and global issues affecting just about everyone.

  • Doug on August 10, 2011 7:44 PM:

    Only dedicated "Foxies" would immediately agree with Napolitano, anyone else would recognize it for what it was: partisan slander.
    It may be nice to blame all our troubles on the "stupidity" of voters, but that fails to explain how Mr. Obama was elected in the first place. Or how Democrats keep getting elected, sometimes in enough numbers to form the majority.
    Right now the best weapon we as Democrats/progressives/liberals have are the Republican/Teabagger Party and Fox News. They have become so detached from reality as to cause any person with more than a single functioning synapse to wonder. I don't mean we should sit back and let them do ALL the work, we still need to call them out on their lies; the plausible ones, anyway.
    At the rate Republican/Teabaggers and their pet cable channel are going, come the New Year, we may not even even be any of THOSE...

  • Texas Aggie on August 10, 2011 7:45 PM:

    but is it too much to ask that Fox accept some limits?

    Yes, it is.

  • ameshall on August 11, 2011 12:46 AM:

    Yes, Steve, it is too much to ask. At this point Fox has become a caricature of itself. Even the dullest of the dull anchors on that network has to be amazed at how gullible their teabagging viewers are.

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  • Axwall on August 11, 2011 11:49 AM:

    But had Obama not gone to Dover AFB, Fox would have jumped on him for not caring about the families of the deceased. It's always "heads I win, tails you lose" with Fox.

  • Axwall on August 11, 2011 11:53 AM:

    But had Obama not gone to Dover AFB to offer his condolences, Fox would have been all over him for his indifference, his "hatred" of the military, etc. As always with Fox, it's "head's I win, tails you lose."