Saturday, October 24, 2009
self-neutering lapdog media in full force
NPR analyst compares Obama to Nixon, issues full apology
By Byron York | 10/24/09 9:52 AM EDT | Washington Examiner
It's pretty unremarkable to describe the Obama White House's growing enemies list -- the insurance companies, Chamber of Commerce, Fox News -- as "Nixonian." But there's one place where, if you venture such an opinion, you'd better be prepared to apologize -- quickly and profusely.
On National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" Wednesday, NPR political editor Ken Rudin said the White House campaign against Fox News is a bad idea. "It's not only aggressive, it's almost Nixonesque," Rudin said. "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."
It's not the usual thing you hear from NPR analysts. Reaction from the NPR audience was negative, and within 24 hours, Rudin was in backtrack mode. "I made a boneheaded mistake yesterday," Rudin wrote on his NPR blog. "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 apologize for a dumb comparison."