In the wake of near universal criticism of Obama’s draconian handling of Fox News, Rick Sanchez valiantly came to his defense yesterday, by assuring us, that this sort of thing – (targeting, demonizing, isolating, and attempting to destroy a news organization) isn’t a rare, or even notable thing at all, (if you know your history, he smugly assures us):
Well, believe it or not, Paul Cooper of Newsreel knows his history, and felt obliged to correct the record:
Sanchez’s comparison to Nixon proves a pretty good one. Nixon did have an enemies list that included people in the press that he wanted to bring down. Many have rightfully made that comparison to the Obama administration’s direct attack on Fox News that we’ve heard so much about lately. However, Sanchez doesn’t want to leave Obama in that light so he adds two Presidents that are often listed in a top 3 or 5 of greatest American Presidents. That’s the real company he wants Obama in. However, this is when Sanchez decides to play around with history.
Did FDR actually make a New York Times journalist wear a dunce cap at multiple press briefings because he hated him and wanted to humiliate him? Nope. Sanchez’s reference is about a famous one time moment with NYT journalist Robert Post. According to the book The Writing 69th, Post and Roosevelt became good friends while Post covered the White House from 1936-1937. During one press conference Post pressed Roosevelt about running for a third term. Roosevelt joked to avoid the question. Post continued to press harder, so Roosevelt told Post,
“Bob, go put on the dunce cap and stand in the corner.”
The press saw it as a symbol of how Roosevelt liked to duck hard questions.
That was it. FDR did not hate Post. He never made him wear a dunce cap once – let alone at multiple briefings. He simply gave a snide remark to avoid a question he didn’t like. In fact, when Roosevelt did win a third term, Post sent a joking reply back:
“Who’s the dunce now?”
On to Lincoln:
On May 18, 1864 Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order to arrest some of the journalists and editors of two New York publications that printed and published what they knew to be a forged Presidential proclamation calling for 400,000 more troops and a new draft. It was an act of treason to raise up resistance to the Union during a time of war. The act warranted imprisonment.
Again, Lincoln’s situation and Obama’s attack of Fox News should not be mentioned together. The two situations don’t even vaguely have any points of comparison.
To use history and the legacy of Roosevelt and Lincoln in this way is journalistic fraud. And Sanchez does it to help excuse Obama for his poor behavior.
I can think of a news organization that tried to use a forged document in order to bring down a President, but it wasn’t Fox News.
How much longer can CNN keep airing this embarrassing clown?