Wow! Here's an opinion piece on Fox News and the Obama Administration by a sophomore at the University of Alabama that's far from sophomoric. Wesley Vaughn writes in "The Fox and the pres" in The Crimson White, the student weekly at Tuscaloosa, that President Obama's aides are too focused on attacking the irritating Fox folks.
"Don't tell them to shut up, Obama," he advises. "Give them a reason to shut up."
Vaughn uses his focus on Fox and the White House to get at the high decibel TV and blog-driven state of the current U.S. political discourse.
"Everyone must remember how easy the job of political commentator is," he notes. "Anyone can complain about political happenings, but those same people don’t have to figure out a workable solution."
"Why does the administration even try to attack an organization that’s viewership has increased since the election?" Vaughn asks. "Fox News revels in conflict, and even more so when attacked. Obama is simply writing checks his public relations can’t cash. Fox News has an arsenal of pundits who have been trained and love to retaliate. These talking heads can easily bash the White House and Congress all day. Axelrod’s comments just give them more ammunition." (The reference was to a senior White House adviser saying recently that Fox is "not really news ... “I understand that their programming is geared toward making money.")
Vaughn makes additional pertinent points, but what more needs to be said, really? When punditry becomes burlesque, it's best to turn away from it, gearing your own performance to overshadow the tawdriness. For instance, Rush Limbaugh has been coming in for his own bashings of late, as in this piece in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.