Archive for October 19th, 2009

Obama and Fox News war–now this I just don’t get

October 19, 2009

There are only a couple of explanations I can come up with to explain why the Obama administration would declare open war on Fox News. Either the arrogance of power is so great that it has clouded what for the most part has been sterling political judgment. Or, the anger overbeing so stridently and consistently attacked has got the better of them.

It is one thing to express concern about Fox News’ brand of journalism and how it may be proving detrimental to the nature of political discussion in the US, but to go so far as Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod in saying it wasn’t even a news organization is really quite incredible to me. This, I would think would be true whether your perspective is of the right or the left.

If it is of the left, it totally misses one thing that has been happening with news in general and social media in particularly which is making it clear that objective reporting is gone, has been gone and may never have really existed. This judgment would be offensive, it seems to me, to the likes of Adrianna Huffington and many other political writers/reporters/bloggers, etc., who are championing the cause of reporting with a point of view. The Economist is one big exception in the decline of major news media, and there is not an article in that publication that doesn’t come at the topic with a strong slant and an editorial opinion completely embedded in the story. There is no apology and no need to–they make their biases and their mission completely known. But to suggest that because opinion is mixed with reporting the Economist is not a news organization would be ridiculous.

On the right, which I must say must be rejoicing with this turn of events, this attack only demonstrates what they have been saying for some time. Which is that the left-leaning news organizations such as New York Times, and major networks, have been pretending to be balanced and middle of the road when to any right winger it was clear they were far from balanced. Fox comes along and takes a quite different slant on the news. By doing so they demonstrate that being right or left is in the eye of the news viewer. In other words, if you are strongly right leaning Fox will appear fair and balanced, if you are left they will not, but New York Times will appear fair and balanced. Who is? Like the theory of relativity, it all depends on your own position and motion.

I would think that the likes of Axelrod and Emanuel would be sophisticated enough to have that understanding of media. To disparage Fox by declaring that all other media (more in line with their perspective perhaps) are legitimate news organizations, but Fox is not is not just insulting to the huge Fox audience (much bigger than the others) but also strikes me as naive. Nothing I would have ever thought to say about these very sophisticated and successful political operatives.

Like I said, the only explanation I can come up with is a weariness that overcame their good senses, or much worse, the first real sign of a frightening arrogance of power. I hope not. Somebody better call off this ill-conceived war. Mr. President, book your time on Hannity soon.

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How social media is changing emergency and crisis communication

October 19, 2009

I blogged on this at emergencymgmt.com which is my blog more focused on government communication and emergency management. But, it may be of more general interest to those involved in crisis communication so, here it is. It’s my crisis management take-off on an excellent post by Soren Gordhamer on the five ways social media has changed our lives.