Wednesday, October 14, 2009

But is Fox News the administration's only target?

I have blogged before about the fact that--as a purely political issue--it is a mistake for the Obama administration to elevate any news outlet within the US to the level of an enemy, even rhetorically.

But it also seems that the Obama/Holder Department of Justice has notched up this strategy another level, with government employees in the DOJ being assigned to surf opposition blogs, record information, and even plant troll comments. From a compilation of current blog reports [h/t Libertarian Republican]:

Are you a conservative or libertarian blogger? Do you take issue with and write pieces that don't mesh with Obama's policies? If you do, Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, is possibly getting feedback on what you've been blogging about.

Warner Todd Huston, a freelance writer who has written for and Human Events, has discovered that Mr. Holder has hired a whole team of Democratic campaign bloggers to troll the internet looking for anti-Obama articles and posts. When found, the bloggers are instructed to post comments, usually anonymously, in support of Dear Leader's ideas and policies.

As one blog [Muffled Oar] reports in greater detail:

Not only is the Department of Justice Blog Squad going to reach out to nontraditional media like TPM Muckraker or the Muffled Oar, but they are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments at conservative leaning blogs such as the Free Republic. They are also tasked with fostering anonymous comments, or comments under pseudonyms, at newspaper websites with stories critical of the Department of Justice, Holder and President Obama.

IF this is accurate [please note, I placed that in bold because I am not yet assuming that the case has been verified] it represents a step in a decidedly authoritarian and anti-Constitutional direction.

For those who suggest the political process is somehow being subverted through false and mis-information on places like Fox and in conservative or libertarian blogs, and that therefore response and regulation are needed, I would respond with this American principle: The truth is too important to allow the State to decide what it is.


Anonymous said...

How is telling the truth about Fox News (saying that are part of the GOP) elevate them to the level of an enemy?

Pssst...Steve, Get over the wingnut hyperbole if you want to be taken seriously.


Steven H. Newton said...

Kind of an ironic point for you to make, considering that my original post was not exactly what even you would call wingnut talking points.

In it I expressed clearly that responding even to lies from a major media outlet in this fashion is a tried and true political loser. You may disagree with that assessment, but if you read the original piece it is hardly a Beck or Fox apologia.

Tyler Nixon said...

And saying 'Fox News is part of the GOP' isn't the slightest bit of leftist moonbat hyperbole, is it now Jason?

Oh, that's and MSNBC and the rest of the leftisphere are the 'good' guys -- allowed to emulate Karl Rove without being Rovian. Gotcha. Check.

Tyler Nixon said...

...oh, and Steve, don't worry about being "taken seriously" by people who are simply neither serious nor least not enough to have actually repeated over and over that you were a fellow traveler of George W. Bush.

Talk about self-anointed hubristic elitism. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Interesting you would mention that particular thread, Newton. In it, you essentially called Beck a liar. When challenged to prove it, you obviously couldn't. Rather moonbat-esque of you.

Steven H. Newton said...

You confuse "couldn't" with "didn't."

I respond to those challenges I choose to respond to.

I have written on Beck before; you can either choose to read it or not, just like you can choose to provide you name or not.

Either way, I could care less.

Townie 76 said...

Steve, if this is happening it is clearly wrong. This is almost a throw back to the Nixon White House's enemies list, or J. Edgar Hoover investigating Martin Luther King because he was subversive! It was wrong then and is wrong now regardless of which party is in office!
If it is happening, it should not be and should be stopped now. I suspect it is a case of overzealous political hires trying to do what they think is right.
Anon my only advice is you want to play with rattlesnakes remember they bite!

Anonymous said...

"I respond to those challenges I choose to respond to...
... just like you can choose to provide you name or not."

Those rather impotent deflections were yet another acknowledgment of your cowardice to stand by your accusations.

Not surprised at all.

G Rex said...

Looks like the Obama thought police got to Jason and waterboarded him with Kool Aid. Apparently standing up for freedom of the press is subversive if you don't like what they're saying about you. Damn pesky Constitution!

Delaware Watch said...

I need more evidence than what you provided to conclude that the Obama administration is monitoring blogs and responding to them. I'm glad that you expressed some reservations about that as well.

As far as the Obama administration responding to FOX news is concerned, I see it as nothing more than the government entering into public dialog. It is an interactive approach that I've long wanted my government to do. I don't see it as ominous.