A major priority of President Obama has been to engage in diplomacy with adversaries like Iran and North Korea, and to pursue a vigorous diplomatic strategy between the Israelis and Palestinians. The militaristic tone of the Bush administration has been replaced(and Nobel Peace prize rewarded)by one of engagement.
Which makes it all the more puzzling why the White House seems unwilling to talk to Fox News, and has accused it of not being a real news organization. The first salvo was fired by the White House Director of Communications, who apparently isn't very good at living up to her title. The Obama administration has reached out repeatedly to Republicans and conservative Democrats to achieve a consensus on healthcare reform and other issues. So why not talk to Fox News?
As a regular guest on The Strategy Room at foxnews.com, I have had the pleasure and privilege of engaging in spirited but respectful discourse with pundits from the left, right and center. Each show is hosted by a skilled reporter from Fox News, who I may sometimes vehemently disagree with, but always respect their journalistic integrity. To insinuate that these hard working journalists are not part of a real news organization is offensive and completely offbase.
As a liberal political comedian, I can find comedic fodder with some of the opinion/entertainment hosts at the channel, but they are clearly not part of the news gathering and reporting operation at Fox News.
And even if one accepts The White House assertion that Fox News coverage is unfair to the President, what better way to counter that than to have Obama and other White House officials appear on Fox News to get their message across in their own words? If the Obama administration can talk to Iran and North Korea, they can surely sit down with Chris Wallace or Bill O'Reilly, as Obama did during the campaign.
And when President Obama appeared on Fox News during the campaign, it could be argued that he gained some votes from the many independents who view the channel. Which flies in the face of the comments by Robert Gibbs and others that there is no point in trying to reach out to Fox viewers. As a comedian, I know the importance of knowing your audience. You would think that the politically savvy White House would take the time to know the Fox News audience, and not completely write them off.
President Obama and his entire White House team should stop beating on Fox News, and start being on Fox News.