Media critic Howard Kurtz, who hosts his own CNN show, writes in CNN.com that both Al Gore and President Obama should “stop whining” about conservative media:
OK, Gore doesn’t like Fox. So he started what he hoped would be a liberal counterweight in Current TV, spent millions on such stars as Keith Olbermann, and … the channel flopped. It was such a failure that he just sold it to Al Jazeera for an estimated personal take of $100 million.
Leave aside the obvious contradiction of a climate change crusader selling to a network largely financed by the petrodollar kingdom of Qatar. Whatever you think of Fox, Rupert Murdoch’s network has been a financial success and Current TV was anything but. Isn’t that the free market at work?
Obama often invokes the conservative media, most recently in an interview with The New Republic. Asked about working with Republicans in his second term, the president said: “One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.”
Now it’s true that Fox or Limbaugh can boost or batter any lawmaker, and that they can help drive a controversy into the broader mainstream media. But we’re talking here about the president of the United States. He has an army, a navy and a bunch of nuclear weapons, not to mention an ability to command the airwaves at a moment’s notice. And he’s complaining about a cable channel and a radio talk-show host?