Obama: 'Whiner in Chief' - The Nation Magazine

The oldest liberal magazine in the country is telling the president to stop whining and face his critics.

Writing in The Nation , John Nichols points out that President Obama is only coming off as a whiner by criticizing Fox News and liberal bloggers:

An administration that won the White House with an almost always on-message campaign and generally friendly coverage from old and new media is now frustrated by its inability to control the debate and get the coverage it wants.

But before the president and his inner circle go all Spiro Agnew on us, they might want to consider three fundamental facts regarding relations between the executive branch and the fourth estate:

1. Since the founding of the republic, media outlets (the founders dismissed them as "damnable periodicals") have been partisan.

White House communications director Anita Dunn was not exactly breaking news when she told CNN's "Reliable Sources" that Fox was neither fair nor balanced. "What I think is fair to say about Fox -- and certainly it's the way we view it -- is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party," grumbled Dunn. "They take their talking points, put them on the air; take their opposition research, put them on the air. And that's fine. But let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."

Fox hosts do go overboard in their savaging of Obama and the Democrats -- sometimes ridiculously so. But their assaults on the president are gentle when compared with the battering that Benjamin Franklin Bache's Philadelphia Aurora administered to John Adams (appropriately) or the trashing that Colonel McCormick's Chicago Tribune gave Franklin Roosevelt (inappropriately).

Nichols concludes, "[N]o attack by Glenn Beck, no blogger busting about Guantanamo -- does more damage to Obama's credibility or authority than the sense that a popular president is becoming the whiner-in-chief."

Nichols doesn't come right out and say it but this administration is the most hypersensitive bunch I've ever seen. They don't try to "spin" the news. They try to browbeat reporters into writing what they want, and any criticism is either met with a veiled reference to race or dismissed as a "distraction."

Nichols wonders why Obama won't face his critics. That's an easy one; he's incoherent without a script. Why this fact hasn't dawned on much of the press yet is a mystery. And those that know it apparently seek to protect Obama from the fallout.

Not that it really matters that much, but Obama would do well to listen to voices on his left. He seems to have a knack these days for alienating everyone - even his friends. Considering the tough road ahead on getting health care reform passed, that spells bad news - for him.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky