Ratings for Fox New up 10% since attacks by Obama

The news that Fox ratings are up only deepens the mystery; why did the White House want to take on Fox News?

To say they wanted to "stifle dissent" doesn't cut it. To do that, they would have to pull the network's FCC license and even the lapdogs in the media would scream "Nixon" at a move like that.

It can't be because they want to reduce their viewership. They might not have anticipated such a big jump but they certainly didn't believe that Fox News ratings would go down.

Nor could they have thought that they would lessen the influence of the network. Those who are already influenced certainly wouldn't stop listening because the White House told them to.

What we are left with is personal pique - the president doesn't like to be criticized. No grand strategy, no ulterior motive. It's just Obama being annoyed at a network that doesn't think much of him.

Allah at Hot Air thinks the strategy is to "marginalize" stories that originate on Fox News. But even he admits that if the story is good enough, it will be picked up by other news nets anyway:

It's a nine-percent bump in the two weeks since Anita Dunn's whine heard 'round the world - in terms of overall audience. Among the coveted 25-54 demographic? A 14-percent bump. Good work, Barry. People keep telling me that this PR offensive by the White House benefits both sides but I don't see how that's true. If the goal is to contain Fox by framing the stories it breaks - Van Jones, ACORN, etc - as somehow illegitimate, then every tenth of a point that Fox's ratings go up undermines that goal. There will come a point where other news nets will follow Fox's lead simply for business reasons, ideology or no ideology; follow the link, eyeball the list of top 20 news shows, and ask yourself how far we are from that point, really. To put it in perspective: "Red Eye," at 3 a.m., is beating Campbell Brown at 8 p.m. on CNN in the demo. (Worse, perhaps: Anderson Cooper is getting beat by ... re-runs of Nancy Grace.) CNN's made a noble attempt at semi-objective coverage in primetime while FNC and MSNBC resort to bombthrowers, but this experiment must be near its end. I wonder what they'll end up putting in the 8 p.m. slot. Some sort of updated version of "Crossfire," perhaps, with a new, younger, edgier cast? Andrea Tantaros versus Meghan McCain on a nightly basis? I'd watch.

And MSNBC has nothing to get excited over. Up to 4 times the number of viewers turn into Fox prime time than Olby et. al.

It says something about Obama that he would send his chief of staff and closest political advisor - Rhambo and Axelrod - out to bash Fox for what appears to be a personal distaste for the network while the economy is still tanking, his health care initiative is still in trouble, and his own party is starting to ask questions about his leadership.

The last couple of days have seen the White House back off a bit - no doubt they realize the mistake they've made. But the perception is out there that this is a very thin skinned president who will attack those who don't worship at his feet.

Three more years of this. Three more years.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky