This is straightforward in itself, but there is a second level. Fighting back at the media can be good politics. Political history is mottled with episodes where the candidate his ridden into office on the back of a hostile media outlet.
It’s risky. You may wind up giving them more attention than they would get otherwise—but Fox can hardly get more attention than it gets already. You’ve got to have channels through which to get your own story out—but there are enough.
But I do see one downside. You make the media the demon, you risk sounding like a case of hurt feelings, or just a scold. The best way to sidestep this risk is with humor—make your enemy a laughing stock. Effective use of humor seems to have been a remarkably rare quality in recent presidents: Reagan knew how to do it, and JFK. Beyond that, not much.Of course Obama has been pretty much golden so far, leaving us all to wonder: where is the catch? Well, here is one catch: He doesn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor. If anything, just the reverse. The evidence is still incomplete, but my guess is that he has a pretty thin skin, and may give in to the occasional self-pitying tantrum. Sometimes even self-pitying tantrums can advance your cause—think Slobodan Milošević. But they don’t seem to play so well in the
Fn: I almost wrote “micemeat,” but that would be good, too.