"What he thinks to do with me. . ."
I couldn't help thinking of King John and William Marshal when I read the latest exchange between White House Press Secretary Gibbs and Jake Tapper of ABC News after the White House, which hates the coverage it is receiving from Fox News, tried to isolate, attack and demean Fox. One of the latest stories broken by Fox is that White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told children in a prepared speech that one of her favorite political philosophers was Mao, the Communist mass murderer of 60 million Chinese people, a fact that seems to have slipped Ms Dunn's mind.
The White House -Tapper exchange -
Tapper: It’s escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations “not a news organization” and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one –
Gibbs: Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.
Tapper: But that’s a pretty sweeping declaration that they are “not a news organization.” How are they any different from, say –
Gibbs: ABC -
Tapper: ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?
Gibbs: You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon.
Tapper: I’m not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I’m talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a “news organization” — why is that appropriate for the White House to say?
Gibbs: That’s our opinion.
Translation: And we will do anything we can to destroy Fox's credibility because they won't carry water for us.
King John wanted to recover the lands he had lost in France, but he had lost the respect of a key knight - William Marshal. In 1205 Marshal refused point-blank to fight for him in Normandy.
The infuriated king ordered his knights to attack Marshal, the greatest knight in England. (While defending Henry II from his sons, Marshal had unhorsed Richard the Lionheart.)
The other knights were understandably reluctant to tackle him, and Marshal warned them -
Be on alert against the king: what he thinks to do with me, he will do to each and every one of you, or even more, if he gets the upper hand.
Somehow, I think Jack Tapper is beginning to feel the heavy upper hand.
ABC-White House exchange thanks to Instapundit.