Reacting to President Barack Obama’s criticism of the role the conservative Fox News Channel plays in U.S. politics, network contributor Peter Johnson, Jr. said Monday night that the president might just find a way to ban watching Fox News.
Johnson appeared on the network’s nightly opinion show “Hannity” on Monday, where he and host Sean Hannity took Obama’s recent critique of right-wing media — wherein he told The New Republic that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are a key stumbling block to compromise in Congress — as some sort of forthcoming policy mandate to revoke the First Amendment.
“In other words, forget about that little thing called freedom of speech, differing views,” Hannity said. “Instead, he wants any, all opposing voices to be, what, silenced? That includes the opinions that you hear on this program and watch every single night.”
He went on to blame Obama for Washington’s partisan divide, and insisted that Fox News is the “only media organization on this planet that has delivered fair and balanced coverage of this administration.”
“Sorry Mr. President,” Hannity continued. “We’re gonna continue on this program to do our part to save America from your radical agenda. Sorry.”
Introducing his guests, the conservative host tee’d up Johnson first. “I’m not saying the president’s a dictator,” he said. “But wouldn’t that be what we have?”
“The president won the election, but he didn’t win America,” Johnson replied, insisting that Obama is now “taking on the Second Amendment, big time,” along with the right to freedom of speech.
“Now the president is saying, ‘Listen, do it the way I do it or I’m gonna come down your pipe,’” he continued. “‘Do it the way MSNBC does it, do it the way a poodle journalist, do it the way a faux journalist, whose only mission in life is to suck up to the president of the United States, who get their talking points from the White House.’”
“So, to say, ‘Oh, you know what’s happened here is that we have an institutional barrier, according to the president, that stops the will of the people,’” Johnson said. “Sean, you know what the institutional barrier is? The United States Constitution. And so, people at home should be afraid because, they say, ‘Am I not allowed to watch Fox anymore? Am I not allowed to listen to Rush or Sean? Am I doing something that’s un-American?’ You’re not.”
Hannity replied that Obama’s one-off remark about Fox means that he “can’t handle just a smidgen of criticism.”
“That’s why he failed in that debate, Sean, because he wasn’t tested at all,” she said. “It’s a love fest every time that he’s around. And look, if I were another media outlet today, I would be embarrassed. I would be ashamed. Because if any other outlet presented both sides the way that Fox News does, that president of ours would have mentioned that news outlet, and he didn’t. So the only two things that are standing in his way are that pesky, number one by the way, Fox News and talk radio.”
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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