In a discussion of the war of words between Fox News and the White House, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace played a clip from the 1987 gangster movie The Untouchables to illustrate how the Obama administration operates.
Wallace went on to criticize the Obama administration for “trying to exclude Fox from interviewing pay czar Ken Feinberg” — even though that claim has now been debunked.
In starting a segment whose premise was “Is the Obama administration creating a new enemies list?,” Wallace played a clip of Sean Connery playing a police officer in 1920s Chicago, saying: “He pulls a knife — you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way.”
While it was not clear whether Wallace was accusing the White House of operating like an organized crime outfit or a gangland police squad, it was clear he was continuing the network’s claim that the White House had tried to shut Fox out of a round of interviews with Kenneth Feinberg, the “pay czar” at the Treasury Department who is working to reduce bonuses at firms that took federal bailout cash.
Fox News reported last week that the White House had attempted to keep the network away from Feinberg by refusing to grant Fox an interview with him. But subsequent investigations have found that it was the Treasury Department, not the White House, that arranged the interviews, and that Fox was initially not listed for an interview because they hadn’t requested one.
Wallace’s gangster comparison follows other similar comments by the right wing echo chamber. The Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberly Strassel was one of the first:
A White House set on kneecapping its opponents isn’t, of course, entirely new. (See: Nixon) What is a little novel is the public and bare-knuckle way in which the Obama team is waging these campaigns against the other side.
The following day, Fox host Glenn Beck followed that script with a rant about the White House “beatdown” of its enemies.
That’s the Chicago way and now we have it in Washington with Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama.
What was it that Obama promised on the campaign trail? Oh yeah, a “new kind of politics.” America didn’t think the “new” politics would be even worse than the “old” politics.
Agree with the administration? Fantastic. Dare to stand in the way of “reform”? Uh-oh.
No longer is it a gentlemen’s disagreement that can be debated. No, you are going to play ball or get a beatdown.
This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Oct. 25, 2009.