The hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends seem to believe that President Obama's frequent use of the word "unprecedented" could be big political trouble for the White House.


Echoing a Politico article that one media watchdog described as a "dreamed up" attack on the president, Fox reported that President Barack Obama has reportedly used the five-syllable, Latin-derived word 129 times since taking office, to describe everything from the economic crisis to health care reform and Afghanistan policy.

That's too much, say the hosts Fox News' Fox & Friends.

"Is it a problem using the word so many times?" asked co-host Gretchen Carlson. "Is it always true? Will that cause trouble for the president?"

Last week, Politico published an analysis showing that Obama has already reached the half-way mark to beating President George W. Bush's use of the word "unprecedented" -- 262 times in eight years.

"The Obama White House is addicted to the "unprecedented,'" reporter Carol E. Lee quipped.

Eric Boehlert at media watchdog Media Matters issued a scathing criticism of the Politico article, calling it a "dreamed up" attack against Obama that indicates Politico is "just a GOP bulletin board." Boehlert wrote:

Former Bushies have been privately mocking the White House for its use of "unprecedented." And then what do you know, Politico turns around the[n publicly] mocks the White House for its use of "unprecedented." And who does Politico quote for sources in its story? Former Bushies, like ex-flak Karen Hughes.

That's how Beltway journalism works. Conservatives dream up attacks on Obama and then get journalists to treat the attacks as news, regardless of how absurd.

On Fox News Monday morning, former Bush White House press secretary Dana Perino didn't see the issue as a big deal.

"It's the first year of a new presidency, and they're trying to establish a lot of groundwork," Perino said, but "one of the things I learned in journalism school is you rarely use the word unprecedented, because chances are something like that has been done before."

Perino added: "I bet they tone it down just a little bit at the White House from here on."

This video is from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast Nov. 30, 2009.


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