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.# p #8_14 # ad skipped = true #
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.# p #9_14 # ad skipped = true #
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.