The administration’s tack is both obvious and appalling. With the president’s healthcare proposal floundering, the administration is clearly trying to distract the public by shifting the focus to Fox News. This is the oldest play in the book: Unable or unwilling to defend criticism of its policies, the administration has taken to attacking its critics.

Yet the breadth of those attacks is truly alarming. This country has a rich First Amendment tradition that is animated by the idea that a free press is the surest safeguard against government tyranny. Our First Amendment safeguards are predicated on the idea that through the friction of diverse perspectives the truth always rises up. This rich tradition trusts the voting populace to cut through the cacophony of opinion and to make self-interested decisions. By attempting to censure an entire news network, the administration is not only trampling on the First Amendment, it is displaying an appalling lack of faith in the American populace. This kind of arrogance is near-tyrannical.

This point was not lost on the other bureau chiefs in the White House TV pool, who vigorously objected to the White House’s attempt to freeze out Fox News, ultimately forcing it to relent. The rest of the media rightly recognized that if the administration can exclude media whose opinions it doesn't respect or like, no media organization in the future will be exempt from exclusion. It may be a conservative organization that is excluded from the administrations interview today, but in three years it could be the liberal mainstream organization being excluded. Hooray for the liberal media who are finally waking up to the fact that Emperor Obama is attempting to co-opt the freedom of the press.

Of course, the great irony in all of this is that the administration’s attacks have only benefited Fox News. As News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch observed, "All I can tell you is that it's tremendously increased their ratings."


Williams can be heard nightly on Sirius/XM Power 169 from 9 to 10 p.m. EST.

Visit www.armstrongwilliams.com .