Many Americans may forget that the Obama administration once declared war on a large news outlet.
Journalists recently expressed concern when White House chief strategist Steve Bannon called the mainstream media “the opposition party” in an interview with The New York Times Thursday.
“I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party,” Bannon told the outlet. “They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Bannon went on to more directly chastise the media, saying that they need to “just listen.”
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Bannon said.
Bannon’s rhetoric echoes the language the Obama administration used when declaring a “war” on Fox News in 2009. The White House communications director at the time described the outlet as the opposition.
“We’re going to treat them the way we would an opponent,” Anita Dunn, the communications director, told The New York Times. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”
The White House also put a limit on how many administration officials would appear on Fox programming during the “war.” During the designated period excluding the global news organization from regular appearances by White House officials, former President Barack Obama went on a variety of Sunday morning talk shows but skipped Fox News.
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