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Obama communications director steps down -- another win for Fox News?

Obama political guru David Axelrod with Communications Director Anita Dunn

First, Van Jones resigned as the Obama administration's green jobs czar after taking a pounding from Fox News' Glenn Beck. The charge: Jones signed a petition seeking an inquiry into whether the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Now comes word that Anita Dunn, under fire from Beck for saying in a speech to high schoolers that Mao Tse-tung and Mother Teresa were two of her favorite political philosophers, is leaving her post as communications director.

Dunn, handing over the reins to her assistant, Dan Pfeiffer, has led the White House charge against Fox, saying the network is not a news organization but essentially part of the Republican Party. She also said her remarks to the high school students were meant as irony.

Insiders insist Dunn is not a casualty of the Beck offensive, noting that she had never planned to stay in the role permanently, and will remain at the White House as a consultant.

Some bloggers have their doubts. Niall O'Dowd writes in Irish Central that Dunn's departure is "a victory for Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Fox News."

But Michelle Malkin thinks that the story is much ado about nothing. As she put it, "Don’t get excited: Anita Dunn is not being thrown under the bus."

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Obama political guru David Axelrod confers with Dunn at a White House swearing-in ceremony May 1. Credit: Getty Images

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She should not have mentioned Mao as her hero. That has nothing to do with Fox News. Why attack Fox News anyway. Opinion is just that on both sides of the aisle. This is America, not China post Mao. End of story.

Beck is a crybaby idiot. This lady was never going to hang around and said so before taking the job. She brought the fact that FOX is not a news organziation but rather a corporation set on spreading its lies and the objectives of Rupert Murdoch. FOX is FAUX news and feeds the red meat to the trailer and igloo trash who have no education. Than yo for your work at the White House Ms. Dunn. Obamanos!

I would call it a win for the White House. You're never going to cure the Glenn Beck rants because the attacks on the present Washington government is what has propelled him into instant money and fame. But it is tough to ignore such an influential organization -- this is not a blogger yelling out of his basement. And the quickest way to take advantage of the issue is to a) stop with the stupid freezing out Fox and b) call O'Reilly on his "come on my show" -- It won't be overly pleasant, but his mantra of "fair and balanced" will at least let someone (probably the Big Someone) a chance to get to a part of that big audience.

But the most bone head move I have seen in public relations was the press pool covering fiasco when Anita Dunn (I guess) tried to appeal to the baser instincts of the Fox competitors and even they wouldn't go along. Beck didn't have any influence on this -- our President is smart enough to know that intelligence is on the surface, but stupid goes right to the bone.

This is news to the LA Times? Really? It was well known, even among clueless media villagers, that Dunn originally accepted the role on an interim basis.

Talk about traffic baiting! And the traditional press wonders why no one takes them serious anymore.


This is a very stupid and botched reporting. "Insiders insist Dunn is not a casualty of the Beck offensive.."? They are not insisting. This is a fact known for months by real journalists, not by Faux apologists.

From Associated Press:

Dunn initially refused to move to the White House, saying she wanted to spend time with her family. But when the White House's first communications director, Ellen Moran, stepped down to take a job at the Commerce Department, Dunn came aboard on an interim basis.

"She's actually stayed longer that we could have imagined," Jarrett said.

Jarrett, one of Obama's closest friends at the White House, said the president had expected Dunn to scale back her role for a while.

I don’t watch FOX or any cable news entertainment. I did however watch Ms. Dunn on NBC say that there are two people she admires most one being Chairman Mao Zedong with the other Mother Theresa.

Any umbilical to our leadership that trumpets Mao and his responsibility of killing 50 to 70 million of his own people not only needs to be dispatched but permanently unemployed. This is academia run amok. Intellectual? Hardly, pathetic actually but seems right up Mr. Obama’s ally. Let’s see what the true motive here is as the promised transparency has turned into a sick game of charades. I’ll be watching very closely to Ms. Dunn’s husband Robert Bauer.

So, sans your FOX source, goodbye Ms. Dunn and don't let the door hit ya...

In laconic speak, Anita Dunn became a liability; ergo, she was demoted from her commission in the "semblance fi" platoon.

ABC, CBS and NBC are not news agencies either. There hasn't been a real news agency for a long time. Their known today as media and they don't report news. Its more of cross between propagandized opinion and political ideologies. The media spends most of their time suppressing the news or factual information from the public. Children should be taught to view the media as a entertainment medium that should never be taken seriously under any circumstances.

Glenn Beck is an idiot.

Ahhh. The headline should have read "Journalist under deadline writes lame blog entry." Anita Dunn had pre-announced her time frame many months in advance to her imbroglio with Fox.

In the words of his own Political Director Patrick Gaspard, Obama's inner-circle is nothing more than a who's who of political hacks. One down...

This is a win for the cause of justice and democracy, not Fox News. Fox only brought attention to the issue.

Anita Dunn only agreed to work for Obama till the end of this year. It had nothing to do with Fox

Face it liberals who always scream about freedom of speech and expression, when your own party starts to lambast the "free" press, you have a problem. I am happy to see that someone in the White House is smart enough to know that you cannot outright diss the press. I am sure indirect methods will still be deployed in a futile attempt to diss Fox News in the future, but for now a win for good Americans who pay taxes, respect the Constituion and Bill of Rights and respect the Flag.
Now to all of you pigs who refer to FOX as faux, shame on you. You liberals have ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and most of CNN plus NYT and every other major newspaper and lets not forget PBS and NPR as you mouth pieces. Is it any wonder FOX does so well? By the time the 40% of you liberals in the U.S. get split by 12 new sources, none of them have any market share of substance?

Lacking reason liberals, you can always do what you do best - Blame Bush, Critize Cheney, Rib Rush, Bash Beck, or Oppose O'Reilly. Too bad your Air America never succeeded. Such inspiring hatred from the left.

"She will start Monday, the White House adviser said, and will probably serve for three months or less. "


THAT was from MAY ....

Where do I go to sign the petition? The Bush administration were war criminals and traitors and should be tried as such.

All fear the awesome power of BECK. Anita Dunn is a fruitcake Mao lover. Mao is the person she turns to most, she said, when considering difficult problems. Mao is also human history's most prolific mass murderer. A minor detail, I know. He's just a round face on a tee-shirt to you guys. She was the White House official that went on t.v. and declared war against the lone news organization that does not take their daily marching orders from this administration. What goes around, boys. What goes around. The media, blaming the media. How pathetic. Nixon had nothing on these guys - and you lick their boots. Is Hasan an Islamist yet? Allah u akbar, boys. Lock up your kids.

Oh, c'mon. Dunn is just another of Barack's Alinsky disciple Leftists so, good riddance. I can't imagine invoking mass murderer of scores of millions Mao and then trying to backpedal and say my comments were intended as "irony." OUT with these totalitarian tools infesting this regime. I went to school with these people in the late 60s and early 70s and, it is long past time we realized who they are; they will take this country down if we don't relentlessly pursue them like the running dogs they are. Keep up the good work you "tea baggers" (as an indication of who they are; look how they've made this vulgarity a part of their lexicon) and, one-by-one we will expose them and see them perp-walked out as Obama throws them under his ever receptive bus.

Glenn Lee Beck...ummm...ummm...ummmm.
Exposing Obamas czars, radicals, and communists..ummm...ummm...ummm!
Woo-hoo! Glenn Beck for President 2012 and end this Obamination of a President.

"Ahhh. The headline should have read "Journalist under deadline writes lame blog entry." Anita Dunn had pre-announced her time frame many months in advance to her imbroglio with Fox. "

I agree.

In the absence of comments from Anita Dunn or the White House, the Times can claim Fox News Forced her out. Gee, isn't that somethink the media is supposed to do as a Watch Dog over the government for American Citizens? Shame on the LA Times for not being the lead, instead of FOX... Guess you get what you pay for right ;)

for surrounding himself w/the best & the brightest, obama's operatives & advisers sure seem to making some stupid, foolish and short-sighted decisions -- not to mention all the promises they've made and failed to implement. never ceases to amaze me how very much like their --- dumb, blind, corrupt, arrogant, clumsy, etc --- predecessors all political operatives and hacks become once in power.

As noted by Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Professor, Politics and African-American Studies, Princeton:

"Two of the great insights of scholarship in political science are Mayhew's assertion that "members of Congress of single-minded seekers of reelection" and Aldrich's observation that political parties emerged to serve the interests of those who seek office.

American citizens may hope our political actors are motivated by a desire to strengthen democracy and solve national problems, but we can learn much more about their actions by remembering that parties are serving the interests of single-minded reelection seekers. "

Other news outlets and people who have commented on this post have noted Dunn's job was listed as an "interim" position. There are not a whole lot of fancy interpretations of that word. It means temporary.

In fact, when she first made her remarks, pundits were speculating the Obama team chose her to the be the flame-thrower precisely because she was leaving soon.

The L.A. Times should not let people in the comments section be better reporters than the newspaper. :)

Fox the World Leader!!!!

Wow did you just link out to Michelle Malkin???? You've just lost all credibility. I won't be coming back to this blog.

And to all you Conservatives crying about how she quoted Mao, I suggest you read up on Newt also quoting Mao. Or just take a trip to the Nixon Presidential library here in California, where to this day there remains a statue of Mao.

This is a win for everyone. That speech of hers was not exactly a shining example of good communication. Anita Dunn either really knows the history of Chairman Mao and still considers him to be her hero (very doubtful), is ignorant of history (more likely), or was not successful in getting across the irony of her statement (revisionist history for the sake of damage control or an example of poor communication). Regardless, we are all better off having someone else handle communications for the highest office in the land.

If you want to quote someone to emphasize the point that politics is a nasty business, Mao is a good choice because everybody (well, almost everybody) agrees that Mao was a nasty guy. It is in this context that Newt Gingrich quoted Mao's statement, "War is politics with blood and politics is war without blood." Here, the horrible character of the man quoted serves to emphasize his point. There is no admiration for Mao expressed here.

We all encounter a lot of attempts to deceive that are carefully worded in such a way that they are technically not lies. To this, I might respond, "As Pontius Pilate said, 'What is truth?'" This does not mean that I like Pontius Pilate. Quoting from Pontius Pilate serves to emphasize my point that such spin-mongering is for cynical villains like him, not for all of you good people out there, whatever your political persuasion.

well sounds that everybody knows about fox repeatedly lying to american people about war on iraq. it is so crystal clear especially with mr shutup...
it is still one of the most biased forms of tabloid tvs.murdoch legacy is so fond of money and power that it is ready to trade democracy free the way freedom of expression is not what fox news keeps is some sort of media terrorism hammering american minds with trash.i guess need is for fair balanced media.even if it is po-some x party


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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