May 24, 2013

"A White House can powerfully shape other perceptions... For years the administration has conducted a concerted campaign to demonize Fox News..."

"... delegitimizing it as a news organization, even urging its ostracism," writes Charles Krauthammer.
Then (surprise!) its own Justice Department takes the unprecedented step of naming a Fox reporter as a co-conspirator in a leak case — when no reporter has ever been prosecuted for merely soliciting information — in order to invade his and Fox’s private and journalistic communications.

No one goes to jail for creating such a climate of intolerance. Nor is it a crime to incessantly claim that those who offer this president opposition and push-back — Republicans, tea partyers, Fox News, whoever dares resist the sycophantic thrill-up-my-leg media adulation — do so only for “politics,” power and pure partisanship, while the Dear Leader devotes himself exclusively to the nation, the middle class, the good and just.
The climate theory of Obama's responsibility. You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly, as he can be said to know and intend that they would.

If you want to needle those who don't like this theory, you could call them climate skeptics.

The figurative use of the world "climate" goes back as far as 1661, according to the (unlinkable) Oxford English Dictionary.
1661   J. Glanvill Vanity of Dogmatizing xxiii. 227   The larger Souls, that have travail'd the divers Climates of Opinions, are more cautious in their resolves....
1765   L. Sterne Life Tristram Shandy VIII. i. 2   In this clear climate of fantasy and perspiration, where every idea, sensible and insensible, gets vent....
1860   F. D. Huntington Christian Believing & Living vi. 105   Every moral climate here is more or less tainted, and grows pestilential if we linger in it too long....
2004   H. Kennedy Just Law (2005) xiii. 272   It is crucial that a climate of suspicion does not develop which creates reservations amongst citizens about voluntarily submitting to DNA intelligence screens.
Watch out for anthropogenic climate change! 

86 comments:

Moose said...

anthropogenic climate *forcing* now.

Moose said...

anthropogenic climate *forcing* now.

Richard Dolan said...

"The climate theory of Obama's responsibility."

It's just another way of leading from behind.

Matthew Sablan said...

Can we call it a climate of hate?

MadisonMan said...

Slowly, the sleeping 4th Estate emerges from its long long quiescence.

Will it stay awake, or just roll over and re-enter stupor?

JPS said...

I think of it more in analogy with the military concept of Commander's Intent.

The idea is that you know what your commander wants done, so he shouldn't have to spell out the details: you are free to take initiative and act within his intent.

I doubt the President ever ordered anyone to take these actions. But can anyone argue in good faith that if the President had learned of these actions privately, and didn't think they'd go public and cause an uproar, that he'd have gotten angry? Said, "I want that knocked off - it's wrong"?

Jay said...

You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly, as he can be said to know and intend that they would.

When the left made these very claims about Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld regarding Abu Ghraib, were they laughed off by people like you Ann?

TosaGuy said...

Companies get in heap big legal trouble for creating a climate that is perceived to discriminate.

Pogo said...

"You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly..."

That is how the world actually works.

Believing otherwise is foolish.

bpm4532 said...

Or call them Pavlov's Dog, responding to the dog whistle of the Master.

dreams said...

I look forward to the day when Obama's impeachment becomes anticlimactic.

dbp said...

@MM "Will it stay awake, or just roll over and re-enter stupor?"

I predict the press will find a way to get back into their comfort zone of blaming the Republicans for everything.

Fritz said...

"Will no one rid me of this turbulent news outlet?"

I may have gotten the quote wrong.

cubanbob said...

No one goes to jail for creating such a climate of intolerance. Nor is it a crime to incessantly claim that those who offer this president opposition and push-back — Republicans, tea partyers, Fox News, whoever dares resist the sycophantic thrill-up-my-leg media adulation — do so only for “politics,” power and pure partisanship, while the Dear Leader devotes himself exclusively to the nation, the middle class, the good and just."

Roger Ailes is a marketing genius. Obama and Holder just made Fox the only legitimate news broadcast network.

Matthew Sablan said...

Blast from the past.

cubanbob said...

The idea is that you know what your commander wants done, so he shouldn't have to spell out the details: you are free to take initiative and act within his intent."

Like Mob bosses and their soldiers.

Real American said...

not skeptics, but Climate of Intolerance/Hate DENIERS, you know, just like those Holocaust Deniers!

Icepick said...

Will it stay awake, or just roll over and re-enter stupor?

I can only assume that was a rhetorical question.

ricpic said...

"Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs."

--Obama


Then fire Eric, Mr. Mendacity.

edutcher said...

Someone should show these morons "The Eternal Jew".

It might need an intro for these clowns to get the message, but, under the right circumstances, even they should understand.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Given that Obama publicly demonizes his opponents, naming names and accusing them of violating the law, I don't think that the accusation of a 'climate' are tendentious. Obama's responsibility is open and clear.

All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."

When your boss publicly names people and groups and demands that their finances be investigated, in a freakin' speech, you don't have to read tea leaves or chicken entrails, or sense a 'climate', to know what you are expected to do.

Matt said...

The connection between the recent scandals and Obama is much stronger than the connection between Loughner and Palin. Liberals excoriated Palin for the Arizona shooting. With that as the baseline, how are the criticism and connections made between the current scandals and Obama out of bounds?

The Drill SGT said...

JPS said...
I think of it more in analogy with the military concept of Commander's Intent.


exactly.

Like the NTEU (e.g. IRS) Union...

phx said...

If Eric Holder went after some reporter illegally or unethically then hang him out to dry.

Charles is whining like a perpetually aggrieved victim though. Boo hoo. "Climate of intolerance" as if there's some sort Krystalnacht for Fox News. You can't compete in the PR wars so it's somebody else's fault.

Patrick said...

Will it stay awake, or just roll over and re-enter stupor?

They will just hit the snooze button until we've got a new President. Then they will decide whether they wish to take on the day.

Hagar said...

There is no doubt that things happen around in the Government that the President does not know about and also that some orders go astray and are executed in unintended ways by someone, somewhere.

However, I cannot think of any past President that just let something really bad for his administration just ride for months and years as if it was none of his business; he was just reading about it in the papers like the rest of us.

And I don't quite know that I believe that Obama does either, even if he really is more removed from the action than any previous President.

Howard said...

Climate is the best way to pull illicit strings. It is action at a distance. Like gravity, everyone have a gut instinct of the effects, but no one, even the most brilliant minds, can preciously trace it back to it's original source. Everyone learned from Nixon who manipulated directly and is in perpetual political purgatory.

Ozero will never be impeached because "A nod, you know, is as good as a wink to a blind horse."

virgil xenophon said...

Don't feminists successfully sue their employers daily via the EEOC
for providing a "hostile work environment" in terms of sexual harassment?

Lem said...

A climate is more dangerous than a conspiracy…
"Vote is the best revenge" is one that comes to mind.

We got to back and look at his speeches/data from the newly acquired perspective.
All the hot air may not have been coming out of a ‘nice guy’.

kcom said...

"The connection between the recent scandals and Obama is much stronger than the connection between Loughner and Palin."

Yes, anything greater than zero is infinitely greater than zero.

MisterBuddwing said...

One myth that seems to have sprung up is that FOX News Channel couldn't get an FCC license recognizing it as a news organization, only as "entertainment."

Except... a cable network doesn't NEED an FCC license. (Who makes up these things, anyway?)

Marshal said...

If you want to needle those who don't like this theory, you could call them climate skeptics.

Climate Deniers is better.

Roger J. said...

Let me reiterate what JPS and Drill said. When I was commissioned in 1967, I was always told that the commander's wishes had the effect of orders. I guess it was different then--

I loved serving my country--the army was everything to me. Now, with this administration, I can honestly say, I am ashamed for my country. My heart goes out to the military who have this lying son of a bitch as a commander in chief. They deserve so much better.

Pogo said...

CIA Manual, “A Study of Assassination”
No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons.Ideally, only one person will be involved."

Bob Ellison said...

"Climate" is the wrong word. The correct word is "culture".

SteveR said...

In my line of work, basically Environmental and Safety compliance, the idea that you can shield upper management from liability by not telling them things, or that they somehow didn’t know is laughable and a good way to get a free stay in the cross bar hotel.

Politically, plausible deniability works well when the press turns the other cheek and enough voters are just too busy with figuring out where to go for dinner but what we have with Obama is a president who places no value on leadership, and who has a staff who knows that quite well.

Roger J. said...

PHX--still waiting for more information that will never come without a special investigator--you will die waiting son.

CEO-MMP said...


"Charles is whining like a perpetually aggrieved victim though. Boo hoo. "Climate of intolerance" as if there's some sort Krystalnacht for Fox News. You can't compete in the PR wars so it's somebody else's fault. "


Dr. Krauthammer never whines. And can't compete? Fox is number 3 in all of cable. Not just cable news--cable.

I see we're going to get phx the aggressive today.

phx said...

PHX--still waiting for more information that will never come without a special investigator-

I'm already on record saying I'm ok with special prosecutor if no other agreement can be reached.

Balfegor said...

In compliance work, we call this "tone at the top."

It's a real, and serious problem, because a poor tone at the top (i.e. among sernior executives of a corporation or organization) really does create an environment in which misconduct at lower levels becomes more likely, even if there aren't direct orders and this and that be done.

Roger J. said...

PHX--good for you re special investigator--yes, I do recall you said that.

Pogo said...

"It is likely that President Eisenhower's ... strong... concern about Lumumba...was taken by [CIAdirector] Allen Dulles as authority to assassinate Lumumba.

Matthew Sablan said...

It reminds me in the book I read about habits, how safety became a concern at, Alcoa, I think? And how little problems in safety people would have ignored suddenly became firing offenses, and no one batted an eye because the culture had so thoroughly changed.

Roger J. said...

Here's my dilemma with a special investigator: first is the abdication of authority by the executive branch to investigate its own sins; second is the abdication of authority of legislative branch to fulfill its responsibilities; third is there are so many scandals swirling about this administration that it would take a reinforced battalion of special investigators to deal with them.
Aint going to happen unfortunately

Nonapod said...

Realistically I doubt anything will ever be attached to Obama. He's never really been a hands on kind of guy anyway, he's always been more of a delagator, let his various Czars and functionaries handle the fine detail work. This protects him somewhat in that he can always claim ignorance, he always has plausible deniability. The downside is that there is often little direction, accountability, responsibility, or real leadership.

In the long run Holder may get hung out to dry.

In the long run key people at the IRS will be fired and possibly even successfully prosecuted for criminal charges.

In the long run Hilary may end up taking the blame for the Benghazi foobar.

But none of it will be attached to Obama. He'll be safe. He knew nothing. Nobody told him.

Larry J said...

Jay said...
You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly, as he can be said to know and intend that they would.

When the left made these very claims about Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld regarding Abu Ghraib, were they laughed off by people like you Ann?


Except the difference - and this is key - is there was zero evidence of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld creating a climate that approved of things like what happened at Abu Ghraib. There is quite a bit of evidence of Obama trying to demonize Fox, Rush and others.

Roger J. said...

Pogo--you must have read "legacy of ashes" a great book describing Ike's perception of Allen Dulles and the CIA.

Lem said...

See the reasons early on for Osama Bin Laden to create a decentralized organization... where cells could act independently.

I'm working right now, I cant look into it.

Roger J. said...

Jesus Henry Christ: Obama demonized the Supreme Court in one of his state of the union messages-was that not plain enough?

Rusty said...

Roger Ailes is pissed.

Paul said...

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

If a Republican president declares all liberal MSM reports SPYS and ENEMEIES OF THE STATE that would be just a logical progression of what Obama and Holder have done.

And see, that is what the press should wake up and see.

A creeping totalitarian state all for 'homeland security'. And all cause the MSM became the pet mouthpiece of the Obama administration.

Jay said...

Pulling on that string of yarn...

The White House insists President Obama is "outraged" by the "inappropriate" targeting and harassment of conservative groups. If true, it's a remarkable turnaround for a man who helped pioneer those tactics.

On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground. The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.

What came next was not common. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign (and later general counsel for the White House), on the same day wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, "its officers and directors," and its "anonymous donors." Mr. Bauer claimed that the nonprofit, as a 501(c)(4), was committing a "knowing and willful violation" of election law, and wanted "action to enforce against criminal violations."


Liberals think this sort of thing is entirely legitimate.

Sheridan said...

I've commented before on the concept, developed by Ian Kershaw, British historian, of "Working Towards the Fuhrer".

You want to talk about "climates" of governance ? Read the Wiki entry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Kershaw

I'm not drawing exact historical parallels between people or governmental and cultural systems. That is way too simplistic.

But please consider that there are behaviors, exhibited by Obama and also people and organizations in his "Administration" that bear similarities to past events.

Leaders can be hands-on, engaged even micro-directing or they can be the opposite - essentially lazy, leaving key decisions and actions to others who are interpreting what the "lazy leader" wants and also bending events to what they (and their department)wants.

Obama fits the image of the "charismatic leader" and his detached style of management (which also includes detachment from personal accountability)bears investigation and understanding.

X said...

get in their faces. punch back twice as hard.


I guess now the claim will be that he meant that literally not figuratively.

Roger J. said...

Sheridan--read also Max Weber on charismatic leadership--equally compelling.

Bruce Hayden said...

Well, whatever Fox is doing seems to be working. Last week, thanks to their coverage of the various scandals affecting the Administration, they had a record week. MSNBC, on the other hand had a ratings drop, with their entire viewership being approximately that of Fox's prime demographic viewership, and not much more than 1/4 FNC's entire viewerhip. There are benefits on both sides - MSNBC doesn't get investigated, but loses money, while Fox makes a lot of money, but its people get investigated by the FBI (apparently approved by AG Holder).

Now, I suspected that GE was running NBC/MSNBC as a cost center, instead of a profit center, since flogging for the Obama Administration bought them billions in crony capitalism profits. But, they were apparently sold to Comcast, and McCain is trying to unbundle cable channels, and if that were to happen, would MSNBC survive?

gk1 said...

I am hoping this message is seeping in to some of the msm as they strap their presidential knee pads on for another servicing session. Future presidents see what they can get away with and will act accordingly. And when a large majority of the country shrugs as the msm's mail is rifled through and phones tapped they can remember what they should have done back in 5/24/13

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly, as he can be said to know and intend that they would.

I hope you don't doubt this.

Godfather: I don't want to see Paulie no more.

Godfather, several days later: Where's Paulie?

Capo: Paulie? Oh, you won't see Paulie no more.

That's exactly how it's done.

Unknown said...

see steyn:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/348687/autocrat-accountants-mark-steyn

Michael K said...

"When the left made these very claims about Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld regarding Abu Ghraib, were they laughed off by people like you Ann? "

I forget. Would you mind linking to any evidence of this ?

I remember "lies" but then we know about Obama's lies.

Big Mike said...

@Larry J, another difference between the predecessor adminstration and this one is that when the Valerie Plame scandal broke the President directed that everyone would cooperate fully with the investigation. What happened to Scooter Libby shows that he meant it.

Don't anyone bother waiting for this President to do likewise.

Matt said...

"The president should accept direct responsibility for having created a climate of impunity in which the Abu Ghraib abuses were likely to occur, if not inevitable."

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0509-06.htm

Brian O'Connell said...

The left blamed the climate created by the right for the assassination of JFK, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the shooting of Gabby Giffords and others in Tucson.

Particularly relevant to the IRS scandal, I think, though I haven't seen it mentioned, is the case of Joe the Plumber. He had the audacity to question Obama on the campaign trail in Ohio. A number of Ohio state bureaucrats understood, without having to be told, that the thing to do was to look up his various records and leak them to the press. No orders came from on high- they didn't need to.

When the ranks of government bureaucrats overwhelmingly support one party over the other, it doesn't take a lot for some of them to abuse this power for partisan reasons. A couple of signals from the chief executive, or from their unions, could well be enough.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, this needs an "Obama is like Nixon" tag.

Lem said...

get in their faces. punch back twice as hard.

I guess now the claim will be that he meant that literally not figuratively.


lol.

I tell you there must hundreds of those... we probably weren’t paying attention and the few who were just didn’t know what heck they were looking at... Obama was a "nice guy".

Michael K said...

Blogger Pogo said...

"It is likely that President Eisenhower's ... strong... concern about Lumumba...was taken by [CIAdirector] Allen Dulles as authority to assassinate Lumumba.”

There was a joke at the time about an American diplomat visiting the Congo and having lunch with Moise Tshombe. During the lunch, Tshombe turned to the diplomat and asked, "How do you like Lumumba ?"

He answered, "I like him fine."

Tshombe said, "Well, have another helping !"

Jay said...

Matt said...
"The president should accept direct responsibility for having created a climate of impunity in which the Abu Ghraib abuses were likely to occur, if not inevitable."


Well done, sir, well done.

But of course the left doesn't believe the bullshit they lecture the rest of us about anyway.

edutcher said...

phx said...

"Climate of intolerance" as if there's some sort Krystalnacht for Fox News.

What has Choomie been whining for 4 years?

PS I'll bet there's a print of "The Eternal Jew" on YouTube somewhere.

You might want to catch it.

Drago said...

Jay: "But of course the left doesn't believe the bullshit they lecture the rest of us about anyway."

Fen's Law rears it head again!

damikesc said...

I doubt the President ever ordered anyone to take these actions.

Don't matter.

We know Holder signed off on one of the warrants.

Has Holder been fired yet?

If no --- then Obama supports it and he owns it.

No benefit of the doubt.

Sam L. said...

All RIGHT! The Benghazi Barry Hate Climate Theory--rather more data for it than AGW.

jacksonjay said...


Widely reported in April of 2009 while speaking to major bank CEO's. Obama quote:

“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/20871.html#ixzz2UEr0LL7Y

caplight45 said...

dreams said... "I look forward to the day when Obama's impeachment becomes anticlimactic."

I hope that day never comes. If they found BHO in the Oval Office with a smoking gun, a bloody knife and the Pope's dead body I wouldn't vote to impeach the first AA President of the United States. I don't want to spend the rest of my life hearing how he was "lynched" by the White Man.

jacksonjay said...


RogerJ sezs:

Jesus Henry Christ: Obama demonized the Supreme Court in one of his state of the union messages-was that not plain enough?


What was truly disturbing was the way the mob jumped to their feet and howled with approval! Like something out of the 1930's.

Eric Jablow said...

Haven't there been prosecutions of corporate officers for being willfully blind to the criminal acts of their subordinates? A CEO who makes it clear he does not want to hear about corrupt employees, and that his subordinates should simply hush up problems, may very well make an appearance in a Federal Court.

caplight45 said...

CEO-MMP said..."Dr. Krauthammer never whines. And can't compete? Fox is number 3 in all of cable. Not just cable news--cable."

And in every hour time slot starting at 4:00 pm Eastern time, 5:00 pm Central, they have more than double the viewers of any competing show in that hour on CNN or MSNBC

Cedarford said...

Althouse - The climate theory of Obama's responsibility. You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly, as he can be said to know and intend that they would.

Yet that is precisely how it played in Watergate for Nixon.

1. Nixon never authorized the Watergate break-in. Later he said if asked he would have stopped it in a heartbeat as a dangerous, foolhardy risk. But his subordinates thought the boss would be pleased if they got the enemy..
2. And speaking of enemy, Nixon never suggested an Enemies List, never inputted its membership, never saw the "official list". But later, people concluded that he had created a climate where subordinates thought it was reasonable.
3. Nixon never ordered the IRS to target anyone, but he created a climate where subordinates thought it was OK, no different than what FDR, JFK, LBJ did..and they did start on "inquiries" following the 1972 Election.

bob said...

Matt said...
"The president should accept direct responsibility for having created a climate of impunity in which the Abu Ghraib abuses were likely to occur, if not inevitable."

The difference of course being the military discovered the Abu Ghraib abuses and prosecuted on their own rather than cover it up. In this case, not so much.

ErnieG said...

Bob Ellison said...

"Climate" is the wrong word. The correct word is "culture".


Yes, and it comes all the way from Chicago.

Howard said...

C4

RMN got dicked for directing the coverup, not the crimes of his minions. Now, politicians and bureaucrats use the Sgt Schultz defense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ag4nkSh7Q

Steve Koch said...

"You don't need to actually connect anything to the President. You just show how he created a climate, and the underlings responded accordingly..."

It would be amazing if Obama did not maintain deniability, that is any instructions or policy direction from Obama that turn out to be illegal or painful politically will always have flowed through a hyper partisan subordinate who can be defended to fall on their sword if necessary. This is the way the mafia works, the hired killer never gets his instruction directly from the Godfather, always from a subordinate.

Of course in a prez admin, the prez is ultimately responsible for everything his admin does and there is no requirement to abide by formal judicial process to convict the president in either an impeachment trial or the court of public opinion.

Steve Koch said...

Roger J. said...
"Here's my dilemma with a special investigator: first is the abdication of authority by the executive branch to investigate its own sins;"

Having the executive branch investigate itself only works if the prez and AG are honorable guys. If they are not honorable (quite common), then they will just cover up.

"second is the abdication of authority of legislative branch to fulfill its responsibilities;"

Short of an impeachment, the legislative branch is having a tough time getting Obama's team to respond. To me, any time the executive branch stonewalls a legislative investigation, it is time to impeach the prez.

"third is there are so many scandals swirling about this administration that it would take a reinforced battalion of special investigators to deal with them.
Aint going to happen unfortunately"

A reinforced battalion of special investigators sounds like a good thing right about now.

ndelancie said...

"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Henry II, King of England.

Within the month or so, in late December 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated by four of Henry's knights in Canterbury Cathedral.

Did the King, by his words, order the Archbishop's assassination, or did he merely create the climate for the same? Even if he did not intend the former, he appears to have felt that he did at least create the latter, and did public penance for that sin.

n.n said...

Democrats in the majority, and Republicans in the minority, have exploited a climate of hate, corruption, and death to good effect. In their effort to regain leadership from their competing interests, most notably Republicans, but specifically conservatives, they resorted to exploiting differentials and gradients, men and women's base desires, and even premeditated murder, to advance their political, economic, and social standing.

Obama is like Stalin. He favors marginalization and evisceration of his competing interests. He also favors genocide by circumstance or election (i.e. abortion).

n.n said...

It's no longer anthropogenic cooling, warming, disruption, change or anything other than a climate for exploitation. Apparently, the term "anthropogenic" became unpopular when the nature of physical systems revealed that even a popular theory will only enjoy an ever shorter lifetime measured in units of half-life decay.

n.n said...

Moose:

Anthropogenic force or coercion is a key feature to the climate they have nurtured and brought to maturity.