Over the weekend, a little more has emerged on the spat between the White House and Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). Senior advisor David Axelrod has been unequivocal in his assessment: “It’s not really news”. But the man to watch in these exchanges was on CNN, and that was Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. And it’s Emanuel who is the main man, bar none.
He worked tirelessly for Bill Clinton, and his confirmation in office by Barack Obama was not greeted with universal enthusiasm – well, not by supporters of the GOP, anyway: Emanuel is regarded as tribal and partisan, but in reality he’s very good at what he does, and has no hesitation in saying what he thinks. And what he thinks right now is that the time has come to face down Rupe’s shock troops at Fox.
Emanuel is a straightforward operator, and he is smiling and courteous, but with him there are basic rules: you don’t screw with him, and you sure as hell don’t screw with his boss. What we are seeing is that he’s decided that Fox are in the latter camp, and he isn’t going to let them off lightly.
As far as is known, Emanuel doesn’t vary those rules, not even if your name is Rupert Murdoch. Fox should be careful: Emanuel will have thought it all through before making his move.
One to watch.