Kirsten Powers, the Last Liberal

Last week Kirsten Powers, one of the more visible Democratic contributors to Fox News, wrote a lengthy piece for that organization’s website called “Obama vs. Fox News –behind the White House strategy to delegitimize a news organization.” In it she rather shockingly set herself apart from her more radical cohorts on the left by demonstrating a willingness to denounce them for their demonization of Fox and their assault on freedom of the press. She may be one of the last pundits on the left to adhere, at least in this instance, to classical liberal values.

“There is no war on terror for the Obama White House,” her op-ed began, “but there is one on Fox News.” She was referring to a recent interview with The New Republic in which President Obama complained yet again about, as she put it, “the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor… the media meanies at Fox News.” Unaccustomed to being held accountable by an adoring mainstream media, Obama has never even bothered to hide his frustration and irritation with Fox. In fact, the White House is brazenly open about its campaign to, as Powers wrote, “silence any dissent they detect in the press corps.”

Powers recounts some of the more recent instances of that campaign. For example, the White House excluded Fox News from conference calls dealing with the Benghazi debacle, “despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.” Actually, Fox was frozen out not so much despite its top notch focus on Benghazi as because of it, since Obama and Hilary Clinton would like to bury the controversy. The fact that Powers openly acknowledged Fox’s investigative quality rather than simply accusing the network of harassing the President over an issue that “doesn’t make a difference,” to paraphrase Clinton, is unheard of from the left.

Powers mentions other examples of the Obama administration’s antagonism toward Fox. His people left Chris Wallace’s Fox News Sunday out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network. In late 2009, senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s This Week that Fox News is “not really a news station.” About that same time, then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said to the New York Times, “let’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.” This echoes Media Matters’ signature line about Fox in a 2010 memo to donors: “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.” Their CEO David Brock, Powers notes, has claimed that their strategy was a “war on Fox.”

“Can someone explain to me,” Powers wrote, “how it’s ‘liberal’ to try and shut down a media organization? What the Obama administration is doing, and what liberals are funding at [Media Matters] is beyond chilling – it’s a deep freeze.” She’s right – it’s not “liberal” at all, and neither is the contemporary totalitarian left. She goes on to excoriate Media Matters further for its threats to collect dirt on Fox News employees and to sue conservatives for “slanderous” comments about progressives. “If the White House can call one news outlet illegitimate for asking tough questions, then guess who is next? Anyone”:

It is clear now that the idea of freedom of the press actually offends Media Matters… They say they are “consider[ing] pushing prominent progressives to stop appearing on Fox News.” For those who defy the order, they threaten to start daily publishing the names of Democrats who appear in order to shame them. If that doesn’t work, presumably they will just shave our heads and march us down Constitution Avenue.

Don’t tempt them, Ms. Powers. They’re champing at the bit to do just that sort of thing to traitors like you who dare challenge their monolithic front. And kudos to you for calling them on it – although confining her criticism to Media Matters is way too limiting, considering that progressives in general find free speech and freedom of the press to be impediments to their lust for power.

One stretch in particular of Kirsten Powers’ op-ed is worth quoting at length, because it exhibits a rather courageous degree of self-criticism:

Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.

In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.

That more liberals aren’t calling out the White House for this outrageous behavior tells you something about the state of liberalism in America today.

Indeed it does. If only Powers would pursue this line of thinking to its logical end – that the “liberalism” she is describing is actually the domain of conservatives. The leftists she’s addressing here no longer have a truly liberal bone in their collective body. They are totalitarians, and it is today’s conservatives who are the guardians of classically liberal principles.

“We defend freedom of the press because of the principle, not because we like everything the press does,” Powers adds. “For example, I defend MSNBC’s right to run liberal programming to their hearts content. The media should be held accountable, including Fox News.” So it should – and so conservatives have been insisting through years of the media’s nauseating idolatry of Obama.

Kirsten Powers remains a Democrat, no doubt about it. There are still many issues on which she and conservatives would disagree. But at least on this point, her vigorous defense of freedom of the press against the repressive elements of her own party deserves our appreciation.

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  • Mary Sue

    This War on Fox News is sort of like how leftist hacks treat Sun News Network in Canada. Calling it "not a real news organization". Whatever that means. At least Kristen Powers has a brain.

    • Tom

      The only people that have a war on fox news is FOX news.

      • Ziggy Zoggy

        That must explain the unparalleled popularity of Fox News, short bus.

    • JacksonPearson

      The Marxist democrats are not just at war with Fox news, but with America.

    • Asher

      Yes, She seems to be logical and weighs out the issues on common sense..Wish she would see that her party has quit serving the true people of this country who made it the success it was.

  • Deb

    I've noticed Kirsten seemed to be getting more logical in her analysis. kudos to her for standing up for freedom of the press!

  • semus

    Her thinking is very clear and logical on this. These people are NOT liberal they're diametrically opposed to Liberalism.

    • LibertarianToo

      Exactly. I remember someone asking Hillary about being a Liberal, and she said she prefers the term "Progressive". Let's take their cue and stop calling the Progs Liberals. They are surely as Illiberal as any other fascists.

      • Ziggy Zoggy

        They're also as regressive as any other fascists.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "If only Powers would pursue this line of thinking to its logical end – that the “liberalism” she is describing is actually the domain of conservatives."

    Yes. We want to conserve the liberties guaranteed by the constitution. Imagine that.

  • espersemper

    There is a pattern to this behaiviour (Totalitarian regimes’ ruses) and she should point this out.
    Supressing the press is a serious sign of decadence. Then opression follows. Then depression.
    At least she is not a presstitute!

  • Pam Dale

    She gets a lot of time on Faux because she is smart, pretty, and blond.
    I, too, have noticed some chinks in her armor. It is nice to see some growth. I hope she continues.

    • Rebecca

      Faux is French for false. Please enlighten us on what news they have presented that is false. I'm sure you must have tons of examples if that is your opinion of Fox news.

      • kafir4life

        Pam's not that kind of poster. She has her msnbc talking points from the drunken pervert Chris Matthews. They just talk. They never say anything.

    • Ziggy Zoggy

      Of course. Why watch a real news network that employs intelligent and attractive women of integrity when we can watch the exact opposite in the Establishment Media. Then we could all be destructive morons who drag down our entire country.

    • patron

      What a moronic comment.

      I disagree with the all three. Journalism is not exactly advancing particle theory.

  • Chezwick

    Though the liberal media may try, it's hard to ignore an article like this….so devastating are its implications. Kudos, Mark, for great piece….and kudos Kirsten, for actually possessing a spine and stepping out of lock-step with your co-religionists.

    • johnnywoods

      I think Kirsten actually attended journalism school so she could to be a journalist. BTW Don`t hate her because she is beautiful and intelligent as well as logical.

  • pierce

    She may have a brain, and she certainly is beautiful, but the fact she is liberal, extremely liberal, turns me off completely. The fact she is a regular with Brett Bair, or Chris Wallace, well I guess those 2 have to have a differing opinion, but I don't know who is more liberal Powers, or Williams. they both turn me off.

    • CurmudgyOneJr

      That's the Whole Point, Pierce. Fox allows points of view that differ with the Conservative "line." Other networks don't, or when they do allow them on, they skew them. It is good that you can watch someone who "turns you off" and hear both points of view. I disagree with her and Juan Wms frequently, and I am glad I have the opportunity to hear what they have to say. Sun Tzu said keep your friend close andyour enemies closer — that includes knowing what they're talking about and understanding them.

    • randy

      Your absolutely right. Kristen Powers is a true Liberal in every respect. Her opinion on what she wrote is called I NEED THIS JOB.. Liberals will say or do anything to keep their staus quo, and how smart is she , well she dated Anthony Weiner before he got married. You know what they say about …Birds of a Feather

    • Questions

      So who turns you on? Phyllis Schlafly? Michelle Malkin? Kirsten Powers is way HOT.

      • Mary Sue

        Now be fair, Phyllis Schafly is getting on in years.

      • johnnywoods

        Michelle Malkin is no dog either.

  • Paul Marks

    The Progressives are just being consistent.

    If your money is not your own – why should your opinions be your own? Why not just have government approved opinions?

    The modern (as opposed to the 19th century) liberal, is trapped in a contradiction. They support the government “helping” people from “the cradle to the grave”, but they oppose government censorship and control. In the end one can not have one without the other.

  • CurmudgyOneJr

    Kirsten, in reality, is a Modern Conservative or Historical Liberal.
    The modern liberals are the 'progressives' who are progressing toward a tall, tall cliff.

    • Viet Vet

      Progressivism has since 1920, been an euphemism for communism.

      • SFLBIB

        They never mention what they want to "progress" towards. Maybe it's communism.

  • Western Spirit

    Well I can't improve on pressitude because that's an apt description of the entire "liberal" media and should hereafter be referred to as pressitudes.

  • Jaladhi

    It has become quite clear that the present day liberals and leftists are nothing but communists and fascists at the same time. is it possible – yes it is possible!! They are not liberals anymore. They are collaborating with Muslims to curb all freedom of press, they don't want any criticism of their emperor Obama as they don't want Americans to see him fail. That is why they keep lying about Obama and his agenda. They would like Obama to assume all dictatorial powers and banish all those who stand for good old American human vakues. Shame! Kirsten Powers is very courageous in denouncing them!!

    • Gee

      The National Socialist Party advocated the exact same policies of leftists. Government control of businesses and fire arms. Censorship of speech and religion. Control of the media, etc.

      Yes fascism and leftists have far more in common than differences

      • Drakken

        It is not fascism, it is communist,marxism at it's worst.

  • Viet Vet

    Keep in mind that it isn't just FOX News that leftists have been trying to shut down. They have put great effort in trying to shut down Individuals like Horowitz, Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al.

  • Western Spirit

    Fox is not a pressitude news organization is the way Fox should be represented and it is a truthful representation. While saying it is not a news organization is just another Leftist lie.

    Also calling the illiberal Left "liberal" is a lull to sleep lie so call it what it is, the totalitarian Left and be accurate because totalitarian warns people of its true nature.

    • Asher

      The MSM is a disgrace to humanity. Fox News Journalists are the only ones who are serving the people by looking out for them and getting out the facts…that is responsible reporting….not broadcasting on a political agenda, especially MSNBC who represent the Obama administration.

  • Halfaleague Onward

    I change my mind every night Kirsten is on the panel. One night I despise her and the next I applaud. In the end she is probably a good example of what the Demcrat party was with a bit more leftist tinge, but at least she is willing to look her opponents in the eye and debate. The same cannot be said for Juan Williams who is a brainwashed feel good fascist, boot licking Obama troll. The same cannot be said for the overwhelming majority of progressive/fascist Obama worshippers in the media whose sole purpose is to obfuscate and deny and attack with false half truths and innuendo at every turn to push the agenda of our progressive rulers with no debate allowed.

    • Walt

      I have followed her career on Fox from the beginning. Initially she was no more than 'talking points' from the left, and now over the past couple of years she can actually hold your attention with common sense questions/answers and show a reasoned thought process while doing so. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Juan Williams! While he appears to be a nice guy, he can come up with (and attempt to defend) some of the most off-the-wall opinions imaginable – while always hewing to the black mantra of the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus. Having said that, I have no problem listening to them as I do have a desire to hear both sides; that is until they throw in Allen Colmes – now there is a mass of protoplasm that never had an original thought in his life and unlikely to ever do so.

  • Johnconrad

    I find her commentary to be thoughtful. I agree with more of it than I thought I would. Yet, I know those on "her side" won't implement any of her ideas with any degree of common sense.

    I'd love to have a few beers with her and discuss her impression of Hayek's thoughts.

    I wonder if I'd feel the same way if she wasn't so attractive?:)

    • Paul Schnee

      Probably not!

    • Ziggy Zoggy

      Nice fictional anecdote for a troll.

  • visitor

    Any fair-minded person would have to admit the fact is that Fox News differs from traditional reporting outlets in that it offers a consistent viewpoint that is ideologically driven from the right. And MSNBC does the same thing from the left. In both cases, that includes biased spin and manufactured stories. Good theater, bad journalism. This is not to say that Fox doesn't also have some bona fide journalists on its staff. Maybe in firing Rove, Palin, and Morris, Fox is trying to become more of a news organization and less a mouthpiece for the Republican National Committee. But I wouldn't hold my breath as losing your core audience is not a likely strategy.

    • Johnconrad

      They didn't fire Rove.

      They should have.

    • Gee

      ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS never let facts interfere with their extreme leftist opinion and advocate curbing freedom of speech, freedom of religion, ownship of guns, etc.

      All in all they oppose any liberal position

    • Rebecca

      By fair-minded you clearly mean left wing. Fox news is different from your so-called "traditional" i.e. left wing reporting outlets. i.e. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS in that they are the only station that airs everything. No matter whose ox gets gored, left or right. The only thing ideologically driven is the fact that they are one of the few stations that has more than a token number of conservative commentaters, which, lets face it, is what those on the left truly despise. Heaven fofend that a true dyed in the wool conservative should have a voice anywhere. I'm assuming that CNN meets your seal of approval as a 'traditional reporting outlet" If it is, than you are one funny dude.

      • Viet Vet

        You are exactly correct, Rebecca. If a person is a propagandized leftist, FOX would appear to be far right, rather than just right-on.

    • Mary Sue

      Given that PMSNBC, SeeBS, CNN, ABC, et al are mouthpieces for the Democrat party, you must admit there's never been truly unbiased news in the United States since before Walter Kronkite.

      Watch both and you MIGHT get a slightly bigger picture than watching just one, at least.

  • Jim_C

    I have no respect for Fox; they are not really a news organization, that is true–but then, I have very little respect for CNN, either. I think most televised news has been utter garbage for 20 years, routinely passing up actual news for sensationalism and speculation, filling huge chasms of time with "experts" and panel "discussions," treating our elected officials like celebrities instead of public servants. All to sell ads and promote on air personalities' side projects. Whom does it serve? Not us.

    My pet peeve is when my fellow liberals denigrate the TEA party. Mind you I agree with very little of the TEA party platform. However, what could be better for democracy then getting everyday people to say "enough is enough" and run for office? That's precisely what will save this country. It won't be lawyers from Harvard and Yale.

    Basically, in my experience, complainers are losers. Fox News exists: get over it.

    • Ziggy Zoggy

      Nobody cares what you think. Get over it.

      • Jim_C

        You obviously do, since you've replied to all my posts.

  • guest

    I have a friend Lidia who lived during the Solidarity movement in Poland in the early 80's. Every time I see an overpaid talking head liberal on Fox like Powers for some reason I think of Lidia. She gave a talk to our Tea Party in 2010 which is on youtube with just hundreds of hits. But what she says about communism and what is happening under Obama should be heard on every so-called conservative station 245/7 till it sinks into people's brains. But you see we listen to bubbleheads like Powers who have little wisdom and no experience and think they're 'smart.' No wonder we have Obama.

    I asked Lidia why she doesn't speak nowadays about what happens under a Marxist regime. She said, 'no one believes we are living under a Marxist, Mary, they still think Obama is a 'lying politician.' Even at Tea Party meetings they believe they can defeat Obama by putting real conservatives into office even after what happened in 2010 when most tea party candidates when from Tea Party to RINO or are cheated out of their office like West.'

    'No, she said, 'just like in Poland it's the humble people with a humble leader who will fight this evil.'

    So please , for all the brilliant writers here and elsewhere give people like Lidia a forum not individuals like Powers who get paid by both the left and the right. We're done with that–there is real suffering out here and it's the people who need to be heard.

    • Johnconrad

      How about a link?

    • Viet Vet

      It's worth noting that Lech Walesa endorsed Mr Romney. Obummer got endorsements from the leftist strongman banana republic commies. Where Obummer would fit right in.

  • guest

    sorry-should be 24/7

  • oldschooltwentysix

    There are also plenty of conservatives and rightists that would approve of similar behavior the other way. Let's not pretend this is otherwise. Liberals are supposed to live by their standards, however, and in too many instances they fail, largely due to the political infighting with conservatives. If the demonization between sides could decrease, perhaps there might be some improvement. At this point, it is wishful thinking.

    • Jim_C

      oldschool, there's too much $ hinging on demonization and polarization. Throw the internet on top of that, where we can anonymously deride each other…it feeds the beast. I don't see that changing, barring a long term cataclysm that unites us again out of necessity.

      The very best thing that could happen in this country is for everyday people to call up their local GOP or Dem office and ask how they can get involved. On a local level, I've never met a conservative I couldn't find common interest with. They are just as interested in the economic and social health of our community as I am, and the labels don't mean as much.

      • Ziggy Zoggy

        "On a local level, I've never met a conservative I couldn't find common interest with. They are just as interested in the economic and social health of our community as I am, and the labels don't mean as much."

        And Obama wants to reach across the aisle.

    • Viet Vet

      Yes, there would be some, but the majority of conservatives would cringe and be embarrassed at such a circumstance.

  • Gee

    The media is not liberal but leftist. They and President Odumba have more in common with the National Socialist Party than anything that might be construed as liberal

  • Lino

    Kirsten: Great article. Hope you're reading this. When you abandon God, you abandon the truth. When you abandon the truth, you abandon freedom of speech because you become the person defining the truth.

    Once the Democratic Party embraced abortion and jettisoned God (remember the Convention), then fascism ensues. And it is awfully ugly to witness.

  • dean

    really to much of a "nice coincidence" for fox news that some one on their payroll would write an article that bashes the president, while at the same time promoting them

  • cxt

    What I find interesting is that one of the main reasons Fox News exsists is that the other networks failed to their job and fairly report the news. We give reporters etc. rather remarkable powers because they are supposed to act a s check on government–not a de-facto cheerleader.

    The Lefy media didn't doits job then–and that failure pretty much created Fox News–and their ongoing failure to do their jobs now, insures that Fox News will keep getting more and more powerful.

    In a sense the Lefty media is Dr. Frankenstein and Fox News their monster.

    • Questions

      I thought that it was Dr. Frankenstein who created the monster. The Left despises Fox, but it certainly didn't create it. Or maybe Mary Shelley's classic contains passages of which I am not aware.

      • Mary Sue

        It didn't directly form it with its own hands, but it inspired its creation with their action/inaction.

    • Viet Vet


  • Guest

    I may not agree with Ms. Powers on a lot of subjects, but I respect her consistency. She and Lanny Davis are the only two on the Left that are morally principled. The rest are just partisan hacks.

  • Geppettwo

    It's sexist, I know but she's not only very smart but very cute too. If you knew how old I was and the father of two adult daughters you'd let me say that with impunity. She's also a regular on FOX and a welcome one.

  • Ghostwriter

    I wish more on the left would listen to Kirsten Powers. She could teach them A LOT.

  • obama guy

    Sounds like Kirsten Powers spent far too many minutes making a fool of herself defending Fox News. These are minutes on this planet she will never get back again. Pathetic.

    • Walt

      I don't believe she is fooling herself by being objective and honest! Being so doesn't have to change her politics, it just shows she can be a reasonable person at the same time. I don't believe Fox has to be defended by anyone, it is the most watched news program on the planet and getting stronger every day. And if it is so bad, why would they allow progressives/liberals to be part of the mix – Bob Beckel, Juan Williams, Shepard Smith, Kirsten Powers, Allen Colmes, any Democrat politician, etc. for examples.

  • obama guy

    Powers talks about the "state of Liberalism in America? What about the state of the GOP and Conservatism. Talks about Psychological Projection.

    • Viet Vet

      The U.S. Constitution is the benchmark, the determining point. The GOP is left of the Constitution (the democraps are left of Lenin), but the conservative contingent of the GOP is right there with the Founders and the Constitution, to wit: free enterprise economy, limited government, property rights, relgious rights, firearms rights, love of liberty.

    • Mary Sue

      What about it?

  • pyeatte

    The left has revealed themselves to not being liberals, but being fascists. Herr Goebbels would feel right at home with the MSM in today's America.

    • Viet Vet

      Yes indeed.

  • Lady_Dr

    It will be interesting to see if she actually takes things to the logical conclusion and eventually abandons the Democrat Party. Some have a Damascus road experience, some come more gradually, some never fully see the light, but she seems capable of thinking for herself so perhaps some day she will leave.

    As to Juan, perhaps he fears being a "sellout" hence, despite some moments of rationalty I have fewer hopes for him.

  • Asher

    Hitler was able to committ atrocities because of his control over the media and information. Never Ever forget that!

  • Guest

    Joe Trippi is another "democrat" like Kirsten Powers. He appears fair minded and a model of what democrats should be; fiercely loyal to his party, without the rancor.

  • John Reese

    Kirsten is not only on Fox, she is a fox. Roger Ailes gets all the smokin hot babes. Women like Kirsten, Monica Crowley, Juliet Huddy (the foxiest of them all), Gretchen Carlson, Harris Faulkner, Megyn Kelley, Patti Ann Brown, Lis Wiehl, and plenty more. No wonder the Fox network of foxes gets the highest ratings. Go Roger!

    • Questions

      I have to agree. Roger Ailes hires on the basis of the babe factor. But then, all TV networks and especially local affiliates do this. Check out a website called It rates anchorwomen around the country. Regrettably, this doesn't necessarily raise the quality of the analysis.

  • EarlyBird

    In Fox New's world, anyone who doesn't want to execute jay walkers in a pinko commie liberal. This chick is a very moderate conservative, not a liberal. Fox is the Republican Party's mouthpiece, as much as MSNBC is the Democrats'.

    • obama guy

      The Fox definition of a Democrat is how much you hate the Dems even though you insist you are one.
      Next, she will admit she was the second shooter on the grassy knoll.

  • watsa46

    The failure of the right to stand for reasonable principles weakens the position of FNC and all the people on the right and center.
    Slowly but surely, Marxist BS (under the claim of socialistic values) are being imposed on Americans who for the majority do not care out of IGNORANCE! The left is full of "NOUVEAUX RICH".

  • Suze

    Ms. Powers has what's called a journalist's heart, which in spite of party affiliation eventually will rage against injustice where it's found. Now that she has begun to claim her voice, she will be doing it more. It's her nature, and I am proud of her. Authentic journalism seeks to report as objectively as possible, and one of the great losses we've witnessed over the last twenty years has been the loss of journalists keeping our government accountable. This is the way the truth dies; not with a bang but a whimper.

  • John Cuckti

    Yeah, beacause righty after righty called out the Dubya White House.

  • onyoursix33

    So, basically, when conservative talk about real issues they tend to win the argument..

    Enough about marriage…let em all marry…

    Focus on real issues…

    Right is right, and as long as you fall on that side, you’ll win…eventually…

    Even Powers knows that.