- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trend continues

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer shares the same views about Fox News and why it should be treated differently than other “traditional” TV news networks as Anita Dunn, the former director, who stoked tensions between the administration and the news channel during her tenure.

Before leaving the White House to return to consulting, Ms. Dunn told CNN’s “Reliable Sources” anchor Howard Kurtz in an interview that when President Obama “goes on Fox, he understands he is not going on it as a news network at this point.” She also has called Fox News a “wing of the Republican Party.”

Although she is no longer working for the White House, her views remain ingrained with the communications team.

Mr. Pfeiffer told the New York Times in a video interview that Fox News “is not a traditional news organization” because “they have a point of view; that point of view pervades the entire network.”

Because of this, Mr. Pfeiffer said, “We don’t feel the obligation to treat them like we would treat a CNN, or an ABC, or an NBC, or a traditional news organization.” Mr. Pfeiffer, former White House deputy communications director, assumed Ms. Dunn’s role in December.

Obama musical

A musical about President Obama that features a gospel theme song titled “Yes We Can” is thrilling audiences in Germany.

The uplifting play, “Hope: The Obama Musical Story,” concentrates on Mr. Obama’s personal motivations rather than his politics. Promotional material from its Web site says Mr. Obama is portrayed as “an emotional person who fights for a new, more forgiving and peaceful world and better future.”

Although it’s being shown in Germany, the play’s dialogue and songs are a mix of English and German that can be easily understood by both audiences. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin also has a part. Her character sings the song “Ich bin ein Pitbull,” or “I Am Pitbull.”

More time

Citing changes in the way the government will calculate jobs “created or saved” by the $787 billion stimulus bill, officials announced the deadline for stimulus recipients to report spending has been extended by one week.

The director of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orzsag, announced in a December memo that the government would only count jobs funded by the stimulus bill, rather than trying to keep track of jobs “created or saved” as promised by President Obama.

As a result of these changes, those who received money are getting more time to complete required reports to the government. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board has extended the deadline from Jan. 15 to Jan. 22.

Taking it too far

The chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) tried to take a dig at Republican Scott Brown’s truck but only churned up bad memories of the Democrat Mr. Brown ran to replace.

Mr. Brown, the GOP candidate in the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat, has been pilloried by Democrats ranging from Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry to President Obama for boasting about the General Motors truck he’s driven around the state while campaigning.

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen tried to get in on the fun as well. The Maryland congressman made the mistake, however, of likening Mr. Brown to someone who wrecked his car and left the scene of the crime — like Mr. Kennedy did as a young man when he crashed his car carrying Mary Jo Kopechne into a river where she drowned.

“Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?” Mr. Van Hollen said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Al Hunt that will air this weekend.

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@washingtontimes.com