While I'm interested to see Obama's impending visit to The View, I'd like to see him break through directly to the Fox audience, who are being fed a very skewed and dangerous narrative through a calculated filter. Nine of the top ten rated news shows are on Fox, which reaches a unique audience of Americans that tunes out most if not all other sources of news and information. The few million people tuning into Fox and tuning out any opposing take on reality are in dire need of a dose of actual discourse, not just one extremely slanted view. Obama needs to reach these people directly and there is no better way than to go into the "lions den" and have an unfiltered discussion with Beck in front of a massive audience for what would be one of the most watched television events in recent times. It would be watched by not just every single Fox supporter but by tens of millions of other people curious to see what transpires.
Like or dislike Obama, everyone would watch. Obama's knowledge and articulation can hold up to whatever talking points Beck could muster while deflating much of his inflammatory rhetoric, especially when it comes to the Constitution, which Obama studied, taught and lectured on at Chicago Law School. But Beck's show would also be a great venue for Obama to discuss some of the other topics that have been grossly misused against him, such as racism, Socialism, Communism and Nazism. Having a frank discussion on these topics face to face should disarm them as "weapons" in Beck's limited arsenal (not to mention the Tea Party) and clarify them in front of the audience that is most misinformed on their meanings, some dangerously so.
Most importantly, Obama could directly reach every single person who usually filters his entire existence through Fox's mis-informative, selectively-edited, propagandized lens. That alone is worth his being there, but add to that an exponentially larger audience that will watch this and hear him refute Fox's lies and elucidate his own policies and their results. It's about a Moment with a capital M, and Obama could use some great ones these days. Over in the UK, Nick Clegg had his Moment in the debates leading up to the election and the political landscape changed. Gordon Brown then had his not-so-good Moment and that landscape changed again, almost overnight. Or so "everyone" said all over the internet. It is this "everyone" that matters; amidst the tug of opposing views, we are evolving at warp speed into a collectivity of consciousness and the entire way we form our opinions is seismically shifting beneath our frantically blogging fingertips. One big moment good or bad can quickly turn the tides of public opinion in a way that wasn't even possible a decade ago.
The rules of new media say that Zeitgeist moments happen; but now, a huge amount of people can not only observe something at the same time but also simultaneously respond and react to each other. Think of the internet as a global brain, with all of us acting as neurons. The brain grows explosively every year not just bigger, but more powerful as we improve our neuronal abilities to connect and be connected via ever more powerful devices and faster conduits. The cultivators of culture and opinion have been unleashed from narrow controllable sources; now every door is open and may the best person win. Sure there are still networks and corporately controlled culture but they are ever farther from being arbiters of social norms and are finding themselves on equal footing with a single person with an internet connection and an opinion. The collective mind of the online world can simultaneously turn its attention like a school of fish, suddenly and sometimes with a knee jerk reaction, for better or worse. The internet has become the eyes of the world, which looks both outward and inward. You could feel it last year, when the tragic death of Neda Agha-Soltan in Iran was not just seen by the world en masse, but experienced across borders and boundaries, races and genders. In her dying moments, she gazed into a camera and we, the world, gazed back.
Beck is only dangerous because he is so far unconfronted in the bullsh*t arena. Obama needs to put on his hip waders, hold his nose and confront not just one deranged television personality but the entire Tea Party culture that has been constructed around Beck's white minstrel show. Obama would be a breath of fresh -- nay, truthy -- air and as always, a house of cards needs only a strong enough breeze to send the whole thing tumbling down. Confront your critics on their own turf and illuminate your vision direct and unfiltered. It is the only way to break through to that segment of the population and show them that Emperor Beck is indeed naked. Now that would be Must See TV!