Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes were crestfallen last year when Chris Christie declined to run for president, as The New York Times noted in July:
Along with Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News, Mr. Murdoch urged Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to run. Both men admire Mr. Christie's gusto and toughness -- a sharp edge they have themselves. "He really wanted Christie," said one of Mr. Murdoch's friends.Now Chris Christie hasn't been invited to speak at CPAC -- and you'd think Fox would want to keep its wingnuttier-than-thou edge by endorsing the snub. But mancrushes die hard, so Charles Krauthammer went on Bill O'Reilly's show to be (I assume) Ailes and Murdoch's mouthpierce:
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer says it was a "vast overreaction" and "mistake" that CPAC officials didn't invite GOP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to its upcoming conference.Also deployed: Eric Bolling, host of the Fox afternoon show The Five:
... "Look, I wasn't very happy with what he did in [Hurricane] Sandy, I thought he deserves three months in quarantine. But three months is up. I'd let him out. We should have him at CPAC. We should have a wide tent and if that's what it takes to win elections in the Northeast and nationwide, let's go for it."
...He added: "I think it's a mistake. I think they're trying to define legitimate ideology fairly narrowly and they want to rule people out. Here we are with four years to go until the next election, we ought to keep the tent wide and open and let the people, Republicans decide," Krauthammer said on Fox.
... Host Eric Bolling said that the party can only remain viable so long as it remains a big tent.... On a day when New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced he will embrace the Medicaid expansion funding in the Affordable Care Act, Bolling advised his fellow Republicans that they must embrace Christie as the future leader of their party....You know who could really take advantage of this, if he were so inclined? Glenn Beck. He's out there trying to get his TV channel on cable and satellite systems -- but he and his empire keeps going through identity crises. (What is he this week? A utopian? A libertarian? A Christian rightist?) Plus, I don't think he truly has the fire of hate in his belly, at least with regard to his ex-employer.
"I hate all this," Bolling said of infighting within the GOP about the future direction of the party. "They need to get together and form one party that has a big tent for everyone; whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, male, female."
... "You need someone who's charismatic. He's got to be a leader. And, this one: the way [Bill] O'Reilly puts it, 'fight back the media jackals.' That's Christie."
But if Beck really wanted to, he could position his channel as the only true conservative channel!!!, while picking out moments like these Fox defenses of Christie as signs that Fox is just a nest of stinking RINOs. (Hell, Eric Bolling is talking RINO talk about Christie in Beck's old time slot!) Beck's channel actually wouldn't need to be all that far to the right of Fox -- really, how could it be? -- but he could pick up Sarah Palin and Dick Morris, and maybe load the channel up with NRA programming and paranoid conspiratorialism (oh, wait, it's already got that), and then declare Fox to be too soft. And I bet a lot of the rubes would fall for it. Which might push Fox even further to the right, etc., etc., etc., until maybe even the mainstream press couldn't ignore the insanity of it all.
I don't think this is Beck's style, but if he really went after Fox this way, I'd cook up a whole mess of popcorn.