I love the delicacy of the wording in this story by Politico reporter/courtier Dylan Byers:
Why Bill Kristol left Fox NewsEmphasis added.
Bill Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, ended a decade-long run as Fox News contributor this summer two years after he and Roger Ailes got into a disagreement that had a cooling effect on their relationship, sources with knowledge of the relationship told POLITICO.
In 2011, the Fox News chief asked Kristol to take a negative stance toward a certain individual, effectively helping Ailes in his effort to give that person a bad reputation, the sources said. Kristol refused to get involved in Ailes' personal arguments and, as a result, there was a "coolness" between the two going forward. Though the relationship remained cordial, Ailes felt he could no longer trust Kristol to be a team player....
Gee, I wonder who "that person" could possibly be. Hmmmm, let me think....
By October 2008, Palin's vice-presidential candidacy looked so disastrous that The New Yorker published an explainer for how she got to be picked as McCain's running mate in the first place. Jane Mayer pegged Kristol as the No. 1 culprit. A circle of Republican commentators had developed a political crush on Sarah Palin during a luxury cruise to Alaska in 2007, she reported. Kristol was her "most ardent promoter… and his enthusiasm became the talk of Alaska's political circles." By the summer of 2008, Kristol was campaigning for McCain to pick Palin both on camera and behind the scenes. His endorsements were over the top: She was "fantastic," good at basketball, not just potentially a good veep but "an effective president" too, "like Andrew Jackson," and his "heartthrob." He couldn't take it if McCain didn't pick her: "I don’t know if I can make it through the next three months without her on the ticket." At one point, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace said, "Can we please get off Sarah Palin?"
"I just challenge anyone here who has decided she's a ridiculous person who can't hold her own to go back and watch that [2008 vice presidential] debate - she did fine, and held her own against the 30 year senator," he said.Love dies hard.
I did consider the possibility that "that person" in the Byers story was Glenn Beck, with whom Ailes severed ties in 2011, but Kristol was accusing Beck of "hysteria" and worse in 2011. So, yeah, it's Sarah. (And Ailes will probably threaten to sue me for saying that.)
UPDATE: Danp makes a good point in comments:
Interesting how Byers considers this story to be about a riff between Krystal and Ailes, and not the practice of a news channel telling a pundit to take a specific stance. I can only suspect that this practice is common at Politico as well.