Saw this at Libby Spencer's place last night:
And today we have breathless stories on Christie from Murdoch's media colleagues/rivals at CNN, ABC, and the publication Fox Nation refers to as "left-wing Politico." From the CNN story, which reads like a Christie press release (they all read like Christie press releases):
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, fresh off a landslide reelection victory earlier this month, says if being himself "is not good enough in any other election I might someday pursue," he will just find another job.Yes, all these non-Murdoch media outlets covered a speech Christie gave to the annual meeting of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, which, according to its press release, gathers more than a hundred CEOs this week to hear President Obama and other speakers. Now, it seems to me that if you attract Obama to your confab, any other U.S. pol who's on the speakers' list is effectively elevated to the president's level. So I note that I don't see Hillary Clinton on the list (or Joe Biden, for that matter, much less Elizabeth Warren). I don't see Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Scott Walker or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. The only other pol are Paul Ryan and Chris Christie. (Although it should be noted that Murdoch met with Rand Paul earlier this month.)
Republican Christie, who won reelection in blue New Jersey by garnering a broad coalition of support, said he didn't feel like he had to do any further outreach to his fellow party members who see him as a moderate unable to tap into the conservative base.
"I don't feel like I have any fence-mending to do or anything like that," he said during a public interview on Monday at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington. "I am going to be me. And if I ever decide to run for anything again, if being me isn't good enough, then fine, I will go home. This isn't my whole life."
We know from news reports in the summer of 2012 that Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes wanted Chris Christie to run for president that year:
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. Mr. Ailes, a former campaign strategist for Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, shares Mr. Murdoch's disdain of how the Romney campaign is being run, telling people privately that it is too soft.The reports of Christie's speech at the Journal confab say that he criticized the Republicans who shut down the government and praised compromise and outreach to Democrats. It's as if he's daring crazy-base voters to try to deny him the 2016 nomination.
That's going to be their top priority. For a long time, I was certain they'd succeed. But I wonder if Fox is going to sell them out and cheerlead for Christie, or at least refuse to be a platform for his haters. The teabaggers are used to backing from the right-wing media and rich conservative billionaires and well-heeled 501(c)3s and 4s; some of these will go after Christie, but I think Fox (and the Kochs) won't.
Then again, we read in 2011 that Fox wanted to dial down the extremism a wee bit in order to get a president elected, but Fox couldn't stop being Fox, and just kept promoting the likes of Donald Trump and Herman Cain, while giving short shrift to Mitt Romney. But that may just have been because Murdoch thought Romney was a wuss. He clearly doesn't feel that way about Christie.
I think this would be an excellent moment for the emergence of a new cable channel that out-Foxes Fox. Maybe CBS News should stop trying to be Fox Lite and should set up Lara Logan and Sharyl Attkisson, along with a motley crew of birthers, impeachers, and Benghazi obsessives (Allen West? Andrew McCarthy?), at an all-news outpost that would basically be Fox Extreme. As the primaries heat up, that could become the refuge for wingnut Christie-phobes.