Thursday, April 12, 2012


This amused me:

During a meeting with 18 Delaware Tea Party leaders here on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich lambasted FOX News Channel, accusing the cable network of having been in the tank for Mitt Romney from the beginning of the Republican presidential fight....

“I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through,” Gingrich said during the private meeting -- to which RealClearPolitics was granted access -- at Wesley College. “In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That's just a fact.”

I think Gingrich has a point when he says that Fox wasn't enthusiastic about his candidacy. There's some actual evidence of this in Gabriel Sherman's New York magazine article about Fox from last May, though I think Sherman is nicer to Fox and its boss than they deserve:

[Roger Ailes] wanted to elect a president. All he had to do was watch Fox's May 5 debate in South Carolina to see what a mess the field was -- a mess partly created by the loudmouths he'd given airtime to and a tea party he’d nurtured....

All the 2012 candidates know that Ailes is a crucial constituency. "You can't run for the Republican nomination without talking to Roger," one GOPer told me. "Every single candidate has consulted with Roger." But he hasn't found any of them, including the adults in the room -- Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels, Mitt Romney -- compelling. "He finds flaws in every one," says a person familiar with his thinking.

Yeah, maybe Ailes felt bad about the clown show he'd helped orchestrate. But Fox gave all sorts of airtime to Donald Trump as the race was getting under way. Later, Fox cheered on Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. And Gingrich may have been criticized on Fox, but he got more positive coverage than he remembers.

When the actual candidates disappointed Ailes, Fox turned to daydreams about people who chose not to run, particularly Chris Christie and Paul Ryan. (Sherman says that Ailes had a dinner date with Christie and Rush Limbaugh at the Ailes "compound" in upstate New York, but Christie wouldn't be sweet-talked into a run. Ailes also loves a man in uniform, according to Sherman -- he really wanted David Petraeus to enter the race.)

So, yes, Newt, it's true that Fox just wasn't that into you. But it wasn't you -- Ailes clearly had childlike dreams of Prince Charming, and didn't want to settle for anything less.

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