Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Earlier this week, Bob Woodward reported that in 2011 Roger Ailes urged David Petraeus to run for president; the suggestion was relayed via Kathleen "K.T." McFarland, a Fox News national security correspondent. Now McFarland has taken to her Fox blog to say she was only joking:
My comment was prompted by a conversation I had had with Roger before leaving for Afghanistan. We discussed many topics, most involving national security. On my way out, I casually told him, I'll give the general your regards, shall I? Roger smiled and replied something to the effect of, tell him if they don't make him chairman of the joint chiefs, he ought to jump into the presidential race to stir things up. I know now that Roger was joking, but at the time, I wasn't sure....

Petraeus and I were having fun. Having just told me definitively that he wouldn't run, he suggested that maybe Ailes could run this non-existent campaign. It was not a serious conversation plotting General Petraeus' political future; it was the kind of idle speculation that happens in every campaign season. That's why they call it the silly season. I knew he was serious about not wanting to run, and he knew I wasn't serious in pressing it.
Curiously, this isn't the first time McFarland has made the news for saying something we were later told was a joke. Back in 2006, she was pursuing the GOP Senate nomination in New York State, wanting to run against Hillary Clinton. Then the New York Post reported this:
A Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bizarrely claiming that the former first lady has been spying in her bedroom window and flying helicopters over her house in the Hamptons, witnesses told The Post yesterday.

Former Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen "KT" McFarland stunned a crowd of Suffolk County Republicans on Thursday by saying:

"Hillary Clinton is really worried about me, and is so worried, in fact, that she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures," according to a prominent GOP activist who was at the event....

McFarland spokesman William O'Reilly responded that the GOP hopeful was just kidding around with her far-fetched claims.

"It was a joke, and people laughed," O'Reilly insisted.

But three witnesses who were present said nobody in the audience cracked a smile.

"The whole room sort of went silent when she said it," one person said....
McFarland has a rather checkered past -- she's engaged in resume padding, she became estranged from her gay brother as he was dying of AIDS in the 1990s (and wouldn't let her children visit him), and, well, there's quite a bit more where that came from. So, no, I don't buy her version of the Ailes story.


Victor said...

Methinks the right needs to look up the definition of "joke."

But it won't help.
Everyone knows that Conservatives aren't funny, and don't know how to joke, because when God made Conservative Eve from Conservative Adam, he used his 'funny bone.' And ever since then, all Conservatives suffer from an 'irony deficiency.'

aimai said...

The most interesting thing about that very interesting blog roundup of KT's greatest hits is the way every linked article in the NY post brings up a 404 error. Did someone scrub her online history?

As for me, I think that liars are generally liars but not about everything. She sounds like a serial exaggerator but she generally embroiders on the basis of something that actually happened. The interview speaks for itself: she was instructed to offer the general a pretty huge wet kiss from both murdoch and ailes. If not she would have gone with some other, vaguer, flattery. "Everyone at fox news loves you...what can we do to help" that's boilerplate. but the more specific offers? I'm sure that was under orders.


Steve M. said...

The most interesting thing about that very interesting blog roundup of KT's greatest hits is the way every linked article in the NY post brings up a 404 error. Did someone scrub her online history?

I think it's just that Murdoch doesn't like making content available to people online. (I'm not even sure you can pay for old Post articles.) He really seems to hate and mistrust the Internet (and that's why the ill-conceived Daily flopped -- why would you devised a "newspaper" for the iPad only, and make it next to impossible to read it on any other patform, even for a fee? It's as if he was saying, "I don't want anything here to go viral, ever.")

Bulworth said...

Well, Faux News is a joke.

Roger said...

A statement can be a joke and yet no one laughs.

It's just an unfunny joke.

See, e.g., "The Five," Christian comedians, Mallard Fillmore, &c.