Thursday, December 20, 2012


Carl Bernstein, writing for The Guardian, is appalled that ex-partner Bob Woodward's story about the Ailes/Murdoch presidential overture to David Petraeus didn't get more attention:
So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch's ultimate and most audacious attempt -- thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance -- to hijack America's democratic institutions....

... in the spring of 2011 -- less than 10 weeks before Murdoch's centrality to the hacking and politician-buying scandal enveloping his British newspapers was definitively revealed -- Fox News' inventor and president, Roger Ailes, dispatched an emissary to Afghanistan to urge Petraeus to turn down President Obama's expected offer to become CIA director and, instead, run for the Republican nomination for president, with promises of being bankrolled by Murdoch. Ailes himself would resign as president of Fox News and run the campaign....

... almost as dismaying as Ailes' and Murdoch's disdain for an independent and truly free and honest press, and as remarkable as the obsequious eagerness of their messenger to convey their extraordinary presidential draft and promise of on-air Fox support to Petraeus, has been the ho-hum response to the story by the American press and the country's political establishment....
Well, the presidency seems to be just about where Murdoch's power reaches its limit. The Murdoch media empire was a tireless cheerleader for the last Republican president -- who left office despised by a broad cross-section of the American public. Murdoch failed to get a president elected in 2008 and 2012 -- and this year, in particular, he and Ailes failed to persuade their favorites (Petraeus, Christie) to run, while the candidates and wannabes they championed (Palin, Gingrich, Trump, Cain) made utter fools of themselves, leaving them a standard-bearer they supported with gritted teeth.

But it doesn't matter, because Murdoch and Ailes, deploying their rabid army of Fox-watching rage junkies (funded by Fox's billionaire allies), still manage to exercise veto power over much of what the president we actually elected tries to do. Ask Susan Rice. Ask Van Jones. Note that Gitmo is still open and the Bush tax cuts are still in place.

So the coup, though partial, has already happened -- Murdoch already has power to rival that of the White House. Winning the GOP nomination for an ex-general who, by his own admission, is more or less a Rockefeller Republican, would be a relatively mild abuse of press power by Murdoch standards. So who cares, really?


Victor said...

Are you, or is anyone, really surprised?

I'm not.

I was thinking FOX might approach Petreaus back in '08, after ancient Fred Thompson, and his Aqua Velva scented candidacy left a whole lot to be desired, and it up to Mitt and McCain to carry on the Republican Parties battle against Hillary and Obama.

And I think in the past year-plus of Republican primaries, both Murdoch and Ailes knew that any winner was, except for Romney - who was bad enough, going to be about as tough to sell to normal, non-FOX viewing Americans, as selling mukluk's to surfers.

And I think the only reason the General declined, is that he realized that he might have his own John Edwards/Bill Clinton problem - minus the love-child, or stained dress - if people started looking to closely, and word got out.

I think Petreaus was aiming for 2016 all along.

He knew the wind was at the Democrats back after Little Boots' disasterous Presidency ended in 2008. And knew that, though the Republican field was weak, he still needed to burnish his reputation, and decided to sit that election out. The Dem's were gonna win, no matter what.

And this past primary season, he knew that the even weaker field made his winning the candidacy this year all but a stone-cold lock, he now might have his own Monica problems, so why invite additional scrutiny?

And anyone who didn't think he eventually wanted to be the President, is probably delusional.

And I'm sure that Murdoch and Ailes were shocked that he turned down such a generous offer.

And I wonder if, or how much, they suspected that his reason wasn't patriotism and/or altruism and/or devotion to duty, as knowing that he had woman problems of his own.

Oh, and, in retrospect, neither of the "All the President's Men" reporters actually proved to be much of a reporter.

Woodword is a stenographer for the rich and powerful, and always was (and a likely CIA informer/plant/dissembler of information), and Carl was a presonable gadfly, who, though bright, never the less, wasted a lot of his talent - IMHO

No surprise that FOX offered. Just surprised, but now the wiser, as to why the proud rooster turned the offer down - one too many hen's.

And let's not even get started on letting the Neocon Steve and Edie Gourme, Mr. and Mrs. Kagan, rifle through information, and help dicate policy.

Now, if THAT'S not a breach of national security, then I don't know what is.

Now THAT, to me, makes any affair, look like child's play!


Maurits said...

Maybe it makes more business sense for Fox/Murdoch to have crazy Rep candidates and a Dem in the White House? Why worry about somewhat higher taxes if your advertising revenues are lots higher?

Examinator said...

A different perspective!

The context! The Brits have just been through the phone tapping scandal. News (very) Limited and Murdoch is the BAD guy his was born a colonial(yuk) and is now a Yank who wants to rule the world.(spit spit). the article was written to that audience and mind set.
Personally I have issues with the increasing tendency politics being bought by the Plutocrats.

Don't be deluded Murdoch has no interest in ideological politics (what is good for the people) he's simply about power and making more $'s PERIOD.
And you know what they say about power and absolute power.
IMHO we should care about his stealing democracy.