Imagine if Head of MSNBC Had Done This

Filed in National by on December 4, 2012

Bob Woodward reported in the Washington Post yesterday that Roger Ailes had approached General David Petraeus with some political career advice:

Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested.

Got that? Roger Ailes — head of the fake news organization that actually is the PR arm for the RNC — is not only advising Petraeus on what jobs he should take in the Obama Administration, but encouraging him to run for President. With an offer to leave Fox to run his campaign (while Rupert — and Petraeus refers to Murdoch by first name — separately offered to bankroll the campaign). There is audio of the conversation between Petraeus and the Fox emissary, too.

I’m not surprised by this — it is only a cycle or two before FOX tries to put up its own GOP candidate — but I haven’t heard the howls of outrage. Because, if Phil Griffin of MSNBC had done this, can you imagine that this news would have passed with little comment? Or demands for Griffin’s head? Or demands for Congressional investigations?

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Comments (14)

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  1. socialistic ben says:

    What i hate the MOST bout this, is how nothing is going to happen.
    People who watch Fox will either be kept ignorant of it, or told BY fox it is no big deal. Either way it will make them trust Fox more.
    People who dont watch Fox because they (we) know what it is will only have our ideas about them reinforced and frankly it is not possible for me to think any less of that organization
    The rest of the people wont care and, if anything will just chalk it up to “distrustful media” because most people dont care to know the difference.
    I dont want anyone hurt… at all. But if there were a way for the whole building and infrastructure of Fox News to just go away forever…. man, i’d set that ball in motion.

  2. Jason330 says:

    The rest of the media needs to isolate and ostracize Fox News. It will not happen of course, because the rest of the media is just as diseased in their own way.

  3. socialistic ben says:

    Without Fox, MSNBC primetime would lose half their programming content…… no im not making a “both sides do it” argument.

  4. Jason330 says:

    Nobody thinks that MSNBC is a left-wing analog to Fox News. No honest person anyway.

  5. socialistic ben says:

    again….. didnt say it was. They DO spend (more or less) time on almost every show, almost every night talking about something horrible said on Fox….. dont think they dont enjoy that constant … faucet?… of material. Without Fox, there would be no Stephen Colbert….. think about THAT.

  6. Jason330 says:

    Comedy Central writers would watch ABC, and it would be every bit as mockable.

  7. socialistic ben says:

    i think you’re understating the comedy gold mine that is Fox’n’Friends, Bill-o, Hannity…….. ABC is just inept. Fox is Fox.

  8. cassandra_m says:

    The thing that ought to be alarming is Roger Ailes helping Rupert Murdoch in his effort to give the life of Charles Foster Kane a happy ending. How does the credibility of the freedom of the press survive when one news organization is going to hide behind that principle to try to buy an election?

  9. Dana Garrett says:

    After some of the news media actively participated in the failed coup attempt to militarily oust Hugo Chavez, Chavez revoked their rights to broadcast “news.” While it is impossible to completely divorce reporting news from news creation, the paradigm still has considerable social and democratic value. Flagrant abuses of the paradigm deserve governmental response on the grounds that one of the chief functions of government is to protect the democratic climate and processes of the people’s governmental and political business. FOX can act in such an egregious affront on the paradigm and nothing will happen.

    Chavez was correct.

  10. SussexWatcher says:

    Thankfully Dana Generalissimo Garrett is nowhere near the reins of power and the government cannot control the distribution of news. Are you fuggin’ crazy?

  11. cassandra_m says:

    I’d be pretty happy if the industry and its potential subjects just shunned Fox News. Part of their credibility largely derives from being treated as equal to other outlets. Which won’t make them go away, it makes them into the 700 Club. A service with a devoted audience that isn’t a credible voice in the political or civic conversation. Rupert already can finance a Presidential campaign a bunch of times over. They key would be to isolate Fox NEWS as a fringe organization to minimize the incentives for the rest of the MSM to rush to cover everything that Fox makes up.

  12. Dana Garrett says:

    Sussex Watcher, it’s impossible to respond to your criticism of my position since you offered zero arguments against it… just sarcastic mumbling. Now if you think that it’s perfectly OK for news agencies to throw coups and furtively select presidential candidates without repercussions, then make your case.

  13. Geezer says:

    Dana: The press, and its descendant the broadcast media, are specially protected by the First Amendment for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of participation in political activity. Indeed, the “press” of the day consisted mostly of political writing, most of it advocating one position/candidate or opposing another.

    It’s not whether we think it’s OK (though not “throwing coups,” which isn’t what was going on anyway), but there is actually lots of precedent for media people to overtly and/or covertly back candidates. It happened all the time with newspaper editors in the 19th century.

    The point isn’t that such activity should be outlawed; it’s that it should ruin Fox’s credibility as a source of unbiased news.

  14. Dana Garrett says:

    Geezer, I don’t have a problem with news organizations publicly encouraging and supporting individuals to run for office. But the emphasis is on “publicly.” But that is not what happened here. This was a furtive act outside the public domain. It was not an act of free speech. It was news creation behind closed doors. As such it’s a different category of activity from what you are discussing.