Fox News' founder is asking the network's Glenn Beck haters to stop "shooting in the tent," claiming the in-house anti-Beck vitriol is unprecedented in the company's 14-year history.
Roger Ailes dropped by Fox's Washington bureau Wednesday to give his staff a pep talk before the annual Radio and Television Correspondents' dinner, mediabistro.com reports.
The topic of conversation quickly turned to conservative commentator Glenn Beck, whose hyper-opinionated commentary is a ratings boon for Fox -- but also a recently revealed source of tension for the network’s other journalists.
A column in the Washington Post on Monday revealed that some Fox staffers are concerned the celebrity pundit is "becoming the face of the network."
Ailes pointed out that the information in The Post's column was leaked by Fox’s Washington bureau.
"For the first time in our 14 years, we’ve had people apparently shooting in the tent, from within the tent," he told them.
But the Fox chairman clarified that Beck’s opinions were not that of the network and were firmly within his rights as a commentator.
"We prefer people in the tent not dumping on other people in the tent," he added.
Ailes warned that people who found it hard to stand in Beck’s shadow had another option besides denigrating their own team.
"If I couldn’t defend the family, I’d leave,” he said.
I realize, naturally, that Fox isn't actually a news organization but rather a political organization, but still, this is rather stunning, even for them. Ailes always says there's a difference between the opinion shows and the news broadcasts. If that's so, then the other opinion shows should have the privilege of expressing differences of opinions with Beck, and the few "news" people should be in the business of debunking him if he requires debunking (and he does --- oh, how he does.) If nobody is allowed to "shoot inside the tent" they all become little Glenn Becks.
Maybe that's the plan.
Roger is telling his people that if they don't like Beck--either keep it in the family or you'll be sleeping with the fishes.