Nestled deep in Sunday's Washington Post Style section, there is a little bombshell from Bob Woodward about secret messages passed by Fox News commentator KT McFarland to General David Petraeus about a possible run for the White House in 2012, or 2016.
The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. She did so at the end of a 90-minute, unfiltered conversation with Petraeus that touched on the general’s future, his relationship with the media and his political aspirations — or lack thereof. The Washington Post has obtained a digital recording from the meeting, which took place in Petraeus’s office in Kabul.
McFarland also said that Ailes — who had a decades-long career as a Republican political consultant, advising Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — might resign as head of Fox to run a Petraeus presidential campaign. At one point, McFarland and Petraeus spoke about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., which owns Fox News, would “bankroll” the campaign.
Roger Ailes shrugged it off with a laugh, minimizing McFarland's involvement as some kind of cloak-and-dagger joke. Anyone with half a brain knows that's nonsense. Roger Ailes would have died a happy man after running a Petraeus campaign.
There are a lot of disturbing things about just the snippet of audio I've posted above. The transcript is posted here, and highlights some of the things illustrating how deeply entrenched Fox News is in the military-industrial complex. Here's one highlight:
MCFARLAND:: That’s not the question at this point. He says that if you’re offered chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it, resign in six months and run for president. Okay? And I know you’re not running for president. But at some point when you go to New York next, you may want to just chat with Roger. And Rupert Murdoch, for that matter.
PETRAEUS: Well . . . Well, Rupert’s after me, as well. Look, I . . . what I have told people is, I truly want to continue to serve my country if it is in a — you know, a quite significantly meaningful position. And there’s all of about two of those in the world. You all have really got to shut your mouths — or shut your . . . Yeah, shut your mouths, too.
Yes, General Petraeus. Please do pay Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch a visit so they can determine your political future. Or the one you may have had before you started playing potsie with your biographer, anyway.
Who is Roger Ailes to be telling anyone what to do, anyway?
Honestly, it's McFarland that bothers me far more than Petraeus. For example, she raises the possibility of President Obama ignoring the Constitution and running for a third term.
Q: Well, but . . . and here’s the thinking: that they’re nervous about. . . . They feel that Obama had this mandate. And the mandate — in his own mind. Obama wanted to do Obamacare. . . . He wanted to do environment, which is basically controlling all aspects of the economy. And education, which is the future. So he pushed for Obamacare. He got that done. They didn’t anticipate 2010 results. But he now is going to lie low and be very centrist so that they win in ’12 and they get the other two. Now, what they need — and this is not from the chiefs, this is from political people — and what they need to cement it so that it doesn’t get reversed is a third term. And that means 2016, they need to win, the Democrats need to win, and they need to win with their guy. Their kind of guy. So that then you’d have the stuff as locked in place for a generation. Nobody can come in like Reagan came in and reverse.
And you thought wingnut theories were just for the likes of Alex Jones.
Earlier in the conversation Petraeus complains that Fox (yes, Fox!!!) has made a skeptical turn about the wars. That's disturbing too. At one point early in the recording, McFarland asks Petraeus what he thinks they're doing right or wrong. Petraeus' response is astonishing: He complains that they don't seem to be as gung-ho on the wars as they once were, and aren't bolstering them like they used to.
Kathleen McFarland isn't any kind of objective reporter at all. She's a Republican ideologue who cut her teeth in the Reagan administration, flogs "Benghazi-gate" to death every chance she gets, and functions as the Fox News spokespiece for neocon fantasies of world domination. Just a week ago, she was spouting nonsense on Fox News about Obama's Middle East policy being a failure because he does the opposite of George Bush. She was beside herself with joy at the prospect of a Mitt Romney presidency in August, and joined the frat boys on The Five to call young progressives "dorks" and "bastards."
If you are reading this and think we exaggerate here at C&L about Fox News, I suggest you listen to that paid Fox News commentator relay messages on behalf of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. When you finish, you'll realize how insidious Fox really is.