So I'm supposed to believe that this is a sincere expression of Roger Ailes's rage, and that Boss Rupert had nothing to do with it? Oh, please:
On Tuesday, Fox News Chief Roger Ailes said in a statement Donald Trump should apologize for a tirade of tweets aimed at Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise," Ailes statement reads....
Late Monday night Trump tweeted several times about Kelly, who had just returned to hosting after a vacation, writing that he "liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”
Trump also tweeted that Kelly was "really off her game" and retweeted a tweet that called Kelly a "bimbo."
It just seems way too coordinated:
Fellow Fox News hosts soon came to Kelly's defense.
"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday morning that Trump is "totally out of control" and that his attacks on Kelly are "totally unwarranted."
Host Bret Baier, who moderated the GOP debate with Kelly and Chris Wallace, tweeted "It's been 19 days since the debate - @realDonaldTrump has made his feelings clear. But THIS needs to stop," adding the hashtag "#letitgo."
Sean Hannity, who has one of the first interviews with Trump on Fox after the debate and initial Kelly flare-up, also tweeted his support of Kelly, though he called Trump a "friend."
There have also been tweets critical of Trump -- some of them less bridge-burning than others -- from Kirsten Powers, Bill Hemmer, Geraldo Rivera, Dana Perino, Fox contributor Michelle Fields, and even Fox meteorologist Janice Dean.
Here's the thing: Rupert Murdoch is clearly freaking out. He tweeted this on Sunday night:
I assume he's been thinking that Bloomberg might take voters away from the Democrats the way Trump would likely take them away from Republicans.
But wait, there's more -- look at what Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman spotted:
When questions arose about whether Murdoch would renew Ailes's contract, which was set to expire in 2016, Ailes reportedly said, "Rupert is going to need me to elect the next president." Ailes got that contract renewal -- but clearly his job is to get a Republican elected. And not thatkind of Republican -- Ailes is supposed to get someone elected who'll pursue an agenda somewhere between Establishmentarian and Kochian. Trump threatens that. So Ailes, on Murdoch's behalf, is clearly expected to rein him in now.
Ailes thinks of himself as a tough guy, but we'll see if he can really handle Trump. Maybe it's going to be total war -- but I think Ailes is going to see a serious hit to his ratings if he succeeds in bringing Trump down. But Murdoch my be giving him no choice.
Crossposted from No More Mister Nice Blog