Roger Ailes attacks the President in an interview with Howard Kurtz. Do the Beltway media have an opinion on the fact that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, is attacking a sitting President of the United States? When has any other leader of
November 18, 2010

Roger Ailes Getty Image.jpg
Roger Ailes attacks the President in an interview with Howard Kurtz.

Do the Beltway media have an opinion on the fact that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, is attacking a sitting President of the United States? When has any other leader of a supposed "news" network ever attacked a sitting president in such a partisan way?

Howard Kurtz: interviewed Ailes for the Daily Beast and as always, it turned into a partisan attack-fest and Glenn Beck deflection event.

He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with.”

The 70-year-old Ailes, dressed in a lavender shirt and tie, goes on in this vein, saying the network isn’t singling out Obama for criticism but that its style “tends to be more direct” in challenging presidents. Then he offers this observation about Obama:

“He just has a different belief system than most Americans.”

That seems a rather loaded phrase—different belief system—even if you strongly disagree with most of Obama’s policies. It fits the view of those who are trying to paint the president as being outside the mainstream. But from the big second-floor office at Fox’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, it’s the rest of the media that are using a distorted lens.

And to just keep his partisan attacks, he went after former Bushie Scott McClellan, who exposed some of the machinations of the Bush administration:

But Ailes took an unprovoked swipe at Robert Gibbs, saying the press secretary “is a little big for his britches” and “will end up like that little shithead who worked for Bush”—meaning Scott McClellan, the onetime loyalist who wrote a book criticizing his former boss. Gibbs and the White House declined to respond.

Gibbs responded by stating the obvious.

“I think if you watch most of the programming on that channel, I don’t think you would find many of those comments surprising,” Gibbs told reporters at the White House.

If I didn't know Ailes was in charge of a cable network I would say he sounds just like the Bircheresque Tea Partiers. Why was Obama elected with a mandate if his belief system is not American? Oh, that's right. it's more code words for "socialism." Has anybody asked Ailes why it's OK for Fox to put on their payroll most of the GOP presidential field for 2012? I think I was the first to bring this up many moons ago. They've been smart to keep Romney off their roster or else the beltway press wouldn't possibly be able to ignore that, right? Ha. OK, I stand corrected.

Roger also admitted to scolding Glenn Beck for his off-the-wall statements -- at least, those attacking Republicans -- but realistically he's thrilled that Beck has whipped up the conspiracy theory arm of the GOP. Anytime they can attack liberals it's all hands on deck for Fox. He does defend Beck from the vociferous complaints by the ADL after Mr. Rodeo Clown went on an anti-Semitic rant against George Soros.

The Fox chief offers a more spirited defense of Beck, who has come under sharp criticism for an attack last week on liberal activist and philanthropist George Soros.

Beck said that Soros, at age 14, accompanied a Hungarian to help him “deliver papers to the Jews, and confiscate their property, and then ship them off… Here’s a Jewish boy helping send the Jews to the death camps.” Beck added that Soros had no choice but that he didn’t understand why Soros had done no “soul searching” about his past. The Anti-Defamation League assailed Beck’s remarks as “completely inappropriate and offensive.” But after Ailes spoke to its national director, Abe Foxman, the ADL executive softened his criticism in a statement calling Beck “a strong supporter of Israel and the Jewish people.

What really angers Ailes is not the fact that he called Obama a a racist, nope. It's when Beck goes after Republicans. That's something he just can't have. Never.

What about Beck’s other inflammatory outbursts, such as calling Obama a racist? Ailes says that everyone who ad libs for a living makes mistakes. But admits to asking Beck to watch his tone: “He and I have had conversations and lunches where I say, ‘What the hell are you doing, man?’…Beck trashes Republicans every night. I’ve said to him, ‘Where the hell are you going to get your audience if you keep this up? You’re trashing everyone.’”
The message was loud and clear. Only attack the left and never, ever attack your base...I mean Republicans.

Beck takes such criticism well, Ailes explains, “because he’s so intelligent and basically sensitive.”

Phony tears to Ailes means that he's sensitive. Yea, his eyes are sensitive to foreign substances being put in them, like Vicks Vaporub.

This was too funny to pass up. We've known all along that Glenn Beck is a two-bit phony. Now we see how Glenn Beck gets himself properly weepy for the cameras: A little Vicks Vaporub.

One might dismiss this as merely a one-off for this shoot. But you can hear Beck himself say:

Beck: I think it's getting used to it -- my eyes are getting used to it.

From regular and continuous use, mayhaps?

And there's one other thing Ailes can't handle.

There’s one criticism that Ailes doesn’t want to hear. He admonished the staff after unnamed Fox journalists told me they are worried that the divisive Beck is becoming the face of the network.

“Yeah, shut up,” says Ailes. “You’re getting a paycheck. Go on the team or get off the team. Don’t run around here badmouthing a colleague.”

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