Friday, March 04, 2016

Founder of Fox News: "We're Finished With Rubio"

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In a turn of events, Fox News founder, chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said, "We're finished with the Rubio thing"---"I'm disappointed our meeting became public."

Who knew Fox News had a "thing" with presidential candidate Marco Rubio?

That's deeply disappointing. It's further disappointing to know who else was apparently part of the "Rubio thing."

In a time when the course of human events in American politics is twisting and turning like a well written novel, it's disappointing to learn some of it isn't fiction.

Watching the GOP debate last night, I was looking and listening through the lens of the following story.

I'll be talking more about last night's debate on the radio today. Join me from anywhere in the world live at 9 AM PST and rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PST.

There is much more detail to this story, that's why I have carefully linked each of the sources. The following is a very disappointing summary of what "Fair and Balanced" has come to mean---at least to some.

The New York Times first broke the story last week, reporting, "A few weeks after Senator Marco Rubio joined a bi-partisan push for an immigration overhaul in 2013, he arrived along with Senator Chuck Schumer at the executive dining room of News Corporation's Manhattan headquarters for dinner."

The dinner was with Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and Fox News founder, chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

The purpose of the meeting was to get Fox News on board with so-called "immigration reform," which over the following months Americans learned was a plan for amnesty in regard to the 11 million illegal aliens currently in our country.

Murdoch, a strong vocal and financial supporter of Hillary Clinton as well as so-called "immigration reform," and Ailes, who has been seen as "conservative" who incidentally launched Rush Limbaugh on the radio, told Rubio and Schumer they would support them and what became known as "The Gang of 8" by playing down or ignoring the immigration issue on the air---giving them some space to get their plan rooted.

This was not the first attempt to push immigration/amnesty through. The NYT says a similar meeting had been held back in 2011 with Senator Lindsay Graham and another future member of "The Gang of 8" who had asked Ailes and Murdoch for their support. Rush Limbaugh was also present as the senators walked them through the logic of what they wanted to do---assuring them it was not actually amnesty.

In the more recent meeting, the Times reports that Levine and Ingraham, who were also present, were not persuaded, however, the New York Times says, "Fox News anchors Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly became more supportive."

However, they told the senators there was so much anger over Obama's immigration policies that they should also bring in others for an expanded meeting, including Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levine, Laura Ingrham, Bill O'Reilly, etc.

When this NYT story broke last week, Sean Hannity immediately addressed it on the air. He said he and the other radio and television hosts would never compromise their conservative beliefs, and that no one at Fox had asked them to do so.

He further said that after the 2012 presidential loss by Mitt Romney he, "out of anger" and "off the cuff," said that he had evolved on immigration, but now regrets he said it and nobody has done more on immigration than he has.

He said the NYT piece is "categorically nothing but a bold faced lie about me." Regarding Rubio, he said he felt that Rubio had been doing well in the presidential campaign until the GOP establishment had set him down and told him to go after Trump, at which point Hannity told Rubio he is becoming "somebody who you're not..."

As this story continues to cascade across the media this week, the New York Magazine is now reporting, "Three Fox sources are saying the alliance [with Rubio] now seems to be over."

The Fox sources told NY Magazine that Roger Ailes has told people he's lost confidence in Rubio's ability to win, saying, "We're finished with Rubio," telling a Fox News host, "We can't do the Rubio thing anymore."

Multiple news sources are reporting that Roger Ailes has said that he "regrets that these meetings were leaked to the press."

There has been building resentment toward Fox News and some within the news organization for a variety of reasons, including because Rubio has indeed gotten preferential treatment.

In fact, I noticed Bill O'Reilly going to great length explaining that Fox has not given preference to Rubio, that he has been on their programs more because he is more available. I didn't know then what I know now.

Gateway Pundit says, "Trust in Fox News has declined 50% since January."

NY Magazine notes that Fox gave Rubio friendly interviews, while being much harder on the other candidates, they gave Rubio an exclusive response to President Obama's Oval Office address on ISIS and that many of the network's top pundits, including Stephen Hayes and Charles Krauthammer, have been enthusiastic supporters of Rubio.

They also note that Bill Sammon, Fox's Washington managing editor, is the father of Rubio's communication director, Brooke Sammon.

I have watched Fox News with a great deal of appreciation over the years. I felt they were at least "fair" and "balanced."

You may recall that Trump, Cruz and Carson have all expressed concern that Fox seemed to prefer Rubio. In fact, Trump skipped one debate while both Cruz and Carson have threatened to do so.

This is profoundly disappointing personally. Knowing how very biased the news organizations are, I had seen Fox News as a breath of fresh air. My disappointment extends more to the principle involved than to the candidates themselves. Is all Fox News merely a vehicle for management's message?

I will continue to watch on occasion, but with a much more discerning eye, ear and heart.

While Roger Ailes is saying, "We're finished with Rubio," and "We can't do the Rubio thing anymore," his boss Rupert Murdoch is moving away from the "Rubio thing" a little more slowly.

On Feb. 10, following a debate in which Chris Christie hit Rubio hard on his immigration policy, calling it amnesty, Rupert Murdoch made one last attempt to resuscitate the candidate.

Murdoch Tweeted, "Chris Christie, suicide bomber. Damages victim while blowing himself up."

The victim? Marco Rubio.

Mitt Romney's speech yesterday was as expected, an attempt to remove Trump. The new GOP mantra is one of urgency to find a candidate that will "unite" the Party---forget Cruz. He does not factor in because he is divisive---he thinks for himself and tries to do what he promised his voters he would do once elected.

With Jeb Bush gone, Rubio in free fall and Trump and Cruz getting well over 50% of the vote, the GOP establishment is desperate.

Perhaps Murdoch's Tweet would better describe the Republican Party than Chris Christie.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Blessed.