In the same week that the New York Times published a commentary that acknowledged that we might win the war, Russ Buettner of the Times wrote a piece questioning the relationship between Rudolph Guiliani and Roger Ailes. Ailes is former political consultant and head of the Fox News Channel and a 20 year friend of Mayor Rudolph Guiliani. They grew up in the same battles, working for the same causes and are friends.
In the good old days, there wouldn’t have been any friendships like this one. Journalists were decidedly middle class. They were vagabonds that traveled and reported on the people and the places of the day. They were guys like Ernie Pyle and Edward R. Murrow and they wouldn’t have befriended politicians.
With that said, the electronic media has changed all that. Journalists have become stars who live and work with the politicians. They go to the same parties and their kids go to the same schools. In “holy cities” of Washington and New York — politicians and media moguls know each other and measure each other’s star quality.
Buettner questions whether the friendship of Ailes and Guiliani will affect the coverage of the Mayor on the Fox News Channel. He cites the situation in New York City during Guiliani’s time as Mayor and the Fox News Channel was new. Time Warner Cable would not carry Fox News Channel as one of its channels in New York City. So Ailes went to Guiliani and he leaned on Time Warner. This happens in towns all over this country. If you have a business in a city, you go to the Mayor if you have a problem.
Let’s be clear, every candidate for president gets invited regularly to be on FNC — on CNN and MSNBC, too, for that matter. Russ Buettner says that FNC is the “pre-eminent media outlet for likely voters in a Republican primary.” If that is true, then the New York Times is the pre-eminent newspaper of the likely voters of the Democrat primary. So follow this logic. The Democrat candidates have staged a boycott of the FNC debates and have said they don’t want to participate on Fox. So why is the leading Democrat bullhorn bashing the relationship between the Mayor and the Mogul? Guiliani knows that he needs to be on Fox as do most of the other Republican candidates. The Democrat candidates better figure that out and soon. This presidential election is the Democrats to lose and they seem to be trying their hardest (to lose it). Hooray!
But in the interest in fairness and balance, where are the constant references to Tim Russert and his relationship with Mario Cuomo or Daniel Patrick Moynihan? Where are the constant references to the working relationship of Chris Matthews and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Heck, even Dianne Sawyer, the token anchor who worked for a Republican (Nixon) isn’t questioned about her ability to be unbiased in the political arena. Their ability to keep business separated from pleasure is never called into question, but flash a Fox News Channel logo at any self-respecting mainstream journalist and their head will spin around just like Linda Blair’s in “The Exorcist.”
The fact of the matter is, the questioning of Fox is about green, not money, but jealousy. Fox News gives people what they want — good news reporting and lively debate on issues. They play to Peoria, not to the inside the Beltway crowd. It’s hard to remember those days long ago when CNN was the new kid on the block. The guys at the NYT didn’t think that was real news either, but they didn’t question Ted Turner hobnobbing with politicians. This is one of the big double standards in America today and that is, if you are a leftist, you can’t be corrupted, but watch out for those conservatives, they are rotten to the core. The truth is, the left can’t stand after trying to silence conservatives for generations, Rush Limbaugh and Roger Ailes gave average Americans a voice and the people of this country responded.
If you want to be President, then you need to be on TV and you to take every opportunity to be in front of 3 million viewers. And the conspiracy theories abound that Ailes is plotting a Rudy Revolution. It’s more likely that Rudy understands that he needs to take the opportunities being the frontrunner of the moment affords him.