Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Fox News ‘officially’ part of the GOP-Fox News chief’s failed attempt to enlist Petraeus as presidential candidate

Posted by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM
  • 18 Replies


Fox News chief’s failed attempt to enlist Petraeus as presidential candidate


So in spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to Petraeus, who was then the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there. Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested.

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.

“Rupert’s after me as well,” Petraeus told McFarland.

McFarland said she had spoken “directly” to the Fox News chairman and the “advice to you from Roger Ailes is. . . . He says that if you’re offered [JCS] chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it; resign in six months and run for president.”

Petraeus demurred, saying he would consider the CIA directorship if Obama offered it, as the president did several weeks later. Petraeus was confirmed and sworn in as director on Sept. 6, 2011. He resigned a year later, on Nov. 9, after the disclosure of an extramarital affair with his biographer.

In a telephone interview Monday, the wily and sharp-tongued Ailes said he did indeed ask McFarland to make the pitch to Petraeus. “It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” he said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”

Ailes added, “It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . . She was way out of line. . . . It’s someone’s fantasy to make me a kingmaker. It’s not my job.” He said that McFarland was not an employee of Fox but a contributor paid less than $75,000 a year.

Petraeus, Murdoch and McFarland did not respond to calls and messages requesting comment.

When McFarland first said she had a message directly from Ailes, Petraeus said, “With no one else in the room, I hope?”

Later she said, “I’m only reporting this back to Roger. And that’s our deal.”

Petraeus said it was okay to relay his response to Ailes, adding “that has to be off the record.”

“His deal with me was that I was only supposed to talk to you,” McFarland said. “And he is a little paranoid, so believe me, he doesn’t have anybody in that room.”

At the meeting, some 18 months ago, Petraeus told McFarland that he thought the CIA was “a treasure. . . . I think that organization is full of just heroes. Unsung heroes.” He went on to say, “We’re going to be retrenching militarily.” In contrast, the CIA and the intelligence agencies, “I think, are going to be a growth industry,” Petraeus said.

While rejecting Ailes’ advice, Petraeus said, “I love Roger. . . . He’s a brilliant guy.”

Petraeus said he “would love to see” Ailes on his next trip to New York, where Ailes has his office.

“Tell him if I ever ran,” Petraeus said, and then laughed, “but I won’t . . . but if I ever ran, I’d take him up on his offer. . . . He said he would quit Fox . . . and bankroll it.”

“Bankroll it?” asked McFarland, who served as a senior aide to Henry Kissinger and later as a Pentagon spokeswoman in the Reagan administration.

“Or maybe I’m confusing that with Rupert,” Petraeus said.

“I know Roger, he’s done okay,” McFarland replied, “but . . . no, I think the one who’s bankrolling it is the big boss.”

“That might be it,” Petraeus said.

“Okay,” McFarland said, “the big boss is bankrolling it. Roger’s going to run it. And the rest of us are going to be your in-house.”

“Yeah, right, okay,“ Petraeus said.

“We’re all set.”

“It’s never going to happen,” Petraeus said. “You know it’s never going to happen. It really isn’t.

“My wife would divorce me,” he added. “And I love my wife. . . . We have a beautiful house.” Both Petraeus and McFarland laughed. “With his-and-hers bathrooms, believe it or not. I just want to live in it. I’ve never spent a night in it.”

* * *

The digital recording also provides a glimpse into the close relationship Petraeus had with the news media, especially Fox News. At one point, McFarland declared that “everybody at Fox loves you,” adding that Ailes had directed her to ask Petraeus whether “there [is] anything Fox is doing, right or wrong, that you want to tell us to do differently?”

Petraeus didn’t hesitate. “The editorial policy of Fox had shifted,” he said. “It was almost as if, because they’re going after Obama, they had to go after Obama’s war as well.” He said he had discussed this with Bret Baier, a key Fox anchor.

“Papers and news outlets have editorial policies,” Petraeus said. “They know sort of how their bosses feel about things . . . and it causes a certain shading,” Petraeus continued.

One example, according to Petraeus: “Off the record, the New York Times was never going to give Bush or Iraq a break. I don’t care what happened.

“In fact, one time Thom Shanker [a Times military correspondent], who I think very highly of, wrote a piece. And it was on me, before I was going to testify one time, and they had — a pretty good piece, I mean, factual, in other words. Again, all we want is the truth. We’re not out to spin. But then it had this sort of really odd thing inserted in it. And it was something that had been proven unfounded, but it sort of bounced around on the MoveOn.org kind of Webs. And I said, ‘Thom, where did that come from?’ He said, ‘Oh, that was added by the editors.’ ”

Both journalists had different recollections. Baier said he recalled no such conversation with Petraeus. “That’s B.S.,” he said. “We cover the war the same way no matter what administration is in power.”

Shanker also said he did not remember saying anything resembling what Petraeus asserted. “I don’t blame the editors for what appears under my byline,” he said. “It undermines your own credibility.”

* * *

In the meeting with McFarland, Petraeus gave his standard line about the Afghanistan war, saying there had been significant progress, but “that progress remains fragile and reversible.”

McFarland mentioned her conversation with Petraeus in a FoxNews.com piece on April 27, 2011. “Our discussion was off the record, and to respect that I will not quote the general,” she wrote. By that time, it was clear that Petraeus would be nominated as CIA director. “I can’t help thinking that the Obama administration has done something a bit underhanded but politically shrewd by tapping Petraeus for the CIA,” she added, because it would remove him as a “potential rival” in the presidential contest.

On Monday, Ailes, 72, said there was “zero chance” he would leave Fox to reenter politics for Petraeus or anyone else. “The money is too good,” he said, declining to say how much he earned, although reliable reports have pegged the amount at roughly $20 million per year under a new four-year contract.

“I left politics in 1988 because I hated it,” Ailes said. “My main interest is seeing my 12-year-old’s basketball games.”

Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this report.


Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 5, 2012 at 11:58 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/fox-news-chiefs-failed-attempt-to-enlist-petraeus-as-presidential-candidate/2012/12/03/15fdcea8-3d77-11e2-a2d9-822f58ac9fd5_story_1.html

You can follow/click that link to hear the audio clip.

Found it on Youtube:




Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

lga1965
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM

 Egads.

Wouldn't you just know it....Faux News.Duhhh.

_Kissy_
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:05 AM

There's just too many questionable aspects of this story..

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Which parts do you find Questionable?

Quoting _Kissy_:

There's just too many questionable aspects of this story..


Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

_Kissy_
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:24 AM

K.T. McFarland, the Fox News analyst, says that Bob Woodward was "off base" to suggest that her boss Roger Ailes was serious about trying to enlist Gen. David Petraeus to run for president.

"I know now that Roger was joking, but at the time, I wasn’t sure," McFarland writes in a column for FoxNews.com. Woodward "was way off base to characterize it as a serious attempt to get him to run, or to give him political advice."

Earlier this week, Woodward reported that Ailes used McFarland to advise Gen. Petraues to run for president unless President Obama offered him the top military position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. An audio recording of that conversation also shows McFarland asking Petraeus, per Ailes' request, if there was "anything Fox is doing right or wrong that you want to tell us to do differently."

But McFarland now claims that she and Petraeus "were having fun."

"Having just told me definitively that he wouldn’t run, he suggested that maybe Ailes could run this non-existent campaign. It was not a serious conversation plotting General Petraeus’ political future; it was the kind of idle speculation that happens in every campaign season," McFarland writes. "That’s why they call it the silly season. I knew he was serious about not wanting to run, and he knew I wasn’t serious in pressing it."

Reached for comment regarding the audio tape, Ailes had dismissed the proposal to Petraeus as “more of a joke, a wiseass way I have." Ailes also said McFarland "was way out of line" and even disclosed her salary, noting she was a contributor making less than $75,000 a year.

McFarland is now echoing Ailes' remarks, and sounds equally dismissive of those who took the proposal seriously.

"I realize conspiracy theorists have used this off-the-record interview to claim it was some plot to put Petraeus in the Oval Office," she continues. "But it was little more than one defense analyst (me) trading some political gossip and laughs with one of the country’s most important military leaders (Petraeus)."

UPDATE (5:48 p.m.): Post managing editor Liz Spayd tells POLITICO Woodward's facts are "absolutely solid."

_Kissy_
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:24 AM

The Washington Post is standing by Bob Woodward's report that Fox News president Roger Ailes tried to enlist Gen. David Petraeus to run for president, despite criticism from a key player in the talks who called Woodward's report "silly" and "off base."

"The facts are absolutely solid, and supported by the audio tape on our site, which anyone can listen to," Liz Spayd, the Post's managing editor, told POLITICO.

Fox News analyst K.T. McFarland, who was reportedly sent by Ailes to propose the presidential bid, recently wrote that Ailes "was joking" and that it "was way off base to characterize it as a serious attempt to get him to run, or to give him political advice." Ailes himself told Woodward earlier that the proposal was "more of a joke, a wiseass way I have."

Nevertheless, audio tape obtained by Woodward shows McFarland telling Petraeus, on behalf of Ailes, that if the General was not offered the top military position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he should run for president.

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Just curious if you listened to the Audio or read the transcripts?

Quote:


Q: I know. And he loves you, and everybody at Fox loves you. So what I’m supposed to say directly from him to you, through me, is first of all, is there anything Fox is doing, right or wrong, that you want to tell us to do differently?


Quote:


Q: Now, the other thing — I know you’ve only got a minute left — the other thing, which is directly advice to you from Roger Ailes is . . .

Man: You want us to leave, sir? [Laughter]

Petraeus: [Laughs] I’m not runnin’.

Q: 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

That happens around 5:40. It doesn't seem like a joke at all. It seems clear that Petraeus knew what was coming and said, "I'm not runnin'" and then she gives the advice to set him up for the President Position.


Quote:

Petraeus: But if I ever ran, I’d take him up on his offer.


I don't see how that can be a joke. He is telling her No and instead of just laughing it off and being like, "ha ha just kidding" she gives him advice on what to do to set him up to be a Presidential candidate.

With the audio there they obviously could not say, "We didn't do that!" so they are going the, "It was a joke!" route. but if you read or listen to it-It's pretty obvious it is not a joke.

Perhaps it is only a joke because he said he would never take the offer.

Quoting _Kissy_:

The Washington Post is standing by Bob Woodward's report that Fox News president Roger Ailes tried to enlist Gen. David Petraeus to run for president, despite criticism from a key player in the talks who called Woodward's report "silly" and "off base."

"The facts are absolutely solid, and supported by the audio tape on our site, which anyone can listen to," Liz Spayd, the Post's managing editor, told POLITICO.

Fox News analyst K.T. McFarland, who was reportedly sent by Ailes to propose the presidential bid, recently wrote that Ailes "was joking" and that it "was way off base to characterize it as a serious attempt to get him to run, or to give him political advice." Ailes himself told Woodward earlier that the proposal was "more of a joke, a wiseass way I have."

Nevertheless, audio tape obtained by Woodward shows McFarland telling Petraeus, on behalf of Ailes, that if the General was not offered the top military position as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff he should run for president.


Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:03 AM

 OMG!  You can't be serious?!  A powerful person trying to get someone to run for political office.......................  So.

 

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I am sure that those who watch Fox News will find nothing at all wrong with this and most likely would think it a good idea.

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:14 AM

The point must be going over your head.

Fox News claims to be Fair and Balanced. They often blame other media Outlets for being 'bias'. In fact they just had an uproar a few days ago because President Obama invited some News people that didn't include any Fox members.

And here we have members from Fox all the way at the top who are trying to get a 'powerful' person to run for Political Office. Does that sound like a Fair and Balanced news organization?

They also ask him if there is anything he wants them to change. Again-Fair and balanced?

There are a lot of people who tend to believe that Fox News is fair and balanced and isn't bias. And that it is not a media outlet for the GOP/Republicans. But here is evidence suggesting that it is.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 OMG!  You can't be serious?!  A powerful person trying to get someone to run for political office.......................  So.

 


Join us on the 99% Moms group!
The Ninety-Nine Percent Moms   

If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)