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With Friends Like Fox News Palin Is Better Off With Her Enemies





Recently we had a series of discussions with someone familiar with the inside dealings of Fox News regarding the way Fox News treats Governor Palin. While I don’t condone using anonymous sources (I usually make fun of those citing anonymous sources) unfortunately we cannot reveal the source. So we have therefore gathered the evidence that will back up everything we were told and it’s up to the reader to come to his or her own conclusion. Whichever way you look at it, the evidence is astonishing on how Fox News is out to sabotage Governor Palin.

When Roger Ailes hired Governor Palin, he thought he was hiring a puppet. He thought that he would groom her, train her, educate her and prop her up to become his candidate for president and that he would be able to pull her strings. Sort of being to Sarah Palin what George Soros is to Barack Obama.

It didn’t take him long to find out that Governor Palin comes with no strings attached. No one tells her what to do, no one dictates to her, and no one controls her. Unlike the current occupant of the Oval Office, Governor Palin has a mind of her own.

In March 2010, when Governor Palin did Real American Stories, Fox News botched it up by using an interview with LL Cool J without asking him. They eventually took it out but it became an international controversy which took away from the effect of the show and hurt the Governor. Governor Palin didn’t take it sitting down and she confronted Fox about the debacle. Ailes didn’t take it lightly.

When Bill O’Reilly kept interrupting her interviews and finally Governor Palin confronted him on television, Bill’s ego was hurt and he didn’t like it. Governor Palin warned O’Reilly to behave or else.

In an article in the New York Mag Gabriel Sherman writes about Roger Ailes:

“He thinks things are going in a bad direction,” another Republican close to Ailes told me. “Roger is worried about the future of the country. He thinks the election of Obama is a disaster. He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.”

Fox of course stonewalled and came out and sort of denied it. The truth is that both are right. Ailes does not think Governor Palin is an idiot, far from it. He thinks Palin is shrewd. Though, as Sherman points out that “Fox’s PR department is notoriously strict when it comes to internal leaks,” Fox deliberately had that leaked in an attempt to kick Governor Palin in the shins. Ailes does believe that he helped boost her up and that she owes him her fame. He also believes that Palin is hurting the Fox brand.

It has been reported that before Governor Palin made the video in response to being accused of murder, she called Roger Ailes and asked for his advice. Governor Palin called a number of people and the advice was split; some told her to ignore it, others advised her that it would do her good to respond. Everyone she spoke to was well aware that she was simply reaching out to hear opinions and their advice was non-committal. Roger Ailes advised her to “lie low, there’s no need to inject yourself into the story”

After examining her options, Governor Palin decided to do the video. Ailes was disappointed that she didn’t take his advice. But why?

In an interview with Russell Simmons that was posted on the website, globalgrind.com, Ailes said in relation to the Arizona shooting that “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.” To protect the Fox brand, Ailes also wanted the network to distance itself from Palin who was the number one target of the left. Ailes feared that by Governor Palin’s association to the network, which was also somewhat targeted, Fox would be pulled into it even deeper.

It was at that point when Fox decided to throw Governor Palin under the bus. Ailes’ advice to Governor Palin had nothing to do with protecting her; it was all about protecting the Fox brand. Governor Palin realized that she was on her own and even those who she thought she could count on to defend her were about to stab her in the back. It was from that point onwards that Fox’s attitude towards Palin changed and in the following days every pundit on the network went from “Palin needs to respond” just a day before her video was released, to “Palin should have shut up” the next day.  The day before the video was released Bill O’Reilly complained that he invited Palin on his show to respond, which he thought was important for her to do, but the next day argued she should have ignored it.

That was the turning point for Ailes where he decided that Governor Palin is not his candidate and that he’ll do whatever he can to make sure she isn’t. Ailes needed someone he could control and Governor Palin clearly wasn’t that person. Sometime in recent months the word went out internally that reporters, anchors and contributors should push the narrative that Palin isn’t running as hard they can. No matter what Palin says or does or what the polls say, the rule is simple “Palin isn’t running and everything she does is either for fun or for money”.

At the time of this posting we have mixed reports and cannot confirm whether the message came down as “this is the way we’re doing it” or if it came in by way of leading the staff to believe that management has information that Governor Palin was in fact not running. The difference comes down to whether the show hosts are being misled or are playing along.

Simultaneously, all the show hosts went from Governor Palin being a first tier candidate to Palin is not running. Chris Wallace went from Palin is a serious contender, to Palin isn’t running,  Fox and Friends hosts went from being very much supportive of Palin to Palin isn’t running. Only this week on Tuesday did Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade discuss wehther Palin’s one nation bus tour was a sign that Governor Palin is running for president. Wednesday, Doocy said, “is she running, probably not.” Carlson appeared to be biting her tongue. It appeared they got the memo a little late. If by accident some contributor or host does suggest she may be running they quickly, turn it to “but she has no shot at winning”

At the time of writing this post the following appeared on the Fox News home page as the line of the night:

Fox went into high gear hyping Michele Bachmann. Not that Ailes thinks much of Bachmann (some suggest because Fox didn’t want to appear sexist, hyping another female candidate gives them cover), but it was to push a narrative that Palin is stepping on Bachmann’s toes.  Never mind that Governor Palin was a potential candidate for nearly three years and the only reason Bachmann got in was because she saw an opening after the Arizona shooting. Ironically at the same time Ailes decided to throw Palin under the bus.

The facts speak for themselves. In my research for this article I was astonished at the level Fox stooped to diminish Palin. While this has been going on for weeks, this post can only be so long, the following examples are from the past seven days or so alone:

• When other politicians only jokingly say that they are thinking about running for president like they think about other stuff, Fox immediately runs with that person being a serious potential candidate. However when Palin does things that had any other candidate have done the exact same things Fox would have reported it as them seriously considering a run, with Palin it’s covered as her just building her brand.

• Usually when Fox does segments they try to keep it fair and balanced. They’ll usually bring on two people one from each side of the argument. Lately on segments related to Palin they’ll bring on one democrat who’ll claim Palin isn’t running and is doing it for money, while the republican or “supposedly” Palin defender will just agree with what the democrat said or slightly spin  it in a different direction such as saying that Palin isn’t running and she’s playing for king maker role. Conservatives4Palin has reached out to Fox and offered to go on the network to defend and talk about the Governors record to balance those segments. While the person we spoke to was originally enthusiastic about the idea, Fox suddenly stopped responding to emails.

• On May 26 Gallup released a poll showing Palin effectively tied with Romney, while Fox displayed the poll on screen, during the segment Palin’s name didn’t even come up once, not even by accident. While all the other potential and non-potential candidates, even the completely irrelevant ones, were discussed at length.

• This week during Palin’s bus tour Fox had not on a single contributor who even remotely suggested that Palin may be running while even those who regularly defended Palin were beginning to take cheap shots at the Governor.

• The Bus tour itself was embargoed till Thursday (May 26th) 3pm but it was Fox news’s Carl Cameron who broke the embargo at noon.

• Bill O’Reilly had multiple segments this week discussing Governor Palin, he didn’t find it necessary to bring in even one person that would even remotely suggest that Palin may even be considering a run. He let Dick Morris get away with claiming that Palin has ADD, and allowed Charles Krauthammer, whose frame of reference about Palin is weak, go on and talk about a topic he knows nothing about.

• On Monday May 31st Fox news Special Report did a Bachmann vs palin poll and even though Palin led 71-28 Fox reported it that Bachmann was leading 55 to 45 the following snapshot was taken within 10 minutes of the results being announced.

• Every time Governor Palin does an interview on Fox, she’ll talk policy for 15 minutes and just at the end the host will ask some dumb question related to some controversial issue and that is the headline Fox will be running with, ignoring her substance and run with the trivia. Fox practically forced Governor Palin to come on to talk about the controversy surrounding the White House inviting the rapper common to the poetry ceremony. Something they would never have asked another potential presidential candidate to do.

• Fox has also been giving quite a bit of attention to the hit piece book by disgruntled Palin aid Frank Bailey. The book was mentioned on multiple segments on various shows.  Bailey appeared on the Hannity show where he was excoriated by Sean Hannity, but he also appeared on Alan Colmes’ radio show. Colmes was sympathetic to Bailey. It was the Colmes interview that made it to the Fox website soon after it aired while the Hannity interview was posted 24 hours later.

And this is how the Fox Nation ran with the Bailey story. While generally supportive of Governor Palin, it leads with this rather damning paragraph:

A former member of Sarah Palin’s inner circle has written a scathing tell-all, saying Palin was ready to quit as governor months before she actually resigned and was eager to leave office when more lucrative opportunities came around.

Now for the revelation: Fox wants Palin out but they don’t want to suspend her contract because by doing so they’ll be conceding that she’s a serious contender. Fox won’t do anything that would lend her credibility. They just want her to resign. The tactic now is to make Palin’s life as difficult and as miserable as possible until Palin just gets frustrated and leaves on her own citing irreconcilable differences. Things are going to get worse. Fox is about to up the ante and it’s going to get ugly.

While the entire Fox cast, reporters and contributors alike, have all teamed up, by leading or being misled, to sabotage Governor Palin, the Governor does have two friends at the network: Sean Hannity and Greta van Susteren. They still defend her and take her seriously. It is for this reason that while Fox is increasingly reducing Governor Palin’s appearances on the network, the Governor is mostly only doing interviews with Hannity and Greta.

Yesterday Governor Palin met with her bosses at Fox News. While we are not aware of what went on in that meeting and what if anything came of it, in a statement executive vice president of programming Bill Shine said “Right now there is no change in her status with FOX News.” Ben Smith makes an interesting observation:

The “right now” didn’t appear in earlier statements.

Hopefully Ben is on to something and the “right now” is short lived. Governor Palin doesn’t need this crap, it’s time for her to leave Fox News so she can freely do what she wants to do, that is talk to other networks who, even though they trash her all day, at least they take her as a serious threat and presidential contender.


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67 Responses to “With Friends Like Fox News Palin Is Better Off With Her Enemies”

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-369">
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this report, Sheya. It became obvious that something was up at FOX when Brit Hume started reciting the same talking points as the usual suspects.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-370">

    i totally agree. i don’t believe she’s pretending to run and she doesn’t really mean it. SHE IS RUNNING. SHE WANTS TO WIN. if she were to give up… i would lose so much trust in her. i would feel like she led us on. but she’s not like that. she’s honest.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-371">

    vindicated!!! lol

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-372">

    i noticed that too. she’s a contributor, kate obenshain is not. andrea wasn’t sure she was running, kate was optimistic. it’s because andrea has to stay under the fox narrative.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-378">

    Yes, exactly. She is running, because the opposite supposition does not make any sense. Even in her unconventional way, she is the MOST conventional candidate right now: bus tour, meeting and greeting, interviews, fundraising, stumps, galvanizing media attention, etc, all this is candidate behavior. Otherwise, she would be lazing around by her new swimming pool! In my humble opinion her plan A is to run for 2012. No question. Absolutely, Abso-F*cking-lutely. If she does not become the nominee, which I Doubt, but if she doesn’t, Plan B is to run at some future time for a senate or congressional seat, with another try at it in 2016. FoxNews commentators are always saying its 2012 and then the world ends. That is nonsense, rubbish. The world is Palins and we are living in it.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-386">
    Cathy says:

    I agree, I’m going to send out an email to my list to read the two articles by Sheya and tell them that I’m no longer watching Fox and let them make up their own minds.  But knowing my group, they like me, won’t like the underhanded methods Fox is employing especially against one of their own employees and will probably stop watching Fox also. 

    I saw an article today while surfing that showed Fox ratings are dropping – hopefully they will drop some more.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-387">
    Cathy says:

    True – but it will be interesting to see how they treat her once she declares.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-392">
    Anonymous says:

    It was suspected that Fox wants her to resign not suspend the contract or terminate it for breach without good legal reason in which case they may have to pay settlement also. Gov is smart enogh to run circles around them playing with words. Let us see how it goes. When she goes on Fox she should go completely rogue and criticise Fox also. No way the contract would have content control I assume. Make it impossible for them to continue also.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-393">
    Anonymous says:

    I am not sure Oreilly’s hardly does any research and has low knowledge and accuracy level. Greta and Beck are good on Facts. Hannity has his opinion and generally supports every conservative candidate. Though I am surprised by him doing things against Fox bosses. This will improve his image in my eyes. Chris Wallace and Bret used to allow guests to do any opnion talking and normally played the role of devils advocate fairly. But in Gov Palin case they are also slipping on their fairness.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-402">
    Michael T. says:

    Good piece Sheya. You make some very intriguing observations.

    Here’s my take on Fox News kingpin Roger Ailes.
     
    He is a pragmatic tough hardliner who doesn’t think Sarah Palin can win due in part to her high negatives – especially with independents.
     
    So he is on the horns of a dilemma. How does he downplay Palin’s presidential aspirations without alienating the significant Tea Party viewing audience of Fox News?
     
    My guess is that he is hoping someone more conservative than Romney (perhaps Huntsman or Christi) will emerge as a realistic alternative for the GOP nomination. My observation has always been that his all-consuming focus is defeating Obama. This supercedes any loyalty or affection he may have for any of his employees at FNC. A close second is an extremely protective attitude toward the Fox News brand, which borders on being an obsession.
     
    Meanwhile some of his minions are advancing the narrative that “Sarah Palin is not running”, which is a clever way to disguise the fact that Roger Ailes really doesn’t want Fox News to endorse a candidate who he feels is such a longshot.
     
    What could get interesting is if Palin’s advisors decide a third party candidacy would be a better opportunity to sustain her brand compared to a tough (perhaps embarrassing) loss in Iowa and followed by another in New Hampshire.
     
    Then what will be the new Fox narrative with a significant portion of the FNC audience favoring someone other than the GOP candidate. This could get very touchy and intriguing.

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-409">
    Shelby Storm says:

    CNN will pick up Palin’s contract in a second if she leaves Fox, and Fox knows it. Some of this info was in NY magazine, which also quoted anonymous sources and is not reliable. NY Mag is a very liberal magazine and very anti-Palin.

    Fox cares about its brand and they want viewers to perceive them as unbiased with the election coming up. This whole Bus tour really must have annoyed Ailes because the running questions were constantly being asked and if they suspended Newt and Santorum, they would have to suspend her contract also. Palin still drives viewership to Fox and they have financial reasons to keep her as long as possible.

    Hannity likes Palin for her politics and her grit and Greta likes Sarah the person,  I believe. They have been very fair to her. O’Reilly doesnt want to be overshadowed by anyone especially a woman plus he has a huge ego. He can still manage to get interviews with Obama so he likes to portay himself as very centrist. I doubt Palin will go on his program again.

    I think Palin will finish her Bus tours in Midwest, SC and West Coast and then she will make a decision soon- I say a few more weeks so she sees the whole field of GOP’ers. Everybody else will need to come in sooner than later–only Guliani can hold out a bit longer since he is well known.
    If  Gov. Perry gets in and gets traction, I think she may not run and support him. Not sure he can win. He is too much George Bush-like for many people. So it will be an interesting decision.

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    class="comment odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-410">
    StewartIII says:

    FOX News: Sarah Palin’s Media Relations
    http://video.foxnews.com/v/976384110001/sarah-palins-media-relations/

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    class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-448">
    John Norton says:

    Well what they just pulled is not going to help fox news putting up a photo  of tina fey instead of palin it was intentional…

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    class="pingback even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-413">

    […] week in a post titled: With Friends Like Fox News Palin Is Better Off With Her Enemies, we reported on how Fox News is out to take down Governor Palin. We wrote (Emphesis added): Fox […]

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    class="pingback odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-701">

    […] not running. Sort of vindicates our source from back in June that Fox was deliberately trying to sabotage  Governor […]

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    class="pingback even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-742">

    […] is really good, shame they didn’t talk about Fox News bias. Though I won’t hold it against Hannity, he’s one of the only good guys over […]

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    class="pingback odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-755">

    […] she will be entering the race. Only Carl Cameron with his biased agenda against Governor Palin, encouraged by his employees, opted to go with lies and spin and do whatever it takes to sabotage Governor Palin’s […]

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