NYT's Giuliani, Ailes Attack Falls Flat

Will the fear and loathing among the liberal press for all things Fox never cease?

In the latest installment of the media's Fox Derangement Syndrome, the New York Times, the self-styled paper of record, has spent hundreds of hours researching and trying to dig up dirt on the friendship between Rudy Giuliani and Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes. This article was all they could come up with, a semi-conspiratorial bit that is more sizzle than steak and more hype than substance.

Yes, as reporter Russ Buettner discovered, the former New York mayor and Ailes are friends and have done a few activities together. Yes, Giuliani tried to get his city to carry FNC shortly after its launch when local cable monopoly TimeWarner, then in the process of buying CNN, refused to carry the channel (something it would do throughout the country, incidentally but never mind). That, however, is it as far as "dirt" goes.

Sure there's more stuff in the article but it's all innuendo coming from a paper with an agenda of its own. Did you know, for instance, that even though the Times does mention that during Bill Clinton's presidency, CNN was headed up by a friend of his named Rick Kaplan, that the Grey Lady never bothered to mention this fact at the time? The contrast is stark.

Rudy Giuliani is a candidate for president but since both he and Ailes are Republicans, any shred of relationship between the two men is automatically suspicious. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton, the actual president, had a personal friend of his overseeing the coverage of his every move at CNN and before that at ABC.

The Times's eight-year lack of interest in the Kaplan-Clinton relationship was hardly for want of material. In 1998, for instance, Vanity Fair published a lengthy article which detailed how Kaplan skewed coverage in favor of his friend. The January 14 MRC CyberAlert from that year summarized some of the more damning facts:

  • How Kaplan once hired Hillary Clinton.
  • How he not only advised Clinton about how to counter Gennifer Flowers, a pretty well known event, but had earlier counseled Clinton on how to recover from his too-long 1988 convention speech.
  • How he had been a political operative for a liberal presidential candidate before jumping to journalism.
  • How he made calls to console Hillary Clinton after Vince Foster's death and to Web Hubbell after he resigned.
  • How he killed a Whitewater piece from "World News Tonight," discouraged reporters and producers from pursuing the topic and only ran an in-depth look one night in 1994 because "Nightline" was about to grab it.

Since the Clinton years, Kaplan didn't exactly disappear from the face of the earth, either. After failing at CNN, he was later appointed to be the president of MSNBC. Meanwhile, Clinton's wife, Hillary, began her own run for the White House. Nary a peep from the Times.

There's a reason behind all this. The media left views anyone with any sort of conservative reputation as inherently invidious. Liberal friendships or cooperation are either nonexistant or not worth noting at all. The paranoia and political bigotry is palpable.

Update 11:44. Thomas Lifson has a great post on Fox chief Rupert Murdoch and NYT exec Pinch Sulzberger (h/t JDW)

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013