Howard Fineman: Fox Boss Roger Ailes Leads GOP From His Network of 'Shaky' Facts

In this week's Newsweek, Howard Fineman cracked wise about how Fox News boss Roger Ailes is also "the real head of the GOP." Fineman wrote like an MSNBC loyalist, suggesting Fox and facts don't really go together:

The irony is that Ailes is not in the game to wield political power per se. He doesn't talk to the RNC and he can't stand most elected politicians, even the ones he puts on the air. "It's beneath him to get into politics," says a longtime friend. In his universe, the Washington equation is reversed: political power begets profits, not the other way around. But if politics is a nonstop talk show, being the head booker means you are the boss. If Fox feels Nixonian in its resentments and its sometimes shaky fealty to the facts, well, that is what Jon Stewart is for.

On the topic of Ailes, I know whereof I speak. I've known him since he was media adviser to George H.W. Bush's campaign in 1988. We kept in touch after he went into cable. He counseled me on the yakking biz a decade ago. I'm an MSNBC analyst, so consider this an assessment penned by a frenemy.

The article's text box reads: "The president of Fox News is, by default, the closest thing there is to a kingmaker in anti-Obama America."

Fineman blindly writes that Fox News has given "invaluable publicity to the tea partiers, furnished tryout platforms to GOP candidates, and trained a fire hose of populist anger at the president and his allies in Congress."

Invaluable publicity for politicians? He's writing this in the very issue in which Barack Obama's essay on Haiti is the cover story.

Does that make Jon Meacham the "real head of the DNC"? The problem with turning Fineman's thesis around on the left is that there were so many liberal media editors and executives who were auditioning to be the kingmaker for Obama that you couldn't pick just one.

PS: Fineman also scratches Keith Olbermann's tummy with the required attack on Sarah Palin:

Palin supporters were congratulating themselves last week, but she had better enjoy the ride while she can. Her marathon session with Beck was a chiffon of ignorance, hairstyling, egotism, and shtik. Palin had a moment of panic when Beck asked her, in the friendliest of ways, to name her favorite Founding Father. "All of them," she said nervously. Prompted by Beck, she settled on George Washington.

The ratings were huge, but I'm not sure that the exposure did her any good. As of now, there are no plans for a Fox show of her own. Unlike her last boss, Ailes doesn't give anyone a coveted spot on his ticket without a long, thorough vetting.

Hmm. Did Mike Huckabee get a "long, thorough vetting" before he got a Fox News show?

[Image by S.B. Whitehead on PRLog]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis