"Special Report" host Bret Baier thinks Tuesday's election results changed the White House's view of the Fox News Channel.
He further believes that Obama senior adviser David Axelrod's interview with Fox's Major Garrett Wednesday was a sign "they’re gonna start playing ball on the news side."
During his Thursday chat with WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, Baier also agreed that Fox's ratings domination on election night had to be an eye opener for the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (15-minute audio available here, relevant section at 8:50):
STEVE MALZBERG, HOST: David Axelrod back on, back on Fox yesterday. He did an exclusive interview, you know, with Fox, one on one I should say with Major Garrett. Is this some kind of signal, or, or was were the election results just so bad that he just needed to put the White House spin on Fox?
BRET BAIER, FNC: (Laughs) Well, you know, I think it's a signal. I really do. I think that the White House realizes that, that perhaps it's time to stop what they were doing which was, you know, speaking out against our news shows. They obviously have a problem with the opinion shows, and they're tough on the Administration. But, but it appears that they're, they're gonna start playing ball on the news side. I also think however as you mentioned the elections did affect the, David Axelrod going out because they look at those numbers. 63 percent of independents in Virginia voting Republican and 58 percent in New Jersey voting Republican. And, you know, a lot of independents and moderate Democrats and even Democrats watch Fox News Channel, so...
MALZBERG: You guys killed in the election. I mean, you, CNN was fourth. You guys had over 4 million and everybody else had under 1 million. I mean, you guys were, were, were, I mean devastating in the ratings.
MALZBERG: So, I guess they're looking at that.
BAIER: (Laughing) They look at the numbers, I'm sure they do.
Will Baier's prediction hold true and we're going to be seeing a lot more White House officials on Fox?
Frankly, with healthcare reform passing in the House Saturday, it is quite possible the change of strategy towards FNC will be put on hold pending how the bill moves through the Senate.
If Reid can keep the Democrats in line enough to get this disgusting piece of legislation passed, the Administration might not feel the sense of panic that led Axelrod to chat with Garrett Wednesday.
On the other hand, if a couple of moderate Democrats join Republicans in a filibuster, the White House might be more inclined to make some appearances on Fox.
As the late Ed Hart was famous for saying, we will know in the fullness of time.