More on Palin and Fox News’ Pissing Contest

I  posted yesterday about Sarah Palin’s complaining on Facebook that Fox News cancelled her appearances last night to weigh in on the GOP convention.  From “Behind the Latest Palin-Fox Fight,” Gabriel Sherman, New York Magazine:

“Palin’s contract is up in January, and according to sources, Fox News executives are now weighing what kind of deal they would sign, if they sign one at all.

“Essentially, Palin and Fox are in the early stages of an elaborate contract negotiation. Palin earns roughly $1 million per year from Fox, making her the highest paid contributor at the network. Fox executives have been disappointed with her ratings; Palin has been disappointed by Fox’s decision to not give her top billing on bookings. According to sources, the relationship at times has gotten so bad that much communication has been conducted via Palin’s husband Todd. One thing is clear: It’s risky for her to push the envelope too far. Fox has been a central pillar of Palin’s national reach since quitting the governorship….

“Palin’s Facebook outburst surely didn’t endear her to Roger Ailes, who prizes message discipline and loyalty among his troops.

“For now, both sides are making peace. Fox offered a fig leaf this afternoon and returned Palin to the conversation via a phone interview with Megyn Kelly. Later tonight, she’ll be on with Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto.”  Emphasis added.
Can anybody think of a sadder and more egregious waste of $1 million?

Krauthammer Gets with the Program

Having called Ryan’s budget a “suicide note” last year, now Charles Krauthammer doesn’t just bring Ryan back from the dead, he compares him to the Gipper:  “I think Ryan has that Reagan-like quality.”

And how high would you like me to jump, Mr. Ailes?  Both funny and pathetic.


Fox News Goes After Its Mole

It’s not good to piss off Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, and Fox News.  The Fox Mole, Joe Muto, reports that they are going after him for grand larceny!  He was served with a search warrant that resulted in his iPhone, laptop, and notebooks being taken.

Muto tweets, “I should have done something more innocuous, like hacked a dead girl’s phone and interfered with a police investigation.”

Is Mitt Stuck as Mayor of Loonyville?

From a fun read, “WTF, GOP?” by Monka Bauerlen and Clara Jeffery, Mother Jones:

“You coulda been a contender!  Economy in the tank.  Congress successfully gridlocked.  Consider:  Base energized, Yes-We-Can shock troops disaffected, major donors to the president’s campaign picketing his speeches.  True, with Occupy on the rise, it did become (cue Jon Stewart falsetto) awkward that your leading candidate was an unapologetic poster child for the 0.0025 percent.  Still, all you had to do was set Clinton ’92 ‘It’s the Economy,  Stupid’ messaging on autoplay and coast to November.  Instead, a way on ladyparts?

“Sure, it’s been entertaining.  Schadenfreude, as the German saying goes, is the best freude.  But liberals take note:  Not only is a robust dialogue crucial for an intellectually engaged democracy, it also happens to be required to Get.  Anything.  Done.  Even if the Republican brand suffers long-term damage (and the jury’s still out), conservatives will make up north of 40 percent of the vote, most importantly in the US Senate.

“Surely we are not alone in worrying that the Grand Old Party is losing touch with reality — obsessing on issues entirely divorced from both 21st-century mores and the pressing economic challenges of the day.  But excepting Bush speechwriter David Frum’s cri de coeur in New York magazine (rewarded with RINO opprobrium from his colleagues), name-brand Republican thinkers steer clear of a frank diagnosis.  They might bemoan a weak field of candidates — George Will has basically written off the White House and tried to rally the troops around holding the House — but no one dares take on the twin planks of Loonyville:  Grover Norquist’s no-taxes-never-ever pledge and Roger Ailes’ facts-be-damned spin on the ‘news.’

“The realpolitik leaders on the right made a bet that they could ride the latest populist wave as they’ve ridden others, using the momentum to pull the rest of the country rightward. But they got greedy.  The current cohort’s overreach threatens to blow 30 years of careful strategizing, from the school-boards-on-up long march to power to Karl Rove’s microtargeting breakthroughs.”  Italics in original, emphasis added.

Forget Obama — Fox Feuds with Gingrich, Santorum, Palin

Having complained about Fox’s bias toward Mitt, Newtie is now unwelcome at Fox, where he was a paid contributor before he ran for president.

So too is Rick Santorum, who had complained in March that Fox was “shilling for Romney.”  Fox also revealed that Santorum’s contract with them was only in the five, not the six, figures.  They apparently did this to hurt his negotiating position with another network.

So Roger Ailes won’t be rehiring Newtie and Frothy.

What about Sarah Palin, whose contract continues through 2013?  Now Ailes has upset her, saying, “Sarah Palin had no chance to be President.  The one I didn’t hire was Romney. I thought he had a chance [to be President] … I hired people I thought would get ratings.”

Palin huffily responded, “I wonder if he is aware that the same thing was said about me when I ran for city council, mayor, and eventually governor.  No doubt many people who are told they can’t do something will work that much harder, and they succeed.”

As for the Fox Mole, Joe Muto, his fifteen minutes continues.  He’ll be on CNN on Sunday.

Another Reason to Love Gawker!

Gawker announces its newest hire — The Fox Mole, “a long-standing, current employee of Fox News.”

From his (or her) first column:

“The video above is of Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity bantering before the taping of an interview for the “Hannity Vegas Forum” in February.  Of note:  Romney professes his and his wife Ann’s well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the ‘Austrian Warmbloods’ that his wife rides — they are ‘dressage‘ horses, he notes — while maintaining his own preference for the ‘smoother gait’ of his own ‘Missouri foxtrotter.’

“Now there’s nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding.  But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing.  The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding.  And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage.  To GOP-voter ears, it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.”  Emphasis added.

Politico‘s Dylan Byers weighs in on The Fox Mole — “Should be fun, until they find out who it is.”

If you watched The Borgias on Sunday and saw the king’s torture chambers in Naples, I expect Fox News has something similar in their basement.  The Fox Mole is either very brave or very stupid or both.  I think it’s fair to say he will “never work in this town again” once Roger Ailes identifies his sorry ass.

I wish I could hear the back-and-forth between Mitt’s campaign and Fox about this leak.  The video also shows Mitt declining a pink tie in a fake gay voice.

All this story lacks is a loofah.

If you still had a show, Keith Olbermann, you could and would air this video tonight.

Fox Treats Mitt Like a Hen

Roger Ailes’ pet Megyn Kelly oozes ambition and is clearly gunning for a prime-time show on Fox News (goodbye Greta?) rather than her current daytime slot.  So she’s going to look for opportunities to generate buzz and attention to her sleepy afternoon backwater.

Mitt Romney was her opportunity du jour.

Expecting a warm and fuzzy chat, a sympathetic setting to lick his wounds after the South’s revenge on his Yankee ass, because she’s not supposed to be Mike Wallace on Sunday morning for Christ’s sake, Mitt was clearly taken aback when Kelly played a clip from a 2008 presidential debate, where Mitt said he liked [health care] mandates and Fred Thompson ridiculed him.  Those mandates requiring people to buy health insurance that for some reason are a fantastic idea for Massachusetts (Romneycare), but a terrible idea for the rest of the country (Obamacare).

Mitt looked miserable as he danced around Megyn’s request for an explanation of the tape.  There is a very good explanation, but unfortunately, Mitt can’t use it.  The truth is that he now hates mandates not for anything to do health care, but simply because they hurt his chances of becoming president.

Don’t expect to see Mitt and Megyn together again anytime soon.

The Apocalyse Must Be Near

Fox News head Roger Ailes wrote a blurb for MSNBC star Rachel Maddow’s new book, DriftThe Unmooring of American Military Power.

Ailes wrote in part:  “People who like Rachel will love the book.  People who don’t will get angry, but aggressive debate is good for America.  Drift is a book worth reading.”

I score this one for Ailes.  He knows his blurb won’t boost book sales among his Fox true believers, let alone change any minds, but he also knows that Rachel is a nice person, who will now feel that she owes him one.  Roger won’t hesitate to collect when the moment is right.

Coming Soon — Big Gawker Story on a Fox News Anchor

So I’m “going mental” like Ed Grimley on Saturday Night Live, giddy with excitement and anticipation.  Which one will it be?  Bill  “Loofah Boy” O’Reilly again?   Which one of those preening, preaching hypocrites has Gawker caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar?  I’m hoping it’s Sean Hannity, but it’s guaranteed to be fun.

I thought Roger Ailes did an amazing job tamping down the O’Reilly/Andrea Macris scandal.  This time, they’ve launched a pre-emptive strike, running stories both on air and online claiming that Gawker‘s views are down.  Something tells me they won’t be down next week.

It feels like Christmas Eve, and I’m six years old.  I’m getting an exquisitely-wrapped box of schadenfreude.