December 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Recently leaked audio (transcript & audio) show that in April of 2011, Roger Ailes, chairman and founder of Fox News, and Rupert Murdoch sought to enlist and bankroll General David Patraeus for the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee. They recommended that Patraeus should accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and run for president if not offered the position. The message was relayed by Kathleen McFarland, who can be heard saying several times that what she is asking Patraeus to do was coming directly from Roger Ailes.
“That’s not the question at this point. He says that if you’re offered chairman, take it. If you’re offered anything else, don’t take it, resign in six months and run for president. Okay?”
During the conversation, she also asks Patreaus what, if anything, Fox News should change about its coverage in order to advance his agenda:
“I know. And he loves you, and everybody at Fox loves you. So what I’m supposed to say directly from him to you, through me, is first of all, is there anything Fox is doing, right or wrong, that you want to tell us to do differently?”
During the conversation, Patraeus, now disgraced after a recent sex scandal, also expressed his admiration for Roger Ailes, saying “I love Roger” and thinks “he’s a brilliant guy.” Ailes released a statement saying that he had McFarland relay the message as a “joke” and that she was “way out of line”:
“It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” he said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”
Murdoch, Patraeus, and McFarland have no commented on the audio. The audio ends with Patraeus promising to meet with Ailes privately the next time he is in New York.