Last night, Stephen Colbert looked at how Fox News's Roger Ailes was prepared to run David Petraeus's campaign for President against Obama, with Rupert Murdoch bankrolling the whole thing.
Now folks, since the brutal Presidential election, there has been a lot of soul searching going on at Fox News, and I am confident they will eventually find one.Video below the fold.
Now while many people have called Fox News an organ of the Republican Party, it was not Fox News's fault that Republicans lost. It was this guy. It was... shoot, what's his name? I know this, don't help me, don't help me... Mop Squeegee!
Fox News chairman and goblin king Roger Ailes wanted somebody else. As the Washington Post recently reported, in the spring of 2011, Ailes "asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to [General David] Petraeus... resign from the military and run for President".
And Ailes wasn't just encouraging Petraeus to run, he put a serious offer on the table. Which was secretly taped, I assume by Paula Broadwell hiding under the table. Listen to Petraeus respond to Ailes' offer.SPRING 2011:OK. So if Petraeus ran for President, Murdoch would pay for it, Ailes would manage it, and Fox News would sell it to their audience. Now, if you think about it, a news network choosing the candidate sounds like a conflict of interest. So don't think about it.
DAVID PETRAEUS: Tell him if I ever ran — but I won't
KT MCFARLAND: OK, I know, I know.
DAVID PETRAEUS: But if I ever ran, I'd take him up on his offer.
KT MCFARLAND: OK. All right.
DAVID PETRAEUS: He said he would quit Fox.
KT MCFARLAND: I know. Look, he's not the only one.
DAVID PETRAEUS: And bankroll it.
KT MCFARLAND: Bankroll it?
DAVID PETRAEUS: Or maybe I'm confusing that with Rupert. No.
KT MCFARLAND: ... I think the one who's bankrolling it is the big boss.
DAVID PETRAEUS: That might be it.
KT MCFARLAND: OK, the big boss is bankrolling it. Roger's going to run it. And the rest of us are going to be your in-house.
Because it's not really about conflict of interest. Ailes said he did it because the Republican field "needed to be shaken up". So he was really just worried about casting his reality show. As a TV producer, Ailes was trying to avoid a repeat of 2008, when Republicans nominated this cranky old guy, who Fox then had to try to make a star. It was like watching a Matlock marathon about who killed the economy. They couldn't save the John McCain show, even by making his running mate Honey Boo Boo! (audience laughter) Now unfortunately — I think that's who that is. "A dolla makes me holla!"
Now unfortunately, Petraeus turned down Roger Ailes, I assume to spend more time not making eye contact with his family. But folks, that does not mean Ailes shouldn't try this again in 2016. Or that other networks should. I mean, MSNBC has already picked their guy.
I say it is time — let's just give A&E a shot. They can choose one of those folks on Hoarders. Nothing gives a candidate historical perspective quite like saving every newspaper since 1932. and you want a candidate with military experience? The Food Network can nominate a red velvet cupcake. After all, it's been to war.
Now, Ailes has since said that the whole offer was really "more of a joke". Which you know, makes me think. Why can't a comedy network put up a candidate for President? (wild audience cheering breaks into chants of "Stephen")
Or, at the very least, get him appointed to the U.S. Senate. We'll be right back.