Liberal peacenik Barack Obama's top secret sit-down meeting with Fox News ahead of the election was revealed in Vanity Fair this week by Michael Wolff, Rupert Murdoch's chosen biographer. So Fox News overlord Roger Ailes decided to go on the record today about all the various machinations at the shadowy back room confab. Did Ailes really have a "cordial" conversation with Obama, as he claims? Or was it actually a "frank discussion," as Obama's people claim? Read the tea leaves before Barack appears on Bill O'Reilly's show tomorrow: The time: three months ago. The place: some hotel room. The players: Obama, his advisers, Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch. Obama's angle: You people at Fox News aren't being fair:
"I just wanted to know if I'm going to get a fair shake from Fox News Channel," Ailes recalled him saying... In a recent interview with Glamour magazine, Obama said Fox News and others went after his wife, Michelle, "in a pretty systematic way. . . . If you start being subjected to rants by Sean Hannity and the like, day in and day out, that'll drive up your negatives."
Fox's angle: We're not unfair, we're just not a part of the biased liberal media bootlickers. Also, who can control Hannity?
"Senator, you're the one who boycotted us," Ailes says he replied. "We're not the ones who boycotted you. Nor did we retaliate for your boycott."... As Ailes recalls it, he responded to Obama's concern about fairness by saying that "there are opinion shows and there are news shows." Some of the criticism, Ailes told him, has come from conservative commentator and co-host Sean Hannity — whom he likened to MSNBC's more liberal pundits Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.
The resolution: Obama will be on Bill O'Reilly's show tomorrow night. And let's hope it turns into a huge fight, because, why not? Apparently Rupert is trying to take the friendly route with Obama, much as the New York Post suddenly became soft towards Hillary Clinton when it looked like she might win. But Fox News should take note: times are a-changing. After Obama gets elected, Fox News' ratings will slide and they'll see a backlash for their Bush era broadcasting. Bet. Rupert Murdoch is smart enough to know that a good relationship with Obama might be worth more to Fox than just about anything in the next year. [WP]