Is it right of the Fox News chairman to try to convince someone to run for the presidency? I am sure an argument could be made for and against that. In my eyes, news networks should cover the news - not attempt to make it. Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman, thinks otherwise.
The Washington Post has reported that Ailes attempted to convince disgraced former four-star general and CIA Director David Petraeus to run for the presidency in 2011. The report says that Ailes had a Fox News analyst on assignment to Afghanistan act as a go-between, telling Petraeus that he should decline the president's offer to head the CIA but accept a Joint Chiefs of Staff position. If that position was not offered, he should step down and run for president.
The Washington Post says it has the hour-and-a-half long conversation between Petraeus and Kathleen T. McFarland, Ailes' messenger, on tape.
During the conversation, McFarland tells Petraeus that Ailes would consider leading the campaign for Petraeus and that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch could "bankroll" the bid.
Petraeus declined, telling McFarland he was considering the CIA job, which he referred to as "a treasure" and "full of unsung heroes."
Ailes played down the move, saying that, "It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have. I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate. It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . . She was way out of line. . . . It’s someone’s fantasy to make me a kingmaker. It’s not my job."