Before Sarah Palin posted her infamous “Blood Libel” video on Facebook on January 12, she placed a call to Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. In the wake of the Tucson massacre, Palin was fuming that the media was blaming her heated rhetoric for the actions of a madman that left six people dead and thirteen others injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.I've lost track of all the "feuds at Fox" stories that have cropped up the last couple of years. First there was Palin was trying to take Beck's time slot, then Beck was trying to take O'Reilly's, then dogs were sleeping with cats, er, something... Odds are this story isn't even true, but for the sake of argument let's just assume that it is.
Palin told Ailes she wanted to respond, according to a person with knowledge of the call. It wasn’t fair the media was making this about her. Ailes told Palin that she should stay quiet.
“Lie low,” he said. “There’s no need to inject yourself into the story.”
Palin told Ailes that other people had given her that same advice. Her lawyer Bob Barnett is said to have cautioned her about getting involved. The consensus in some corners of Palin's camp was that she faced considerable risks if she spoke out.
But, this being Sarah Palin, she did it anyway.
Ailes was not pleased with her decision, which turned out to be a political debacle for Palin, especially her use of the historically loaded term "blood libel" to describe the actions of the media. “The Tucson thing was horrible,” said a person familiar with Ailes’s thinking. "Before she responded, she was making herself look like a victim. She was winning. She went out and did the blood libel thing, and Roger is thinking, 'Why did you call me for advice?'”
Ailes’s displeasure matters, not only because his network is a holding pen for Republican candidates-in-waiting, but because he is paying Palin a hefty $1 million annual salary while she strings out her decision over whether to run for president.
First off, the media blowback over the "blood libel thing" never ceases to amaze me. They act as if that's all she said. As if accusing her of having blood on her hands wasn't enough, they had to twist her response as a final kick in the teeth. (You can watch her entire response here.) And the faux outrage over her use of the phrase massively ticks me off. Dennis Prager's response to it is my fave.
Secondly, I see no reason to say anything bad about Ailes in this case. Hey, if someone asked me for my opinion and then went and did the opposite, I'd probably say the same thing to myself. "Why did you even ask me?" I'm sure Governor Palin sought the advice of many people and eventually went with what she thought was best.
What's ironic is that the liberals often refer to Palin as a Fox tool. Evidently this is not the case. She has a mind of her own. As Tony Lee points out:
Ps: Ailes being "mad" at Palin for lay viewer: says she is not Ailes/FoxNews puppet, actually can help her.Once again, her opponents present contradictory narratives. Is she a Fox News tool or is she an opponent of Fox News?
Thirdly, I have to disagree with Ailes' advice. Palin had to say something. People tend to forget that things were still running very hot against her when she made that video. They calmed down a tad after the President made his speech, but that was in large part because she had already responded. And responding was not "injecting herself" into the story. The media had her tried and convicted for mass murder before the bodies were cold. They injected her into it for four days before she finally said something. John Ziegler best sums up my reaction to the idiotic "she injected herself into it" bull.
It's impossible to know what would have happened if they had tried a different strategy. Hindsight's 20/20. Palin did the best that could have been done in a no-win situation.
What they're really trying to do here is create buzz about a wedge between Palin and Ailes while conveniently bringing up Arizona again. But get real; there's no way Ailes would toss Palin out the door just because she didn't take his advice once. All of this faux "concern" about, "uh-oh, Palin's in trouble," is ridiculous on its face given that she's been a frequent presence on Fox since that time.
If she terminates with Fox or vice versa and runs for President, it's because she's running for President, not because of Tucson. If she doesn't run, you can pretty much bet Ailes will give his front teeth to keep her. If Roger really wanted to fire Palin because of a personal vendetta, she would have been out the door with Santorum. Would have been the perfect excuse.