Axelrod and Ailes Meet, but Details Are Few
October 7, 2009
New York Times
By Brian Steltar
Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, met with the White House adviser David Axelrod last month.
And it is a testament to Fox’s influence that that the meeting is newsworthy at all. Politico broke the news Tuesday afternoon, prompting speculation about the nature of the conversation.
A Fox press representative confirmed that the two men met over a cup of coffee last month during Mr. Obama’s visit to the United Nations. The representative called it a “cordial conversation.” Details of the conversation have not dribbled out yet.
“I’ve known Roger for a long time,” Mr. Axelrod told Time magazine in an e-mail message. “We chatted from time to time during the campaign. I was going to be in N.Y., so we got together for a cup of coffee.”
The highly popular Fox News is a perplexing channel for the Obama administration, given its propensity for political commentary by conservatives like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. In June, Mr. Obama said, “I’ve got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration,” adding, “You’d be hard-pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front.” The Fox host Bill O’Reilly and others assumed that he was speaking about Fox.
TVNewser notes that Fox News chose not to carry a couple of Mr. Obama’s speeches last month, but that “on the Saturday following the Axelrod-Ailes Manhattan chat,” Fox carried the president’s entire speech at a Congressional Black Caucus event “while MSNBC and CNN did not.”