New York magazine’s profile of Roger Ailes and his efforts to be a kingmaker in the 2012 election included a comment from a “Republican close to Ailes” who says that the Fox News chief thinks Sarah Palin is “an idiot.” The profile is chalk full of juicy information, but Fox News was concerned in particular about the Palin comment. In a statement to the New York Times, the network’s executive vice president of programming Bill Shine said that Ailes “admires and respects Sarah Palin and thinks she is smart.” The full statement is here.
Update: New York also has a profile of David Brock, who runs Media Matters for America, a thorn in the side to Fox News and Rupert Murdoch for some time now. An interesting tidbit from the Ailes profile: Murdoch’s wife, Wendi, plans to co-host a fund-raiser for President Obama along with Russell Simmons.
David Frum writes of the profile, “According to Sherman, Ailes understands and regrets what he’s done to the GOP. That’s why he shut down Glenn Beck. Why he talks regularly to President George HW Bush. Why Fox’s coverage of Sarah Palin has become noticeably less worshipful since the Tucson shooting. Now Ailes is hunting for a more plausible presidential candidate. Yet his programming instincts over-ride everything. On talk radio and cable TV, confrontation sells. If you are imbued with that idea, it’s hard to resist the thought that confrontation will work in politics too, and that NJ Governor Chris Christie must therefore be the solution. The Ailes mind may be able to think the thought that the GOP needs a softer face. But the Ailes programming instinct cannot accept the thought.”
Steele to MSNBC: Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is joining MSNBC as a political analyst as the network staffs up for 2012.
Trump: It’s Not Over: Donald Trump still thinks there’s a chance he’ll get into the 2012 race, even though he’s (apparently) committed to another season of “Celebrity Apprentice.” It could be some remorse over the fact that Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels are forgoing a run, with the field of contenders still ripe for a late entrant. “The ones that have announced, I just don’t see it,” he said on “Fox & Friends” this morning. “At this point in time, they’re not going to be beating Obama.”
Pawlenty Is In: It’s not news that Tim Pawlenty is running for president. He’s been doing so for months, but he made it official on Sunday. As such, he’s introduced another cinematic video, “A Time for Truth.”