Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fox & Ailes Outed By Petraeus Tape

2016 may be a year of a crowded Republican Presidential slate, with fewer screwball candidates, but another GOP hack, General David Petraeus, just bit the dust through yet another Republican Sexcapade scandal and we won't have to deal with him four years from now.  In a Commentary, "FOX and Roger Ailes Outed by Petraeus Tape," Mark Karlin, editor of Buzzflash at Truthout writes:

"As revealed by Bob Woodward in The Washington Post and discussed by Rachel Maddow on December 4, FOX is now on record as having become directly involved in trying to recruit a Republican candidate for president.

"As Woodward reported:
'So in spring 2011, Ailes asked a Fox News analyst headed to Afghanistan to pass on his thoughts to Petraeus, who was then the commander of U.S. and coalition forces there. Petraeus, Ailes advised, should turn down an expected offer from President Obama to become CIA director and accept nothing less than the chairmanship of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military post. If Obama did not offer the Joint Chiefs post, Petraeus should resign from the military and run for president, Ailes suggested. 
'The Fox News chairman’s message was delivered to Petraeus by Kathleen T. McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former national security and Pentagon aide in three Republican administrations. She did so at the end of a 90-minute, unfiltered conversation with Petraeus that touched on the general’s future, his relationship with the media and his political aspirations — or lack thereof. The Washington Post has obtained a digital recording from the meeting, which took place in Petraeus’s office in Kabul. 
'McFarland also said that Ailes — who had a decades-long career as a Republican political consultant, advising Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — might resign as head of Fox to run a Petraeus presidential campaign. At one point, McFarland and Petraeus spoke about the possibility that Rupert Murdoch, the head of News Corp., which owns Fox News, would “bankroll” the campaign. 
“Rupert’s after me as well,” Petraeus told McFarland.
"If you listen to the audio of the conversation between FOX's McFarland and Petraeus (or read the transcript here), it becomes clear that not only does Petraeus (now the ex-CIA director due to a sex scandal) express his admiration for Roger Ailes ('I love Roger,' he says), but that he is very chummy with the Darth Vader of right wing news -- and owner of FOX -- Rupert Murdoch. The now disgraced general jokes that Ailes or Murdoch could bankroll a run for the presidency – if he were interested, but he was not inclined at the time that the conversation took place to run for higher office. Petraeus also implies that he understood FOX attacking Obama politically, but complained that they were now being critical of Petraeus's war in Afghanistan – and the general didn't like that much.

"FOX has now lost its thin fig leaf of legitimacy as anything other than a bullhorn for the Republican Party. However, its fig leaf of not being mainlined into the GOP has always been a transparent one in any case. Ailes, who launched his career as a Republican propaganda maven after he met Richard Nixon when Nixon was a guest on the 'Mike Douglas Show' in the '60s (which Ailes produced), has never really stopped being a political media and image strategist despite his disclaimers. He is selling a product, and the product is not soap suds; it is the Republican brand and programming that aids it in achieving its corporate governance policies by propaganda manipulation of the electorate.

"Ailes admitted to Woodward that the conversation occurred – given that it was curiously on tape Ailes had no choice -- but tried to belittle it:

"In a telephone interview Monday, the wily and sharp-tongued Ailes said he did indeed ask McFarland to make the pitch to Petraeus. “It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have,” he said. “I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate.”

"A FOX national security analyst has a cozy conversation with Petraeus in which she also emphasizes how much Ailes and Murdoch want to personally talk to him about his running for president, but it was just a "wiseass" joke?

"Ailes loves to play the self-deprecating naive political bumbler, while he oversees the Republican flagship media outlet – and intervenes in GOP politics.

"Now we know that the tentacles of FOX reach further than putting potential GOP presidential candidates on the network's payroll, they reach right to the top in terms of kingmaking for the Republican Party.

"While Ailes and Murdoch have made FOX into the farm team for the GOP, unfortunately Petraeus was playing another sort of game under his desk with Paula Broadwell.

"Why hold a Republican Convention? You can just have Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly crown a GOP president nominee on FOX."

Why allow the Communications Arm of the Republican Party to exist as a "news organization' anyway?  Fox News should not be allowed to trumpet itself as a "news" anything and when the GOP loses its clout in Congress, a way must be found to stop Fox's pretentious claim that it is anything but a propaganda vehicle for the criminal Conservative movement.

To those who may complain that Petraeus is a "true American hero," and should be exempt from criticism, read Truthout's Gareth Porter's lengthy essay, "How Petraeus Created the Myth of His Success," an expose of his self-manufactured hero-making.  An excerpt:

"Part One: How the Myth Began - Petraeus in Mosul


"The discovery of his affair with Paula Broadwell has ended David Petraeus' career, but the mythology of Petraeus as the greatest US military leader since Eisenhower for having engineered turnarounds in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars lives on.

"A closer examination of his role in those wars reveals a very different picture, however.

"As this four-part series will show, Petraeus represents a new type of military commander, whose primary strength lay neither in strategy nor in command of combat, but in the strategic manipulation of information to maintain domestic political support for counterinsurgency wars of choice, while at the time enhancing his own reputation.

"The series will show how Petraeus was engaged from the beginning of the Iraq war in creating a myth about himself as a commander with unique ability to defeat insurgents, that he knew he had failed in his first two commands in Iraq and that he did not believe that war was winnable.

"But the account will also show that Petraeus eventually began to believe his own myth of himself as successful counterinsurgency strategist. The shift from deception of others to self-deception is the dominant theme of his command of the war in Afghanistan.

"Although David Petraeus has demonstrated intellectual interests unusual in the military elite, the dominant personal trait he had displayed during this Army career, as one civilian friend told a journalist, is that he is 'insanely ambitious.'  His drive to get ahead was evident from the beginning of his career. He married the daughter of the superintendent of West Point, Gen. William Knowlton within weeks of his graduation. He depended on the patronage of a series of powerful senior officers, first the NATO Supreme Commander, then the Army chief staff, and finally the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Henry H. Shelton, for whom he worked from 1997 to 1999 to get plum assignments."

Read on --> (

These are the kind of candidates that Conservatism breeds, and labels of "moderate" or "middle of the road" Republican are misnomers - there isn't any sort of thing.  They all believe that the rich should govern the poor, and they all perpetually plot against the democracy that give them the right to spout their hate and continual plans to subvert our Constitution.  Before it's too late - criminalize Conservatism!


"Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age."

Sinclair Lewis


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