Fox News has been accused at times by progressives of acting as an arm of the Republican Party, particularly in the wake of its parent company’s $1 million donation last month to the Republican Governors Association. During the current election season, however, that support has become particularly noticeable.
When Sarah Palin spoke with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly on Wednesday about Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell’s campaign in Delaware, the two of them sounded less like a host and a news analyst than like a pair of political strategists hashing over plans for how Fox could best serve the Republican Party.
Palin even went so far as to advise that if O’Donnell is going to overcome negative perceptions of her, “She’s going to have to … get out there, speak to the American people, speak through Fox News.”
O’Reilly had begun by citing recent harsh criticism of O’Donnell by former White House adviser Karl Rove, who told Fox’s Sean Hannity on Tuesday night, “I wasn’t frankly impressed by her abilities as a candidate. … There were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that don’t add up.”
“What Rove is afraid of,” O’Reilly suggested, “is that Miss O’Donnell is so inexperienced, and not able to make her points in a way that will persuade the independents in Delaware — which absolutely have to vote for her — so she can’t win.”
“I don’t buy that at all,” Palin replied.
O’Reilly, however, continued to argue that “Miss O’Donnell could be on here tonight, could be presenting herself in front of the nation. Her people don’t want her to be, because…”
“I’ll grant you that,” Palin interrupted, preventing O’Reilly from specifying exactly what he thought O’Donnell’s people might be worried about
“She’s going to have to learn very quickly to dismiss what some of her handlers want,” Palin suggested. “Remember what happened to me in the VP? … She’s going to have to dismiss that, go with her gut, get out there, speak to the American people, speak through Fox News — and let the independents who are tuning in to you, let them know what it is that she stands for.”
The liberal watchdog Media Matters seized upon this O’Reilly-Palin exchange on Thursday, noting, “It’s election season once again. How can you tell? Because Fox News has turned into an extended campaign commercial/telethon for Republican candidates. Over the last 24 hours, it’s racheted [sic] up to a new level.”
Fox supporters, of course, would argue that Media Matters has its own partisan agenda, directing its criticisms at Fox but not at liberal news sources, and that Fox was established in the first place to counter liberal biases in the media.
Palin was also scornfully dismissive of Rove, telling O’Reilly, “I have nothing against Karl Rove personally …. but some of these folks, they are saying that people like Christine O’Donnell and the Tea Party Americans can’t win because they don’t want them to win. … I think that some of those in the hierarchy of the political machine … are very much into control, and titles, and egos, and everything else.”
Palin’s comments may have hit home. On Thursday morning, Talking Points Memo reported, “Just now on Fox News Karl Rove prostrated himself on the altar of tea party orthodoxy, having what amounts to a full conversion on Christine O’Donnell.”
This video is from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, broadcast Sept. 15, 2010.
Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight
A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."
It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.
The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.
The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.
Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank
Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.
The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.
Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.
Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.
Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns
Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.
In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.
The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.
"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."