A new report says that Fox News President Roger Ailes ordered the Fox News control room to cut host Geraldo Rivera’s mic just two days before November’s election because he was defending President Barack Obama against the network’s “misinformation” about terrorist attacks in Benghazi.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Bloomberg View columnist Jonathan Alter’s new book, “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies,” is expected to tell a story about how Fox News tried to use the Benghazi attacks to prevent Obama’s re-election.
“Roger Ailes covered the Benghazi story as if it were Watergate just before Nixon’s resignation, with almost wall-to-wall coverage,” Alter wrote, noting that Rivera was the only host “allowed to offer a dissenting view.”
But Rivera apparently went too far during his Nov. 2 appearance on Fox & Friends when he accused guest host Eric Bolling of telling a “lie” by suggesting that the president “went gambling in Las Vegas when he could have been saving our people in Benghazi.”
“After the argument continued for several minutes, Ailes called the control room and told the producers to cut Rivera’s mic,” Alter explained.
Alter, who is also an MSNBC contributor, also noted that the order from Ailes was unusual because Fox News employees “generally reflected Mr. Ailes’s views without his explicit instructions,” according to the Times.
Update (11:50 a.m. ET): An unidentified Fox News “spokesperson” told Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell that Ailes never ordered Rivera’s mic cut, but another Fox News exec made a call to “urge the show to move on because the segment had come to its conclusion.” In a tweet, Rivera also denied that anyone cut his mic.