Friday, August 03, 2007

 

Buddies of the Day: Ailes and Giuliani

So far this year, one political journal found, Mr. Giuliani has logged more time on Fox interview programs than any other candidate. Most of the time has been spent with Sean Hannity, an acknowledged admirer of the former mayor.... —Russ Buettner writing in "In Fox News, Giuliani Finds a Friendly Stage"

Russ Buettner has elucidated the friendship between Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who wants to be your President. There are some points of interest.

How they met

Exactly how long Ailes and Giuliani have known each other is uncertain, but they were dining together in the late 80s—

“I had found myself at several dinners with Roger, including at his house, and each time we would wind up talking about how much we liked Ronald Reagan, and how much we agreed with his policies,” Mr. Giuliani wrote in his book, “Leadership.”

The two joined forces in the 1989 mayoral campaign, when, Mr. Giuliani later said, Mr. Ailes helped him overcome his stiffness in front of cameras so as to “connect with people” rather than launch into a “dissertation.”

Ailes became Giuliani's media advisor in the 1989 campaign.

"Fair and Balanced": Mayor Giuliani tries to put Fox News on a city-run channel

In 1996, when Mr. Ailes and Rupert Murdoch started Fox News, Mr. Giuliani intervened as mayor after Time Warner cable refused to carry the new station in the city....

.... On Sept. 20, 1996, Mr. Ailes called Mr. Giuliani to ask for help. A flurry of meetings followed, but Time Warner did not budge. Three weeks later, the Giuliani administration said it would broadcast Fox News on a municipal-run station, citing the benefits of offering diverse news sources and protecting the 600 jobs Fox had created.
....

But a federal judge blocked his plan, calling it “special advocacy” to “reward a friend and to further a particular viewpoint.” The companies came to terms the next year.

Time Warner executives found the pressure from Mr. Giuliani “extraordinary,” Richard Aurelio, a former head of Time Warner’s city cable operation, said in an interview. “To have politicians getting into the act of making those judgments was, to me, outrageous,” he said. “Never before had any politician ever done anything of that kind.”

This was not Giuliani's only original contribution to media and politics: As U.S. Attorney he invented the "perp walk."

Is there any value in the relationship? Aw, shucks no.

Mr. [Brit] Hume, managing editor of Fox’s Washington coverage, said Mr. Ailes was involved in meetings to discuss stories, but had never done anything to favor any candidate.

I feel better knowing that but—

This year through July 15, Mr. Giuliani appeared for 115 minutes in interviews on Fox.... More than half of those minutes, 78, were spent with Mr. Hannity, co-host of the “Hannity & Colmes” talk show. Mr. Hannity, a conservative who has spoken of his admiration for Mr. Giuliani, makes his own decisions about bookings, a spokeswoman said.

Mr. Giuliani’s on-air time on Fox was 25 percent greater than that of his Republican competitor Mitt Romney, and nearly double that of Senator John McCain of Arizona. Fred D. Thompson, who has yet to formally announce his candidacy, came in second to Mr. Giuliani with 101 minutes of Fox interviews.

And how much might the exposure be worth to Giuliani's campaign?

Roger explained that every time a candidate is given a microphone, he’s getting $100,000 worth of publicity,” Mr. Giuliani wrote in his book.

Well, at least we know which Republican candidate Fox News is supporting.

Related posts
A moment to ponder (9/11/05)
One more reason not to vote for Giuliani: He's gone Neocon (7/20/07)

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