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Roger Ailes Warned Sarah Palin Not To Make “Blood Libel” Video

New York Magazine reports today that Fox News head Roger Ailes told Sarah Palin to avoid responding in any way to the controversy that erupted after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

Before Sarah Palin posted her infamous “Blood Libel” video on Facebook on January 12, she placed a call to Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. In the wake of the Tucson massacre, Palin was fuming that the media was blaming her heated rhetoric for the actions of a madman that left six people dead and thirteen others injured, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Palin told Ailes she wanted to respond, according to a person with knowledge of the call. It wasn’t fair the media was making this about her. Ailes told Palin that she should stay quiet.

“Lie low,” he said. “There’s no need to inject yourself into the story.”

Palin told Ailes that other people had given her that same advice. Her lawyer Bob Barnett is said to have cautioned her about getting involved. The consensus in some corners of Palin’s camp was that she faced considerable risks if she spoke out.

But, this being Sarah Palin, she did it anyway.

Given the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the video, and the extent to which it has made Palin’s incredibly bad unfavorable numbers even worse, it seems fairly clear that Ailes, and the others who told Palin she should have stayed quiet, were right. What’s interesting is that the incident seems to have created a rift between Ailes and his network’s most popular guest commentator:

Ailes was not pleased with her decision, which turned out to be a political debacle for Palin, especially her use of the historically loaded term “blood libel” to describe the actions of the media. “The Tucson thing was horrible,” said a person familiar with Ailes’s thinking. “Before she responded, she was making herself look like a victim. She was winning. She went out and did the blood libel thing, and Roger is thinking, ‘Why did you call me for advice?'”

Ailes’s displeasure matters, not only because his network is a holding pen for Republican candidates-in-waiting, but because he is paying Palin a hefty $1 million annual salary while she strings out her decision over whether to run for president

There is, it seems, trouble in paradise.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ernieyeball says:

    If all this is true then those who attack Mr. Mataconis for expressing his opinion of 1/2 Governor Palin will be obliged to censure Mr. Ailes as well.

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  2. legion says:

    So, she had plenty of advice, both requested & unsolicited, from every competent person she knew, and still chose to act directly the opposite. It blew up in her face. And Palin still blames “the media” (and everyone else) for her mistakes.

    How can anyone imagine this sort of person is psychologically capable of handling any level of responsibility at all? Really?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. john personna says:

    That is actually the same advice I gave Sarah here, in these pages.

    Funny how her “friends” were less helpful.

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  4. Smooth Jazz says:

    “New York Magazine reports today that Fox News head Roger Ailes told Sarah Palin to avoid responding in any way to the controversy that erupted after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:”

    Do you even know if this is true??? So this is what the world has come to: A well known Palin Hater & OTB is reporting as fact, something written in New York Magazine, a Palin Hating rag whose source is “A source close to Ailes”. Are you really sure this went down as New York Magazine claims or do you think there is even a slight possibility that they could be making something up to get hits and/or sell magazine??

    I realize you get up each morning thinking through your 2 or 3 hit pieces for the day, but this post is bizarre for it’s reliance on hearsay. Your Palin Derangement Syndrome is way past the acute phase; Now you’re relying on hearsay and made up stuff. James Joyner appears to be an upstanding guy who seems reasonable; I’m surprised he lets his blog get taken over for such an unsubstantiated hit piece from a well known Liberal source that you cannot confirm happened or not. Good grief.

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  5. Smooth Jazz says:

    “If all this is true then those who attack Mr. Mataconis for expressing his opinion of 1/2 Governor Palin will be obliged to censure Mr. Ailes as well.”

    So let me get this straight: You’re not even sure this is true or not, but your conclusion is based on it being true. I don’t think people attack Mataconis for expressing his opinion; A lot of people don’t like Palin and him not liking her is not unusual. What’s unusual is his sickness regarding Palin, including his 2 – 3 hit pieces a day, his reliance on dubious sources and hearsay as fact, his constant use of anti Palin blogs and other left wing sources for much of his hit pieces, etc. This one guy has turned this once moderate and reputable blog into a left wing, propaganda forum complete with KOS kids dominating the comment section. What a waste.

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  6. john personna says:

    Hey Smooth, why are you worrying about Conventional Reality? I thought you young-earth conservatives were way beyond that. Truth can be whatever you want it to be.

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  7. Andre Kenji says:

    The most interesting thing is that you can dislike Roger Ailes as much as you can, but you can´t deny that he is a genius when the point is personal presentation and public relations. He coached George Herbert Bush in the debates and in the Dan Rather interview, he knows what should be done in these situations.

    Getting f*** up in these kind of situation, getting direct advice from ROGER AILES, is something pretty difficult.

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  8. Ernieyeball says:

    SJ: “I don’t think people attack Mataconis for expressing his opinion.”
    “A well known Palin Hater…” This is not criticism sez Mr. Jazz.
    “Your Palin Derangement Syndrome…” This must be Jazz PhD offering a psychological diagnosis not to be confused with disapproval of Mr. Mataconis view.
    “What’s unusual is his sickness regarding Palin,..” Now a medical judgement from Dr. Jazz MD.

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  9. Kylopod says:

    >He coached George Herbert Bush in the debates and in the Dan Rather interview, he knows what should be done in these situations.

    He’s also the one who convinced Bush to leave “Read my lips, no new taxes” in the convention speech.

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  10. TG Chicago says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Based on the fact that you’re questioning the veracity of the story, is it fair to say that you agree that this story makes Palin look foolish? Just checking in case we get verification of the story.

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  11. Buckley says:

    If true… a big IF..
    She should have taken the advice. When she responded the story that she was somehow responsible had become a joke on its own.

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  12. matt says:

    Kylopod : touche..

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  13. narciso says:

    These are the same sources that said Ailes was going to be indicted any day now, or that Rove
    was going to be ‘frog marched’ out of the White House, Who would be the source, there was only
    Ailes and Palin, the point that this was an attack on the Tea Party in general, misses your head almost entirely, To fail to stand up for any principle, except for that traitor Bradley Manning, seems
    to be the OTB way.

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  14. Tano says:

    “Who would be the source, there was only Ailes and Palin”

    Yeah, obviously. The source is Ailes.
    If you want to hold out hope that it just aint so, then lets hear the denials from Ailes.

    With a charge like this, pitting him against one of his star clients, published in a mainstream outlet, you can be certain that he will issue a denial – unless he wants the story out there, for his own reasons.

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  15. legion says:

    @narciso:
    “same sources”? Sez who? Both of these people have no shortage of enemies who’d happily drop a load like this to try & start a fight but come with some proof.

    The real test will be seeing which one responds first… My money is on Palin – if we know anything about her, it’s that she can’t not-talk about her fave subject – herself…

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  16. anjin-san says:

    It’s one of Palin’s core problems, she has the same unshakable faith in the rightness of her own gut feelings and instincts that W had. Love them or hate them, Reagan and Clinton had brilliant instincts, combined with just a touch of self-depreciation. W & P, not so much. More like borderline megalomania.

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  17. [...] and tactics — not on her political philosophy.  For example, assuming it is true that Roger Ailes advised her against making the “blood libel” video, I would tend to agree (both because my gut told [...]

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  18. [...] She’s been criticized on both sides for sticking up for herself – most recently on the Republican side, by  Roger Ailes. [...]

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