Feature

The Axelrod-Ailes coffee talk

Will a secret meeting between David Axelrod and Roger Ailes temper Fox News’ criticisms of Obama?

You have to wonder how “cordial” the secret meeting between David Axelrod and Roger Ailes really was, said Michael Scherer in Time. The top advisor to President Obama and the Fox News chief met over a cup of coffee in New York two weeks ago, at a time when the White House is increasingly critical of the network that is riding high on being critical of Obama. “Suffice it to say, the meeting did not cool tensions between the Obama camp and Fox.”

The meeting may have had some effect, said Chris Ariens in Mediabistro. One of the White House’s complaints is that Fox “passed on carrying certain speeches” Obama gave during prime time. Well, “interestingly, on the Saturday following the Axelrod-Ailes Manhattan chat, Fox News carried President Obama’s entire speech at a Congressional Black Caucus event, while MSNBC and CNN did not.”

Oh, great, said Allahpundit in Hot Air. Obama has all but one network fawning over him, “and he still can’t stop complaining”? I guess “in Axelrod’s defense,” Fox News is “so dominant” that its 3 a.m. show is getting more 25- to 54-year-old viewers than CNN’s 8 p.m. slot. Maybe it’s better to “whine” than do nothing.

“It’s a complicated situation,” said Alex Koppelman in Salon. While “the Bush administration was certainly friendly" with Ailes' network, it’s not clear that the Obama White House or Fox would “gain from a cease-fire.” Fox is “in the midst of a ratings boom that seems directly attributable to anti-Obama feeling in its audience,” and as long as Fox stays antagonistic, the Obama team has “a foil to play off, a convenient target when it wants to criticize the media.”

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