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ABC Panelists Criticize Ailes’ Evasion Of Why Fox News Cut Away From Obama-House GOP Conversation

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"ABC Panelists Criticize Ailes’ Evasion Of Why Fox News Cut Away From Obama-House GOP Conversation"

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As ThinkProgress reported last week, Fox News was the only major cable news network to not show the entirety of President Obama’s conversation with House Republicans at their annual retreat. Fox cut away from the event 20 minutes early and instead began attacking the President for “lecturing” to the lawmakers.

Yesterday on ABC’s This Week, Arianna Huffington challenged Fox News President Roger Ailes about this decision:

HUFFINGTON: Roger, you clearly are in ratings, but if you are in ratings, can you explain to me why FOX went away from the meeting the president was having in — why did you go away, 20 minutes before the end?

AILES: Because we’re the most trusted name in news.

Guest host Barbara Walters cut off the conversation though, since the show was over. However, discussion on the topic then continued in the green room, even though Ailes wasn’t present. Both Huffington and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman criticized the network for its hypocrisy:

HUFFINGTON: Their framing of the President is that he’s radical, that he’s taking us down a dark, fascist or Bolshevik future — depending on the day. And there he was, rational, charming, and in full command of his facts. So the narrative fell apart and so the cameras stopped showing what was happening.

KRUGMAN: Yeah, I mean it’s — I thought it was actually quite funny except it has real consequences. There you have Roger Ailes, with this powerful, popular news network, whining about how the media are unfair to Republicans. I mean, he is a powerful person in the media — and of course, you know, “Fair and Balanced” is truly Orwellian and we know that. So it’s clear that Fox — I felt like yelling to him, “you can’t handle the truth,” because that was what was actually happening on the Fox coverage.

Watch it:

Transcript:

AILES: I’m not in politics, I’m in ratings. We’re willing.

HUFFINGTON: Roger, you clearly are in ratings, but if you are in ratings, can you explain to me why FOX went away from the meeting the president was having in — why did you go away, 20 minutes before the end?

AILES: Because we’re the most trusted name in news.

HUFFINGTON: OK and on that note –

WALTERS: I thought we were the most trusted name in news.

AILES: And we believe two liberal polls have now proven it.

(CROSSTALK)

WALTERS: I’ve got to go.

. . . . . . .

HUFFINGTON: Well I wanted to know why Fox stopped showing the retreat — the Republican retreat with the President 20 minutes before it finished. It was clearly riveting television, by any standard, whether you agree with the President or not. Why did they?

And my answer is — since Roger is not able to answer for himself — is that it went against their framing of the President. Their framing of the President is that he’s radical, that he’s taking us down a dark, fascist or Bolshevik future (depending on the day). And there he was, rational, charming, and in full command of his facts. So the narrative fell apart and so the cameras stopped showing what was happening.

KRUGMAN: Yeah, I mean it’s — I thought it was actually quite funny except it has real consequences. There you have Roger Ailes, with this powerful, popular news network, whining about how the media are unfair to Republicans. I mean, he is a powerful person in the media — and of course, you know, “Fair and Balanced” is truly Orwellian and we know that. So it’s clear that Fox — I felt like yelling to him “you can’t handle the truth!” Because that was what was actually happening on the Fox coverage.

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