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The Cable Game Exclusive: Rolling Stone Plans Hit Piece on Fox News!!

Written By mista sense on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | 2:23 PM

The Cable Gamer hears that Tim Dickinson, political correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine, who covered sucked up to Obama campaign in 2008, is now working on a hit piece on Fox News, focusing on Roger Ailes.  TCG is hearing this directly from a source in RS, and from someone who was contacted by RS.   The question is, who is ordering this hit?    Is it RS publisher Jann Wenner?  Or someone even higher up?    And by higher up, we mean Barack Obama, or someone working for him.  We know, after all, that Obama has hated Fox for years; as Obama told Bill O'Reilly back in 2008, Fox was costing him two points in the polls.   And Fox probably was--since Fox was the only TV network not in love with The One. 

So now, as 2012 draws closer, it's not only payback time, but also time to do some damage to an honest news-voice.

So no real news in the news that a pre-emptive strike on Fox is coming, other than the outlet.    There have been many attempted hit pieces on Fox, and none of ever come close to hitting their target.   (Unlike Albert Anastasia, who bought it in a NYC barber chair, back in 1957--see pic above.)   Most likely, the piece will follow the usual anti-Ailes script:  It will touch on Ailes' relationship with Richard Nixon, plus some jibes about the 1988 presidential campaign--including the Willie Horton ad, which Ailes and the George H.W. Bush campaign had nothing to do with--plus whatever jetsam and flotsam of ex-employee disgruntlement  Dickinson can scrape together from Ailes' 14-year tenure as Fox CEO.    Running a big company--to say nothing of the Most Powerful Name in News--is not for the faint of heart.  It is not a popularity contest. 

TCG checked with a Fox spox, who said that Fox has not been contacted by Dickinson or anyone else at RS.  That, of course, is also typical.   In such pieces, the reporter usually writes the piece, and then, 10 minutes before deadline, the reporter calls for comment, so that the reporter can check that "good journalism" box; the idea is that there's no way for the target to react a long list of charges.  So the reporter then prints, "Fox had no comment," or "Fox denies everything."  All of which is meant to communicate to the reader, "Fox is guilty as hell of whatever we charged them with."

Heck, TCG could write the story.  She could make up some blind quotes, too--others certainly have.

So all that is the hit-piece formula.  Yawn.   The more interesting question is why RS chose to commission this hit piece.  Again, could it be that the Obama White House put RS poobah Wenner up to the job?  That's possible, but who thinks that the RS readership really cares about Fox News?  Or could it be that Wenner wants to suck up to the White House?   Can you say, "Ambassador Wenner"?  Or merely, perhaps, "Lincoln Bedroom Guest Wenner"?

Who ordered this hit?  That's the story to investigate.   The b.s. in the hit will write itself.

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