Axelrod meets with Fox News head Ailes

The two reportedly discussed the continuing tension between the network and the administration

By Alex Koppelman
October 7, 2009 2:45AM (UTC)
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There's no love lost between Fox News and the White House. While the Bush administration was certainly friendly with the network, the Obama administration -- up to the president himself -- has kept it at arm's length, and frequently criticized it over the slant to its coverage.

The two parties have tried to patch up their differences before, but without success. And with Fox host Glenn Beck climbing in the ratings on the strength of his attacks against President Obama, relations between the sides have hit a new low recently.


So, on a trip to New York, White House advisor David Axelrod met with Fox News president Roger Ailes. The meeting was cordial, Time's Michael Scherer reports, but neither side's offering much more detail than that. So far, though, it seems like the two men didn't come close to reaching any sort of détente.

It's a complicated situation, in part because while both sides might gain from a cease-fire, they'd also probably stand to lose a bit. Fox might have trouble getting the interviews with the president that it wants, but it's in the midst of a ratings boom that seems directly attributable to anti-Obama feeling in its audience. The White House has to deal with negative coverage and bad press that gets filtered through people like Beck and Sean Hannity, but at the same time, it gets a foil to play off, a convenient target when it wants to criticize the media.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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