Lending credibility to charges that Fox News is essentially the media wing of the the Republican Party, the Washington Post's Bob Woodward reports that network founder and current chairman Roger Ailes pushed now-retired Gen. David Petraeus to run for president in 2012.
According to Woodward, Ailes told Petraeus he would likely have the financial backing of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch if he decided to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House.
Murdoch's News Corp. owns Fox News.
Fox News correspondent Kat McFarland reportedly delivered the message to Petraeus while in Afghanistan in April 2011. At the time, Petraeus was a widely respected 4-star general given credit for his handling of the U.S. surge troops in Iraq.
Ailes tells Woodward he was only joking around in an attempt to shake up a Republican primary field that eventually yielded Mitt Romney.
However, an audio recording shows the meeting between McFarland and Petraeus lasted more than an hour and touched upon a number of strategic reasons why the Fox News brain trust wanted to recruit Petraeus.
Instead of running for office, Petraeus later accepted Obama's offer to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served in that capacity from September 6, 2011, until his resignation amid accusations of infidelity on November 9, 2012.
by RTT Staff Writer
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