Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of the oft-maligned Fox News, allegedly said Marco Rubio is “finished” on the cable and satellite news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group. According to reports, the relationship between Ailes, a Republican and one-time media consultant for presidents Nixon, Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and GOP hopeful Marco Rubio has curdled, and the media titan – like many others – evidently sees Rubio as going nowhere in the wake of Trump’s repeated victories.
According to New York magazine on March 2, three Fox sources have quoted Ailes as telling his staffers, “We’re finished with Rubio. We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.” It appears the support Rubio has been receiving from the Republicans’ media arm is coming to a close.
Writes Gabriel Sherman: “Throughout the primary, Fox provided Rubio with friendly interviews and key bookings, including the first prime-time response to Barack Obama’s Oval Office address on ISIS… Ailes was already concerned about Rubio’s lackluster performance in GOP primaries and caucuses, winning only one contest among the 15 that have been held.”
The suggested origin for the flip was an embarrassing reveal by a New York Times article late last month, which exposed a “secret dinner meeting in 2013” between Rubio, NY Senator Chuck Schumer, Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, CEO of global media holding company News Corporation. During the meeting, “the Florida senator successfully lobbied the Fox News chief to throw his support behind the ‘Gang of 8’ comprehensive immigration-reform bill,” Sherman writes.
The bill never became law, but it’s suggested that Ailes was bristling at the unflattering coverage. The lawmakers also reportedly also got conservative radio host and blowhard Rush Limbaugh involved. “Roger hates seeing his name in print,” an unidentified “associate” of Ailes told the magazine. “He was appalled the dinner was reported.”
It comes as no surprise that the right-leaning Fox News may have been doing behind – and in some cases in front of – the scenes rooting for Rubio, seen early on as the Republican party’s best chance at toppling Hillary Clinton. Trump’s rocketing trajectory changed the race fairly early on however.
But according to Raw Story, Fox network’s executive vice-president of news, Michael Clemente, sent an email response to the New York magazine reveal. He stated:
“Consistent with the golden standard of Shermanonymous’ ‘reporting’ on FOX News and Roger Ailes, there is no credence to this narrative or the many other works of fiction he’s repeatedly been proven wrong on. Lacking any on-the-record sources, and desperate for attention, his stories are full of made-up quotes, but New York magazine doesn’t seem to care about his overwhelming lack of credibility, journalistic integrity and deeply partisan agenda.”