The Shortest Lasting Meme Ever

From ClipboardThere’s nothing Gabriel Sherman likes better than his fantasy of Roger Ailes as a Presidential kingmaker. Sherman fancies that Fox News is actually like Del Floria’s tailor shop—only when you pull back the curtain you find not the U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, but a crypto-Republican political organization intent on picking the next leader of the free world. And in the boss chair, no doubt stroking a white cat, is Ailes, as he manipulates the pieces on his chessboard to put his chosen favorite into the White House.

The problem with Sherman’s comic-book-level scenario is that he keeps getting it wrong. First Fox was promoting Trump. Only Trump went to war with Fox News because they were embarrassing him with tough questions, and called for his followers to boycott the network. Sherman called Rewrite and gave them a new meme: Fox is pushing Marco Rubio. It was even a “pro tip.”

That didn’t last either, so today the latest Sherman meme:

According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. “We’re finished with Rubio,” Ailes recently told a Fox host. “We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore.”

Sherman doesn’t say when “recently” was, but just today Marco Rubio was welcomed to the highly-rated America’s Newsroom on Fox News for a 7-minute interview. If Ailes really said “We’re finished with Rubio” this is a funny way to show it. As if that wasn’t enough, the Florida Senator showed up again tonight for a session with tomorrow’s debate co-moderator Megyn Kelly.

Keep in mind Marco Rubio has been making appearances on Fox as regularly as ever—and so are his rivals. Doesn’t this give Sherman’s promoters pause? Are Sherman’s invisible friends ever right about anything? Published in New York Magazine, exposed as false within hours—this has to be the shortest-lived meme ever. Why?

Consider how these purported political machinations are witnessed by not one…not two…but three anonymous sources, all of whom immediately tattle to Gabriel Sherman. Does that preposterous scenario sound believable? Do you believe three Ailes confidants would rush to reveal secrets to someone whose main claim to fame is trying to to discredit their friend?

When snake-oil turns out to be colored water, how many bottles do you have to buy before you stop recommending it and instead expose the fraud? Yes, we’re talking about you, journalistic community. It’s not like you haven’t been conned before.



  1. Michael Bennett

    Excellent commentary.

    I don’t always agree 100%. But this is one of the more solid articles I’ve read including great imagery like, “And in the boss chair, no doubt stroking a white cat, is Ailes, as he manipulates the pieces on his chessboard to put his chosen favorite into the White House.”



  2. notfoxy

    It may not be company-wide yet, but Rupert signaled on Twitter that he thinks Trump’s gonna be the guy, and the troops better start getting on board. Then Hannity lost his mind with a bizarre accusation that Rubio was being paid to go negative, which is absurd. He acts like he’s never seen a candidate attack the guy beating him. Even for someone as dim and ideological as Sean, that was pretty stupid.


      • notfoxy

        Having someone on as a guest does not automatically qualify them as being supported. Obviously some hosts/contributors are pro-Rubio, so it can’t be deemed company wide. Nevertheless, the owner of the network has signaled for the Republican Party to coalesce around the frontrunner, Donald Trump, which is clearly to the detriment of Marco Rubio. Which goes back to my longstanding contention that the owner of a news channel has no business advising a particular political party as to what direction that should go. The conflict of interest is appalling.


      • Sydney Bloom

        The owner of the parent company of the network said Republicans would be silly not to coalesce. What that has to do with Fox News coverage escapes me. If you’re saying Murdoch issues marching orders telling Fox News people what to say by putting it in a public tweet, that’s just silly. The proof is in the pudding as they say. How exactly has Fox News coverage changed since that tweet?


      • Sydney Bloom

        By the way, the head cheese at Comcast not only backed Barack Obama but was actually appointed by POTUS to at least one administration committee. I never heard about that “appalling” conflict of interest, because it isn’t one. Corporate execs are people too, and get to have political viewpoints without making every business under their control instantly guilty of an “appalling” conflict of interest.


  3. notfoxy

    I’m saying what I’m saying, and I’m still mystified that you operate as an FNC Defense Attorney. I believe that the guy who owns a conservative channel labeled “news” influences how the conservative opinion hosts and contributors cover the Republican Party. I would be appalled if the owners of MSNBC or CNN were tweeting opinions about how a particular political party should handle itself.


    • Sydney Bloom

      That would be appalling, but giving them money wouldn’t be? When we started you were talking about “company-wide.” Now you’re talking about how conservative opinion hosts and contributors “cover” the GOP. (They don’t actually cover anything, they comment, but never mind that.) As opinionizers it’s hard to argue any sort of “conflict of interest” since they are there to reflect their biases and opinions, not to report impartially. But I’ll play along. How has Murdoch’s tweet changed these contributors’ commentary? Still looking for some examples.


    • Sydney Bloom

      Comcast VP Met With, Held Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in Own Home
      Comcast CEO Brian Roberts donated heavily to President Obama as well.
      Both Cohen’s and Roberts’s donations to Clinton and Obama were so large that it lead to one magazine to remark that “Comcast bought the Democratic Party.”

      But Murdoch tweeted! An “appalling” conflict of interest!


      • notfoxy

        Yes, they are all appalling conflicts of interest..I didn’t know about the Comcast stuff. People who own news channels have no business taking sides politically.


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