Michael Wolff’s nearly 4,000-word feature profile of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch for the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair is not exactly a glowing profile: “For the first three months of our interviews, he never addressed a word to or even looked at my research assistant, Leela de Kretser, who was at each of the sessions, and ignored her questions — perhaps because it’s not necessary to acknowledge a girl, or possibly because it was embarrassing for him that she was, at the time, a pregnant girl.”
Relating to TV news, it delves into an “early summer,” meeting between Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and Sen. Barack Obama at the Waldorf-Astoria, arranged by Murdoch:
Obama lit into Ailes. He said that he didn’t want to waste his time talking to Ailes if Fox was just going to continue to abuse him and his wife, that Fox had relentlessly portrayed him as suspicious, foreign, fearsome — just short of a terrorist.
Ailes, unruffled, said it might not have been this way if Obama had more willingly come on the air instead of so often giving Fox the back of his hand.
A tentative truce, which may or may not have vast historical significance, was at that moment agreed upon.
Also in the piece, Murdoch’s thoughts on Fox News — and they’re sure to surprise. Click continued to see that excerpt…
Fox has been his alter ego. For a long time he was in love with the Fox chief, Roger Ailes, because he was even more Murdoch than Murdoch. And yet now the embarrassment can’t be missed — he mumbles even more than usual when called on to justify it; he barely pretends to hide the way he feels about Bill O’Reilly. And while it is not possible
that he would give Fox up — because the money is the money; success trumps all — in the larger sense of who he is, he seems to want to hedge his bets.