Ailes on Obama Meeting: “Neither of Us Was Overly Aggressive But Neither of Us Blinked”

By SteveK Comment

ailes_9-3b.JPGFollowing up on Michael Wolff’s lengthy book excerpt about News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch in Vanity Fair, The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz talked to FNC CEO Roger Ailes about the meeting with Sen. Barack Obama earlier this summer.

“The meeting appears to have eased tensions between the two camps,” writes Kurtz.

Ailes said the meeting involved both sides discussing their concerns, with Obama talking “fair” treatment and Ailes discussing the Obama “boycott.”

Ailes told Kurtz Obama is, “a very charming guy,” who is “very smart,” and disputed the Vanity Fair article’s claim that Obama “lit into,” him.

A News Corp. executive tells TVNewser, “If Wolff couldn’t get the details of a simple meeting right, God knows how many mistakes the book will have.”

Ailes also recalls taking a shot at the competitors. “If you’re asking me if we’re going to be in the tank for you, like MSNBC and CNN, the answer is no,” he tells Kurtz he said.

The conversation touched on the possibility of a Bill O’Reilly interview, with Ailes promising no, “embarrassing or underhanded stuff.”

The meeting appeared to work — The O’Reilly-Obama interview, announced last night, will take place tomorrow, with the first part airing tomorrow night.

Related: CNBC interviewed Wolff yesterday, and he delved further into Murdoch’s, and News Corp.’s, thoughts on O’Reilly (via Portfolio).