Behind the War Between White House and Fox

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

Late last month, the senior White House adviser David Axelrod and Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive of Fox News, met in an empty Palm steakhouse before it opened for the day, neutral ground secured for a secret tete-a-tete.

Mr. Ailes, who had reached out to Mr. Axelrod to address rising tensions between the network and the White House, told him that Fox’s reporters were fair, if tough, and should be considered separate from the Fox commentators who were skewering President Obama nightly, according to people briefed on the meeting. Mr. Axelrod said it was the view of the White House that Fox News had blurred the line between news and anti-Obama advocacy.

What both men took to be the start of a frank but productive dialogue proved, in retrospect, more akin to the round of pre-Pearl Harbor peace talks between the United States and Japan.

By the following weekend, officials at the White House had decided that if anything, it was time to take the relationship to an even more confrontational level. More…

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