Is Fox News going moderate? Not exactly, but Roger Ailes has consciously made a “course correction” from hyper-partisanship back toward the center, sensing that the public has grown weary of the Tea Party, he tells Howard Kurtz of Newsweek. Glenn Beck’s inflammatory rhetoric in particular “became a bit of a branding issue for us,” he says, as did Sarah Palin's use of her Fox platform to promote herself as a possible GOP savior.
Ailes isn’t playing nice with the GOP’s 2012 candidates either, instructing his hosts to foster conflict amongst them. That’s drawn grumbles from Rush Limbaugh and others, but Ailes dismisses the critics, who he says “think we’re in someone’s pocket.” He also used the interview to dish some gossip on his hosts, complaining that Sean Hannity is “predictable,” revealing that Bill O’Reilly “hates Sean and he hates Rush because they did better in radio than he did,” and saying that he occasionally has to scold Shepard Smith for defending Barack Obama.