All this raises the question, Why does the Fox chief hate ashtrays.
The book is being previewed in Vanity Fair and if true reports that Ailes is unafraid when talking to and dealing with this administration.
Author Zev Chavets writes that Ailes reacted to a crack by Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen that Ann Romney, wife of last year’s Republican Presidential candidate, “never worked a day in her life,” with his own blunt opinion of the president.The book describes a testy exchange between Obama and Ailes during the 2008 campaign where the future president express his anger at Sean Hannity.
“Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money,’’ Ailes said, according to Chavets.
“How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time … He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.”
“Obama was upset by Fox News,’’ writes Chavets. In a private room at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, “Obama arrived with his aide Robert Gibbs, who seated Ailes directly across from Obama, close enough for Ailes to feel the intention was to intimidate him.Ailes is working on an autobiography and it will be interesting to see if his take jogs with Chavets'. And to be sure there is a liberal pro-ashtray group preparing to attack the Fox News Chief as soon as possible.
“He (Ailes) didn’t mind; in fact, he rather appreciated the stagecraft, one political professional to another.’’
Chavets says after some pleasantries, “Obama got to the point. He was concerned about the way he was being portrayed on Fox, and his real issue wasn’t the news; it was Sean Hannity, who had been battering him every night.
“Ailes didn’t deny that Hannity was anti-Obama. He simply told the candidate not to worry about it.
Ailes is quoted as responding: “Nobody who watches Sean’s going to vote for you anyway.”
According to Chavets, Obama then asked Ailes what his personal concerns were.
“Ailes said he was mainly concerned about Obama’s strength on national-security issues. The candidate assured Ailes that he had nothing to worry about,’’ the author writes.
‘“Well, why are you going around talking about making cuts in weapons systems?’ asked Ailes. ‘If you’re going to cut, why not at least negotiate them and get something in return?”’
When Obama said Ailes was misinformed, "He said this looking me right in the eyes,” says Ailes. “He never dropped his gaze, which is the usual tell. It was as good a lie as anyone ever told me.
“I said, ‘Senator, I just watched someone say exactly that on my computer screen before coming over here. Maybe it wasn’t you, but it sure looked like you and sounded like you. I think it was you.’”
At that point, according to Chavets, “Gibbs stood and announced that the session was over. ‘I don’t think he liked the meeting very much,’ says Ailes.’’