Appearing on The Rachel Maddow Show, former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather wondered whether Fox News and GOP front-runner Donald Trump conspired to create their very public feud, since it’s been beneficial to both sides:
Rather: … I’m a little suspicious, with not much evidence, I’m a little suspicious of this battle between Trump and Fox. What we do know is that Trump is really smart, as I said when he started this run, don’t underestimate him. And Roger Ailes, whether you agree with his politics or not, another smart guy. Whether they’ve gotten together and planned this out or not it works to their mutual benefit right now. Fox can argue this, we don’t give sweetheart deals to every Republican candidate and Trump can say I tell you I’m independent and when I say I’m independent I’m really independent, cause look at even Fox.
The feud began earlier this month when Trump took issue with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s tough questioning of him during the first GOP presidential debate. It appeared to have been settled after Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes contacted Trump, but then it blew up again after Kelly returned from vacation. That’s when Trump attacked her on Twitter and retweeted a tweet calling Kelly a “bimbo.”
Ailes has demanded that Trump apologize to Kelly, which is never going to happen, but he did soften his tone and said that all was well between him and Fox.
Rather’s speculation that Trump and Ailes somehow concocted this whole controversy is absurd and shows how out of touch the 83-year old former anchor is. Maddow’s treatment of him as some sort of media sage is even more embarrassing, given how he finished his career at CBS.