Last weekend, in a post I did on Crooks and Liars, I questioned the reasoning behind trotting out Peter Johnson, Jr., Roger Ailes' personal attorney, to make wild accusations against President Obama regarding the killings at the American consulate at Benghazi, Libya. Why not get a real expert in national security? And why would the presumably intelligent Johnson throw out what even he admitted was an evidence-free hypothesis - that Obama deliberately sacrificed American lives in order to appease Libya - on a subject that's not in his realm of expertise? My thinking was that Johnson was spreading the message Ailes wanted spread without the messy inconvenience of having his fingerprints on such an inflammatory accusation against President Obama. Well, an article in New York Magazine suggests I was right.
I don't know if New York Magazine author Gabriel Sherman read my post or not but he specifically mentioned that segment and raised the same questions:
Consider this: Johnson is an on-air pundit, weighing in on topics as varied as Trayvon Martin, Occupy Wall Street, Obamacare, and Benghazi. He is a regular fill-in host on Fox & Friends. And he is Ailes's personal attorney who negotiated the network chief's new four-year contract with News Corp., said to be worth upward of $30 million a year. Fox executives frequently find Johnson conferring with Ailes privately. “He is a fixture in Ailes’s office,” one Fox source explained.
But Johnson’s value to Ailes extends far beyond his work as a lawyer. This election season, when Ailes has a message to communicate, chances are that it is Johnson who articulates it on air. One insider told me that Johnson is allowed to use the teleprompter to read from scripts, a perk which is normally reserved for Fox hosts. “Johnson has a rare privilege other contributors don’t have,” the source said. “He can load a script directly into the teleprompter. So it’s not even Ailes unplugged. It’s Ailes plugged in ... It’s why he sounds like Roger.”
Why would Johnson need a teleprompter if he was putting forth his own thoughts and beliefs?
While I have your attention, I’d like to hype the latest series at my blog. It’s called “Judge Not,” after the great Bob Marley tune and is all about Judge Nap. Today I published the second entry in the series and am interested in knowing what you all think. Please have a look: Judge Not Two âº Libertarian Logrolling at http://notnowsilly.blogspot.com/2012/10/judge-not-two-libertarian-logrolling.html
Thank you and we now return you to your regular comments thread.
With all my love,
Aunty “Headly” Em