Ailes: Fox assured Obama of fair coverage

Sept. 3, 2008 at 9:25 AM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes says he and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch met with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama and assured him of fair coverage.

While in Minnesota to attend the Republican National Convention, Ailes told The Washington Post he, Murdoch and Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, had a productive discussion three months ago in New York. He said Obama had expressed concerns about Fox News Channel's portrayal of him and his wife Michelle.

The newspaper said Ailes told Obama that while his network wouldn't be "in the tank" for him, he assured the nominee he would be treated fairly. In return, Obama has agreed to appear on "The O'Reilly Factor" Thursday, hosted by conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly.

Obama and the other Democratic U.S. presidential contenders boycotted Fox News during the primary election season, saying they wouldn't stage a debate on the network because of its alleged bias in favor of the Republican Party.

Ailes told the Post that when Obama raised the question of fairness in the meeting, he responded by saying, "Senator, you're the one who boycotted us. We're not the ones who boycotted you. Nor did we retaliate for your boycott."

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