From News Hounds:
Bret Baier visited The O’Reilly Factor tonight to discuss his somewhat contentious interview with Mitt Romney the day before. Apparently, Romney was not pleased and complained that Baier was overly aggressive. Contentious interview with a Republican candidate? A discussion on the top-rated O’Reilly about it in which Baier suggests Romney is a sissy? Is Fox throwing its weight behind its former contributor Newt Gingrich – who, it just so happens, had an hourlong lapdog interview with Hannity tonight? Or is Baier really trying to be fair and balanced with tough questions?
Early on in their discussion Baier told O’Reilly that Romney “was irritated by the interview after we were done.”
[...] Baier said Romney “made it clear at the end of the interview” that he was not pleased. When pressed for details, Baier said, “He said he thought it was overly aggressive.”
“He said that to you? He said it was overly aggressive?” an obviously surprised O’Reilly asked.
“He did,” Baier told him.
“Wow,” O’Reilly said.
Baier added, “As we were walking in the ‘walk and talk’ and then after we finished, he went to his holding room and then came back and said he didn’t like the interview and thought it was uncalled for.”
(Video at News Hounds link)
From Alex Pareene at Salon:
We all know the basic facts: A lot of conservatives see Romney as completely unacceptable. The more pragmatic ones see Gingrich as wholly unelectable. Fox News is run by consummate conservative elite Roger Ailes. Ailes has two objectives: Generate ratings and elect Republicans. The Gingriches of the world excite Fox viewers, because of their shamelessness. Romney excites no one, but he’ll need Fox’s support if he ends up the beneficiary of a Gingrich collapse.
Fox has indulged its audience’s brief surges of affection for unelectable fringe candidates, from Trump through Cain, but the channel’s always been careful to remind the base that they may eventually have to hold their noses and vote for Romney. Karl Rove, who’s already running a shadow campaign against Obama, has made this point explicitly during his Fox appearances.
Watching Fox this morning, clips of Gingrich’s Hannity interview were replayed multiple times. Ron Paul’s devastating anti-Gingrich ad was excerpted for a minute, followed by a clip of Romney sounding like he believed in anthropogenic climate change.
The network seems, in other words, undecided at the moment, or at least willing to see if Gingrich can pull this out without humiliating himself like he always does. The Rovians may yet win the day, but for now Fox seems to be joining the GOP base in convincing itself that Gingrich is electable.