Why Did Fox Allow Spokesanchor Megyn Kelly to Attack Dick Cheney on Iraq?

Here’s one for the Kremlin watchers. Why did Fox News Pres. Roger Ailes decide to go after Dick Cheney’s record of deception and ineptitude about the invasion of Iraq? Sources say that daily talking points are largely determined by Ailes and delivered by his minions in morning meetings to Foxbots like Megyn Kelly. During an interview with Cheney yesterday, Kelly put Cheney on defense about his record of lies and failures about Iraq, which she described in unvarnished and shockingly reality-based terms.

Cheney and his daughter Liz — last seen dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in the Cheney fiefdom of Wyoming after polls showed she was 50 points behind the incumbent, ultra right-wing GOP Sen. Mike Enzi — have launched yet another anti-Obama organization. As part of the rollout, in an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal, which, like Fox, is owned by Rupert Murdoch, Dick Cheney criticized the President, saying, “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

In response to that, on Fox yesterday, Kelly asked him:

KELLY: Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well in Iraq, sir. You said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. You said we would be greeted as liberators. You said the insurgency was in its last throes back in 2005, and you said that after our intervention, extremists would have to ‘rethink their strategy of jihad.’ Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with almost 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?

Cheney’s response was what you’d expect — he is completely blameless for the fiasco and … “mushroom cloud!!”:

CHENEY: No, I just fundamentally disagree, Reagan — I mean, Megyn. You’ve got to go back and look at the track record. We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody’s mind about the extent of Saddam’s involvement in weapons of mass destruction. We had a situation where if we —- after 9/11 we were concerned about a follow-on attack that would involve not just airline tickets and box-cutters as the weapons, but rather something far deadlier, perhaps even a nuclear weapon.

During the eight years of the Bush administration, Fox worked hand-in-hand with Karl Rove’s propaganda mill in the White House, and the network was a crucial source of warmongering when the administration rolled out its marketing campaign for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Because the objective of all American interest in Iraq is securing its oil reserves for U.S. energy oligarchs — conversely, if all Iraq had was the world’s third largest reserves of olive oil, no one, especially Murdoch and Ailes, would care much what happens there — and propping up oil oligarchs is a key part of what Fox does, it’s puzzling why Fox would turn on Cheney, the world’s best-known oil oligarch, now.

Some have speculated that Murdoch and Ailes may have decided to criticize Cheney because they are betting on Sen. Rand Paul, the anti-interventionist odd-duck, tea party, Christianist libertarian from Kentucky, to win the presidency in 2016. Time will tell if that’s the case, and there’s really no downside in the meantime for reality-based Americans. It’s fun to see Cheney attacked on Fox, and Rand Paul’s prospects for being elected president are likely to be no better than his father’s results in 2012.

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