From the NY Times:
Their mission was to persuade Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the media empire, and Roger Ailes, the chairman and chief executive of its Fox News division, to keep the network’s on-air personalities from savaging the legislation and give it a fighting chance at survival. (emphasis mine)
Mr. Murdoch, an advocate of immigration reform, and Mr. Ailes, his top lieutenant and the most powerful man in conservative television, agreed at the Jan. 17, 2013, meeting to give the senators some breathing room. (emphasis mine)
So Rubio went to Fox News to keep conservatives from knowing the truth about their “immigration reform” bill (i.e. Gang of Eight) Notice he did not go to each talk show host and explain the advantages of their bill. NO, they went to Hannity and Bill O’Reilly’s BOSS to get them to hold their immigration opposition talk. (more on this below). If you go to my boss to get me to stop talking about an issue, that is not freedom of speech that is censorship.
Rubio tried and apparently succeeded in censoring Bill O’Reilly and Hannity as well as all Fox News programming. To many of us, it seemed that Fox News was “in the tank” for Rubio. Now we see that is exactly what happened. Fox News agreed to withhold their coverage of a key issue because the leader of Fox News agreed with Senator Rubio and the Gang of Eight bill. Of course, Hannity and Bill O’Reilly will deny being pawns of their boss or that they were censored but as the next quote shows, that appears to be exactly what happened.
This was not some minor suggestion or seeking support for airtime. It was designed to control and limit what Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Again from the NY Times:
At the time, The Washington Post reported that Mr. Rubio’s advisers were monitoring to the minute how much time the hosts devoted to immigration, and that “they are heartened that the volume is much diminished.” (emphasis mine)
But Rubio and his conspirators knew that just controlling Fox News’ coverage would not be enough. They had to try to control Rush Limbaugh:
So the senators supporting the legislation turned to Mr. Rubio, the Florida Republican, to reach out to Mr. Limbaugh. (emphasis mine)
The senators argued how damaging the word “amnesty” was to their efforts, and walked Mr. Limbaugh through their vision for an immigration overhaul.
The senators were especially eager to try to neutralize conservative media, which proved lethal to a big push for immigration changes in 2007.
It seems Rush was under the false impression that Rubio’s plan would control the border first (which turned out later not to be true) before any legalization:
“I know for you border security is the first and last — if that doesn’t happen, none of the rest does, right?” Mr. Limbaugh lobbed. (emphasis mine)
“Well, not just that,” swung Mr. Rubio. “That alone is not enough.”
Notice how Rubio did not answer Rush’s question directly. He knew that his amnesty bill did not control the border as he told Univision when he described the bill as citizenship first then border control. (In fact, the bill actually reduced border security)
There are two important conclusions from this article:
1) Fox News is not to be trusted. They will slant their news coverage and get their commentators to do the same keeping valuable information from those who trust Fox News. For those old enough to remember, CNN had initially been a conservative outlet and look at them now —so we’ve been here before and we will need a new news network to trust.
2) Rubio is not to be trusted. Rather than going to the public and honestly presenting his vision for immigration reform and engaging in a lively debate, Rubio decided to silence opposition behind the scenes. Rubio tried to keep the truth from conservative voters and now it is clear that Rubio lacks the character to be President.
After NOTE: The NY Times article also indicates that Rubio tried to persuade Mark Levin to not discuss the immigration amnesty plan but it seems his efforts were rebuffed. Perhaps this is why Mark Levin has been so hard on Rubio. He knows what Rubio tried to do to him to silence him.