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Stop The "Bloodshed": Trump Calls Truce With Fox News

As Hillary Clinton attempts to fend of a surging Bernie Sanders while addressing serious questions about her handling of sensitive government information during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, Donald Trump is busy trying to determine how best to handle a string of bad publicity which paradoxically has him well ahead of GOP rivals in the polls. 

Trump, whose reputation for being "teflon" and "gaffe proof" has held up nicely since last Thursday’s first Republican primary debate, found himself out of favor with Fox News (an ardently GOP-friendly network) after suggesting that Megyn Kelly was menstruating when she asked him if he thought calling women “disgusting pigs” was behavior that was likely to hold up well with voters. Since then, Trump has refused to apologize, even as his comments appeared to have cost him a top advisor and a speaking slot at a GOP event. 

Now, it looks as though obstinace has paid off because as FT reports, Fox’s President Roger Ailes has apparently decided that being boycotted by the Republican frontrunner isn’t an acceptable outcome for the network. Here’s more:

Friends again. Donald Trump and Fox News have agreed to a truce after four days of feuding that exposed Republican party weaknesses in the 2016 election.

 

The real estate mogul reappeared on Fox on Tuesday morning after talking the day before to Roger Ailes, president of the conservative-leaning network and a backroom influence in Republican politics.

 

Mr Trump, who is leading the polls for the Republican nomination, had threatened to boycott the network over what he claimed was harsh treatment in a debate last week between presidential candidates. At one stage, he even appeared to suggest that Fox presenter Megyn Kelly had asked him tough questions because she was menstruating.

 

“We are friends, Steve. We’ve always been friends,” Mr Trump told Steve Doocy, co-host of Fox & Friends, on Tuesday morning.

 

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Mr Trump said he had received a call from Mr Ailes on Monday to discuss the debate, although he said they did not mention Ms Kelly. “Roger Ailes, who is an amazing guy and an amazing executive, frankly, he called me yesterday and as far as I’m concerned, I’m fine with it,” he said.

 

Mr Ailes put out a statement saying the two men had a “blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared”. He said he had expressed his confidence in Ms Kelly who was “a brilliant journalist”.

Yes, a “brilliant journalist”, but apparently not brilliant enough for Fox to risk sticking its neck out for if it means an ongoing feud with Trump, who isn’t exactly known for backing down. 

Here’s an admittedly slanted, though useful take from New York Magazine

In the fallout since the first GOP debate, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes has found himself caught between Donald Trump, who has the full backing of Fox’s misogynist audience, and Megyn Kelly, the star anchor whom Ailes has nurtured and sees as the key to reaching younger viewers. For a few days, Ailes didn’t know how to handle Trump’s full-throated attack on Kelly, who accused Trump of sexism during the debate. Eventually, he made the same choice he always does: follow the ratings, and mend fences with Trump. But that process has meant that Fox has had to mute its defense of Kelly, who is now watching uneasily as the Fox audience turns on her.

 

 

Trump is now back in Fox’s fold, but the lengths that Ailes went to in order to win Trump back revealed a rare moment of weakness for the Fox chief. Since Trump’s “blood” comment on Friday, some Fox executives have wanted Ailes to personally call Trump and broker a truce. But, according to a Fox source, Ailes and his lawyer Peter Johnson Jr. felt that calling Trump was a risk they couldn’t take, given Trump's erratic behavior on the campaign trail. What if Trump leaked the conversation on Twitter like he did with Lindsey Graham’s cell-phone number? (When reached by email about this story, Johnson responded: “The reporting is false and obviously fabricated.”)

 

Ailes’s unwillingness to pick up the phone meant that Fox was flying blind. “They didn’t know what Trump was thinking,” one source explained. It was left to emissaries to try and discern Trump’s next move. But, after Trump told Sean Hannity in a weekend phone call that he was “never doing Fox again,” appeared on four non-Fox public-affairs shows on Sunday, and did interviews with Today and Morning Joe on Monday, Ailes raised the white flag and picked up the phone on Monday morning. “Roger wanted a friendly relationship,” the source explained.

And here it is straight from the horse's mouth (if you will):

Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on

. His word is always good!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Whatever one wants to say about the "Teflon Don," it appears that, for now anyway, all publicity is indeed good publicity, and you can rest assured that as long as Trump is ahead in the polls, he will indeed receive "fair" treatment on Fox - whether Megyn Kelly likes it or not.