Carl Bernstein issued a scathing critique of the media on Thursday, blasting its response to Bob Woodward's report that Roger Ailes tried to get David Petraeus to run for president.
Earlier this month, Woodword reported that both Ailes and Rupert Murdoch had urged Petraeus to seek the Republican nomination. He released a 13-minute recording of Petraeus speaking to Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland. Petraeus told McFarland that Ailes "said he would quit Fox ... and bankroll it."
In a Guardian column published on Thursday, Bernstein hammered Ailes and Murdoch for trying to "hijack America's democratic institutions." Moreover, though, he alleged that the press simply failed on the story:
Indeed, almost as dismaying as Ailes' and Murdoch's disdain for an independent and truly free and honest press... has been the ho-hum response to the story by the American press and the country's political establishment, whether out of fear of Murdoch, Ailes and Fox – or, perhaps, lack of surprise at Murdoch's, Ailes' and Fox's contempt for decent journalistic values or a transparent electoral process.
Bernstein expressed his dismay at what he said was the attempted "buying of the presidency." He hit out at the Post, particularly managing editor Liz Spayd, for placing the story in the style section. The reaction represented, the former Post reporter, said, the media's failure on the greater story "of Murdoch's destructive march across our democratic landscape."