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What Ailes Edwards

March 12, 2007 12:00 AM

Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is lashing out at Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Edwards, who dropped out of a Nevada presidential debate in part because it was being hosted by Fox News Channel.

"If [Sen. Edwards] doesn't have enough sense to show up and turns off the largest cable audience, he's going to have to accept the consequences," Mr. Ailes told TelevisionWeek. "People are going to realize he sold out."

Mr. Ailes' comments followed a speech in Washington to the Radio & Television News Directors Association in which he warned presidential candidates about boycotting debates based on which media outlets were involved. Mr. Ailes suggested Sen. Edwards is distancing himself from Fox to curry favor with liberals.

"He's been on Fox News 33 times [since August 2000]," Mr. Ailes said. "All of a sudden the far left is funding him and he has a different view. That's interesting." Mr. Ailes said he hasn't contacted Sen. Edwards. "Why? So we can get into a fight and he can say to the left-wingers, 'See, I'm in a fight with Fox News'?" Mr. Ailes said.

Late Friday, political bloggers reported that the Democratic party was considering canceling the Nevada event.