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September 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Since the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Fox News chief Roger Ailes says that he has toned down the most highly charged conservative rhetoric on the news channel, undertaking what he calls a “course correction” towards the mainstream. In a Newsweek interview with media writer Howard Kurtz, Ailes said that the news channel’s star commentator, Bill O’Reilly, had moderated his remarks because “Beck scared him” — presumably referring to the rabid following that host Glenn Beck attracted before leaving the channel. (O’Reilly told Kurtz that he never worried about Beck, saying “He’s a performer, I’m a journalist.”) In the interview with Kurtz, Ailes defended the network’s “fair and balanced” motto this way: “Every other network has given all their shows to liberals. We are the balance.” In a separate interview with Dylan Stableford of Yahoo’s The Cutline, Ailes was asked whether Sarah Palin would continue as a Fox News contributor if she decides to run for president. (She is expected to announce her decision within a week.) If she does, “she’s out,” Ailes replied. “Done, immediately.”