Gawker obtained a 2005 note through a Freedom of Information Act request recently that shows Fox News president Roger Ailes offering the Bush administration "help off the record." The note is consistent with Ailes' influence in making Fox the communication arm of the Republican Party.
The Gawker find, which comes on the heels of news that Ailes' contract to run Fox News was extended through 2016, is a handwritten note sent to Condoleezza Rice in 2005, shortly after she was confirmed as President Bush's secretary of State. The note reads:
Great first month. You handled hearing beautifully. If I can be of help off the record -- just call.
According to Gawker, a Fox News spokesperson claimed Rice never accepted the offer. However, Ailes and Fox have a long history of providing "off the record" support to the GOP. Under Ailes' guidance, Fox has taken its place as the communications arm for the Republican Party.
As the self-described "voice of the opposition," Fox had an outsized influence on the 2010 midterm elections, giving GOP candidates and supporters both extensive airtime, free promotion, and a platform to raise money.