In advance of the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library, Fox News is gearing up to rehabilitate the former president's image with the help of former Bush administration officials turned Fox employees.
On the April 23 edition of America's Newsroom, anchor Martha MacCallum hosted former Bush senior advisor and current Fox News political analyst Karl Rove to discuss Bush's legacy. During the interview, MacCallum gave Rove a platform to praise his former boss on a wide range of issues.
Both MacCallum and Rove highlighted how history will be the true judge of Bush's performance as president:
According to TV Newser, Bush will be interviewed later in the week by his former press secretary and current Fox News host Dana Perino, whose questioning is expected to be "more personal given her prior relationship" with the former president. Special Report anchor Bret Baier will also reportedly interview Bush, with the show broadcasting from the library on both April 24 and 25.
If previous Fox interviews of Bush since he left office are any indication, he can expect the network to handle him with kid gloves this week. For example, in 2010, Sean Hannity devoted an hour to lobbing softballs at the former president (Hannity had previously run excerpts of an interview he conducted with Bush from inside his pickup truck).
The efforts to restore Bush's image are nothing new for Fox; the network has spent years whitewashing his legacy. In addition to Rove and Perino, Fox also employs John Bolton, Bush's former ambassador to the United Nations.
Previewing her interview with Bush during an April 23 appearance on Fox News Radio program Kilmeade & Friends, Perino said the interview was "very heartfelt and very personal." She added that not only was Bush the president and her boss, but "he became a friend and really like a second father to me in many ways."