A new book from Jonathan Alter claims that Fox News President Roger Ailes told producers to cut off the microphone used by Fox host Geraldo Rivera as he pushed back against Fox's politicization of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Appearing on Fox & Friends the day before the 2012 election, Rivera accused The Five's Eric Bolling of being "a politician trying to make a political point" with Bolling's claim that the government did "nothing" in response to the attack.
The New York Times reports that Alter writes in the upcoming book The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies that "Ailes called the control room and told the producers to cut Rivera's mic."
Here is the video of the segment, previously captured by Media Matters:
At about 7:12 in the video, there is an audible change in the volume of Rivera's microphone, while his words continue to be picked up by the microphones the other hosts are wearing.
You can hear the change in volume in the following clip of the segment:
Mediaite reports that their sources claim that Ailes never called the control room, but that Fox News Executive Vice President of Programming Bill Shine did. They go on to write, "Shine did not order Rivera's mic to be cut. Instead his call was to urge the show to move on because the segment had come to its conclusion, as the EVP seemed to believe that two Fox personalities calling each other liars with an escalating tone made for bad morning television and could potentially alienate their audience if it continued."
After President Obama was first elected, Shine described Fox News as "the voice of the opposition" to his presidency.
As repeatedly documented by Media Matters, Fox News management has a history of directly intervening with the network's content in order to promote conservative positions.