Relations between Sen. Barack Obama and Fox News Channel haven’t exactly been warm since the Illinois Democrat began his presidential campaign.
A year ago, the cable-news leader pounced on a scurrilous report (since debunked) that Obama attended a radical Islamist madrassa as a child. Later he joined fellow Democrats in boycotting a Fox-sponsored debate.
Since then, a thaw seems to have set in. Obama has appeared on Fox News several times since the madrassa flap. And while he declined an invitation to debate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) on Feb. 11, his demur probably had more to do with strategy than partisanship.
As it turns out Fox News and the Obama campaign are bound by blood.
David Rhodes, Fox News’ vice president of news, is the older brother of Ben Rhodes, one of the speechwriters responsible for Obama’s orotund oratory.
David, 34, who has been with Fox News since its 1996 inception, is responsible for the network’s news coverage. But while some will no doubt look for evidence of punches pulled—or redoubled, as it were—in Fox’s Obama coverage, David says brother Ben is discreet.
"He’s very careful not to give me any particular insight into his job," he says.
So what do they talk about when they go out for a beer?
"We both share a tremendous interest in politics, so obviously that comes up," he adds. "Lately we’ve both been very busy, so there haven’t been a lot of beers."
By Marisa Guthrie