This holiday season, when your FOX-news loving relatives wax on about the righteousness of their network's plight in the face of the cruel slings of the Liberal Media, the greatest gift you can give them is a reminder that their "fair and balanced" network attempted to buy off the top commander of our troops in Afghanistan. Bob Woodward at the Washington Post obtained an audio recording of one of Roger Ailes' deputies practically begging General David Petraeus to run for president. Petraeus declines to run, but says, "If I ever ran, I'd take [Ailes] up on his offer. He said he would quit FOX and bankroll it."

The transcript, which Holly Petraeus will presumably read aloud to Petraeus from outside the bathroom he's locked himself in, over and over again, makes General Stanley McChrystal's comments look like a caption to a Ziggy cartoon. "I love Roger," Petraeus says. "I know. And he loves you, and everybody at Fox loves you," Ailes' deputy, FOX News contributor Kathleen McFarland replies.

Q: Can I give you the gossip that I’ve picked up about all that? Petraeus: What’s that?

Q: I mean, I’m sure you hear better gossip, but I talked to some former chiefs about this very topic. And they said, well, you know, the White House is particularly nervous...

Petraeus: Of course they are.

Q: Well, but...and here’s the thinking: that they’re nervous about...They feel that Obama had this mandate. And the mandate—in his own mind. Obama wanted to do Obamacare...He wanted to do environment, which is basically controlling all aspects of the economy. And education, which is the future. So he pushed for Obamacare. He got that done. They didn’t anticipate 2010 results. But he now is going to lie low and be very centrist so that they win in ’12 and they get the other two. Now, what they need—and this is not from the chiefs, this is from political people—and what they need to cement it so that it doesn’t get reversed in a third term. And that means 2016, they need to win, the Democrats need to win, and they need to win with their guy. Their kind of guy. So that then you’d have the stuff as locked in place for a generation. Nobody can come in like Reagan came in and reverse.

Petraeus: Yeah. Yeah.

Q: And that’s their plan. You’re their problem.

Petraeus: [Laughs] I’m not.

Q: “I’m not”—okay. You can laugh all you want.

Isn't this collusion between a four-star general and the most-watched, least-informed propaganda stream in America just adorable? Petraeus seems to know that the words tumbling out of his mouth are giving Faust an erection in Hell, and splutters a warning to make sure that no one outside of the room learns about the meeting, which took place in the spring of 2011: "You all have really got to shut your mouths—or shut your...Yeah, shut your mouths, too."

That admonition worked as well as Operation Hagiographical Coitus.

McFarland assures Petraeus that her boss isn't talking either: "And my deal with you will be, I sit down with him. And he is a little paranoid, so—believe me, he doesn’t have anybody in that room."

Naturally, when confronted with the audio recordings, Ailes said that his instructions to a reporter who flew to Afghanistan and meet the head of U.S. military operations there were a "joke":

“It was more of a joke, a wiseass way I have. I thought the Republican field [in the primaries] needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate. It sounds like she thought she was on a secret mission in the Reagan administration. . . She was way out of line. . . . It’s someone’s fantasy to make me a kingmaker. It’s not my job.”

Hilarious! Maybe FOX should bring back Punk'd (Shane Smith are you listening?) and have Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch offer to bankroll the presidential candidacies of people like Flava Flav and Rob Schneider? You can listen to more about the two jobs Petraeus might be interested in, how McFarland can change FOX headlines to be more pro-military because she sits next to the person who writes them, and how Petraeus says his wife would "divorce" him if he ran, here.