Now it can be told: Carl Cameron says he knew all along that Fred was only in it for the VP nomination; Update: Hit piece? Update: What did Fox know and when did they know it?

Too bad to check, although it’d certainly explain his half-hearted campaigning. He wanted to be VP, was surprised to find major buzz behind a presidential run, took a stab at it to see if he could convert the buzz into votes, and then predictably flamed out when he half-assed it.

I don’t quite believe it, but Cameron mentioned something about this yesterday too on FNC. Can it be? Can the whole Fredhead phenomenon be nothing but a lark spun off from a stunt aimed at raising Fred’s profile to the point where he’d be viable as John McCain’s number two?

Update: Excruciating: “I sent off a resume to the campaign in, oh, seems like about May, and never heard from them.”

Update: A reader e-mails to remind us (snidely) that Cameron’s been hammering Fred ever since his pal Jim Mills was hired away from FNC by the campaign and then summarily fired a few weeks later, leaving him high and dry. I’ve noted that intriguing background detail myself in previous posts. I don’t know anything about Cameron to make me think he’d be so vindictive as to invent details to smear a disfavored subject, but there’s your grain of salt.

Update: Jack M. tells Ace that he heard the same rumors about Fred sniffing around for a VP nomination back when Cameron claims to have heard them, from which Ace mines this quandary:

Carl Cameron most likely let his fellow Foxies in on the Big Secret he was keeping confidential. This almost certainly distorted FoxNews’ coverage of Fred Thompson, which was strangely antipathetic towards him. Fred complained that he wasn’t getting much play at Fox, and there does seem to be some evidence for that.

Fred Thompson should have enjoyed a fairly warm reception at conservative-leaning, Reagan-revering Fox — and yet he seems not to. Why? Well, perhaps because Fox was acting as if Cameron’s scoop were true… while not telling their audience the reasons for their behavior.

Which leads to serious questions. If FoxNews was sitting on an undisclosed scoop they could not reveal due to oaths of secrecy, should they then behave according to that knowledge?

Did they behave according to that knowledge? I’m skeptical; the alleged FNC bias against Fred has always seemed dubious to me. Remember too who sponsored the debate at which Fred was given his big chance to hammer Huckabee and which correspondent it was who granted him that time.

Update: Another point and a question. If the rumors even trickled down to congressional staffers like Jack then surely Cameron wasn’t the only member of the media to hear of them. There’s no reason to think they colored FNC’s coverage any more than any other net’s (unless you buy the revenge-for-Mills theory). But in that case, why is today the first we’re hearing of this? Cameron says he was sworn to secrecy but surely not everyone who got wind of it, like Jack, had made promises to his source. And it’s juicy enough — not scandal-juicy but intrigue-juicy — to make it worth the while of some reporter hunting for scoops to have dug around and tossed it out there during the campaign. The fact that no one did makes me think it’s paper-thin.