05/10/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Democrats And Fox News Play Nice

With Hillary Clinton on the "O'Reilly Factor" and Barack Obama on "Fox News Sunday" (not to mention Terry McAuliffe's ringing commercial endorsement), the Democrats and Fox News appear to be playing nice. The New York Times' Brian Stelter reports on the developing relationship between the Democrats and Fox News:

All of a sudden, the once-frosty relationship between Fox News and the Democratic candidates seems to have grown warmer. Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama, who steadfastly refused to attend Fox-sponsored debates last year, are now giving plenty of interviews as they court Fox's viewers, who are largely white, conservative and undecided.

"It's probably true that we appeal to white working-class voters," said Brit Hume, the network's Washington managing editor and the host of "Special Report." "The candidates are going where the voters are."

Conversely, Fox seems to have softened its stance toward the Democrats, mindful of the intense viewer interest in the prolonged primary season. Although Fox News remains firmly in first place among news channels, CNN has crept up in the ratings on primary nights. So Fox wants to appeal to people who might otherwise flip the channel in search of more time with the Democrats.

In short, Fox News and the Democrats abruptly find each other useful.

Read the entire New York Times article here.

The New York Post's Michael Starr confirms how useful the Dems are for Fox, with Hillary Clinton's "O'Reilly Factor" appearance bringing in big ratings for Bill:

Clinton's first-ever visit to Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" averaged 3.7 million viewers, a 42 percent increase from O'Reilly's year-to-date numbers (2.6 million).

The numbers were even better in the "money" demo, adults 25-54, where "The O'Reilly Factor" averaged 939,000 viewers - a whopping 82 percent increase from its season-to-date average (515,000 viewers), according to Nielsen.

TVNewser confirms it was O'Reilly's highest-rated show of the year.