Does this mean that Fox News is abandoning the monster they created called The Tea Party?
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes has given one of his typically candid interviews to Newsweek. The interview was published Monday.
For a man who first made his name as a media guru for Richard Nixon, Ailes is often surprisingly forthcoming about Fox News and his opinions. In previous interviews, he has called NPR executives “Nazis” (he later apologized), said he didn’t mind if people thought Glenn Beck was fired from the channel, and admitted that he wants both Bill and Hillary Clinton to join Fox News.
Behind the scenes, Ailes is reported to have clashed with Sarah Palin and told Beck to cool his more controversial rhetoric.
Monday’s interview offered up more of Ailes’ unvarnished opinions about his network and his employees. He made a big admission to Newsweek, saying that he has made a “course correction” at Fox News, veering it away from the hard-right line it took in the earlier days of the Obama administration. (Ailes offered a preview of this strategy in January, when he told Russell Simmons that he had ordered his anchors and pundits to “tone it down” in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.) Beck’s departure, as well as a more nuanced approach to his most famous pundit, Sarah Palin, have been part of that strategy, Ailes said.
He also spoke openly about many of his anchors, saying that Bill O’Reilly “hates” Sean Hannity because he’s jealous of his radio success (and thus confirming years of rumors about the animosity between the two).
Ailes also called Hannity “predictable” and said that he sometimes has to have a word with Shepard Smith when Smith says things that may not go over well with the Fox News crowd. (He didn’t say whether he was referring to Smith’s seemingly pro-union comments about the Wisconsin protests, or his saying that the killing of Osama bin Laden was illegal and that American foreign policy is on a dangerous path.)
Read the full interview, including news about Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry’s relationship with Ailes, here.
Fox may look like a news broadcast, but it’s really the advance guard of the GOP distortion machine. An hour-by-hour look at how Fox turns Obama into the second coming of V.I. Lenin
In a new Rolling Stone story, Tim Dickinson tells how onetime Nixon henchman Roger Ailes built Fox News into the most profitable propaganda machine in history. A master of dirty tricks, Ailes has amassed enormous power in the Republican Party – and the country – by pioneering a new form of political campaign, one in which Fox functions as a “giant soundstage created to mimic the look of a news operation,” disguising GOP talking points as journalism.
On the day after the president gave his State of the Union address in January, Fox News swung into full campaign mode, hammering Obama with five GOP talking points that have come to define the budget debate. The baldfaced distortions came not just from a parade of Republican politicians – who outnumbered Democrats by 3 to 1 – but from the network’s own anchors.
Click through for an hour-by-hour rundown of the day’s relentless Obama-bashing.
Recently, Roger Ailes got angry with Chris Matthews for calling Palin “pathetic” but I suppose that was Ailes’ public persona. In private, it’s a different story…
Fox News still dominates the cable news ratings, but chairman Roger Ailes wants something more: to help elect the next president.
That’s the takeaway from Gabriel Sherman’s New York magazine cover story hitting newsstands Monday. Sherman, who’s currently writing a book on Fox News for Random House, looks at how Ailes — who built up a stable of possible presidential contenders after the 2008 election, including Sarah Palin — isn’t so pleased with their chances at beating President Barack Obama in 2012.
Ailes doesn’t speak on the record in the article, but several Republicans close to the Fox News chief describe his concerns going into an election year.
“He thinks things are going in a bad direction,” another Republican close to Ailes told [Sherman]. “Roger is worried about the future of the country. He thinks the election of Obama is a disaster. He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.”
Ailes, a television titan, has schooled past presidential candidates on how to handle the media. Before helping Rupert Murdoch launch Fox News in 1996, Ailes worked as a strategist for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush (who he still talks to regularly).
Continue reading here…
Too little too late?
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes said that he has told his network to “tone it down” in the wake of the shooting in Arizona, and that he hopes the “other side” will do so as well.
Ailes’ comments appeared in a conversation with Russell Simmons that was published on Simmons’ website, Global Grind. He said that any attempts to connect Fox News or the Tea Party to the shooting were “bullshit,” and that “both sides” were responsible for extreme rhetoric.
But Ailes did say that he had issued a warning to Fox News staff.
“I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Ailes said. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”
Read the full interview here.
Toadlike Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes has always been thought of as an evil genius—even his detractors admire his media-savvy PR brilliance. It’s not true. In fact, he’s an isolated old man whose anger has driven him insane.
We tend to just dismiss most of Roger Ailes’ public proclamations as so much rote (albeit viciously rote) Republican propaganda, in the same way we tend to dismiss most of what Robert Gibbs says. Ailes is only notable in that he’s ostensibly a media executive rather than an open political operative. Still, it was hard to ignore how Ailes described NPR in an interview out today:
“They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.”
We fear that Roger Ailes’ own paranoia has got the best of him. This is a man who’s already acquired a permit for carrying a concealed handgun and who told the New York Times ”I’ve got a bad leg, I’m a little overweight, so I can’t run fast, but I will fight” in case of terrorist attack at his place of employment, and who is shadowed by private bodyguards at all times, and who bought the newspaper in the small town where he lives in order to buffer himself from criticism. He has become so insulated from the normal human experience of life that he has become untethered from reality. It’s actually sad to see.
Paranoid Personality Disorder: a psychological condition “characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Those with the condition are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases…They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, disregarding any facts.”
Far be it from us to try to help Fox News, but you have to wonder how much longer Rupert Murdoch—whose own children have already spoken out against Ailes—will let this go on. Roger Ailes has full control of News Corp‘s most powerful asset. And he’s plainly gone over the edge. It won’t end well.