Roger Ailes

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"Of course you have to sleep with me! I run this place the way Jesus taught."
You gotta spin it to win it
Icon media.svg
Stop the presses!
We want pictures
of Spider-Man!
Extra! Extra!
Roger Ailes spent 50 years trying to make someone like Trump president. Once he achieved his goal, perhaps he had nothing left to live for.
—Bruce Bartlett, former Reagan strategist[1]

Roger Ailes (1940–2017) was the former president of Fox News. He was also a media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Donald Trump. No doubting Ailes' prowess: he came up with that famous Reagan rebuttal of not making age an issue in the campaign. He was also behind the "law and order" campaign rhetoric employed by Nixon and Trump. And of course, his news organization was half the reason Bush's son won the presidency. So, yes, it's all his fault.

Even worse, he was also responsible for bringing Rush Limbaugh to television.[2] To boot, he headed MSNBC's short-lived ancestor America's Talking. See, we told you it's all his fault.

He had to resign as president in 2016 over allegations of sexual assault.[3][4] On 10 May 2017, Ailes hit his head and died of a blood clot eight days later. He's groping the angels now.

Fear Factor(y)[edit]

The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from. It’s where the evil resides.
—Dan Cooper, former managing editor[5]
  1. The Southern Strategy. Developed by Nixon, it is a proven method of gaining political advantage by inflaming and harnessing white racism and anger. Anyone can observe Fox and the other right-wing media outlets and see the modern evolution of the Southern Strategy being enacted every day. The goal is to fire up hatred in those whose national white Christian overculture is being supplanted by multicultural and non-Christian authority. Right-wing anger is exactly what is desired.
  2. The Fairness Doctrine was removed during the Reagan Administration. Among other things, it regulated the news media and required broadcast radio and TV outlets to present both sides of an issue equally. However, the Fairness Doctrine only applied to broadcast television stations and had no authority over cable stations, so Fox News wouldn't have to abide by the doctrine even if it were still a law today. That requirement is no longer on the books.
  3. A thing to remember about him is his "Orchestra Pit" rule, which states that if it's a choice between an announcement of World Peace, or video of a guy falling off a stage into the orchestra pit, he will run the slapstick video on a loop, because he only cares about eyeballs and revenue. (He has said that publicly.[6])

The structure of the successful Murdoch Mouthpieces follows recognized cult guidelines.[7] Seriously, it is a short checklist; see if it looks eerily familiar.

Management and leadership style[edit]

Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!
—On former Fox reporter Kiran Chetry[8]

Bryan Fischer claims that Ailes's “leadership style is exactly the style that Jesus taught,” and credits Ailes’s Jesus-like behavior for Fox’s success, summing it up with “the key to success in a capitalistic system is to do things Jesus’ way.”[9]

Ailes's Jesus-like behavior included encouraging employees to lie under oath,[10] threats, paranoia, and harassment,[11] race-baiting,[12] as well as developing a vast variety of political dirty tricks,[13][4] – in addition, of course, to lining his office with bomb-proof material to protect him from the Homofascist Caliphate.[14] (Don't drink your own Kool-Aid, Rog.) We're still searching for scriptural references that Jesus exhibited any of the above behaviors.

Forced retirement[edit]

If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave.
—Classic Bill O'Reilly[15]

According to a 2014 book by Gabriel ShermanWikipedia, in the 1980s, Ailes offered a television producer a raise if she would sleep with him.[16] Fox News denied the allegation and rejected the authenticity of Sherman's book.[16] However, things kicked off later, when on July 6, 2016, Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, claiming that she was fired for rebuffing Ailes' advances.[17][18] Ailes denied the charges and called Carlson's lawsuit retaliatory for the network's decision not to renew her contract.[19] Three days later, Gabriel Sherman reported accounts from six women (two publicly and four anonymously) who alleged sexual harassment by Ailes.[20] In response, Ailes' counsel released a statement: "It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false."[20] On July 19, New York reported that Megyn Kelly told investigators Ailes made "unwanted sexual advances toward her" at the start of her career.[21]

On July 21, Ailes resigned as Chairman and CEO of Fox and was replaced by Rupert Murdoch.[22][23] In an open letter to Murdoch, Ailes said, "I will not allow my presence to become a distraction from the work that must be done every day to ensure that Fox News and Fox Business continue to lead our industry."[24]

Donald Trump has said that "a lot of people are thinking [Roger Ailes is] going to run my campaign" and has commented that Ailes was being "friendly" and did "so much" for the women who were making the allegations, which has led to rumors Trump is trying to subvert the JAQing off technique here, and that Ailes is in some way behind Trump's election campaign.[25][26][27] Ailes, who knew Trump for 30 years, told him, "What the hell is wrong with you? The United States is at war with every goddamn country in the Middle East and you're at war with Megyn Kelly and you think that looks good? It doesn't look good.”[28]

Ailes arranged a Trump-Kelly special which was supposed to clear the air for both of them,[29] but that special bombed and only brought in half the viewers expected. Phew, now he doesn't have to shell out another $25 million in contract negotiations![30] Kelly didn't stand by Ailes when the harassment charges came down the pipe. Worse yet, she made allegations of her own. What a dumbass.

Not much came out of the war room meetings with Trump, either. Trump's mind was elsewhere, while Rog's attention was distracted by his legal troubles and recounting old war stories.


  1. Bartlett, Bruce, @BruceBartlett 2017 May 18..
  2. IMDb: Rush Limbaugh
  3. CNN: Roger Ailes leaves Fox News
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fox News has a “crumbling foundation”: Roger Ailes’ biographer talks to Salon. Violence, paranoia, bigotry and sexual harassment reign at "America's Newsroom," author Gabriel Sherman explains
  5. Dickinson, Tim, "How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory", Rolling Stone 5.25.11.
  6. Dickinson, Tim, "Roger Ailes' Keys to Campaign Success: 'Pictures, Mistakes and Attacks'", Rolling Stone 6.6.11.
  7. Didelot, Patricia, "Fox News Anchor is 'Head of a Cult', Former Fox Anchor Says", Inquisitr 3.9.15.
  8. Kelley, Marty, "Roger Ailes Did Not Spend All That Money On A Glass Desk To Not Be Able To See Your Snatch", Wonkette (1/13/14 4:31pm).
  9. Right Wing Watch: Bryan Fischer Hails Roger Ailes for Running Fox News with 'Exactly the Style that Jesus Taught' 1 February 2012
  10. The New York Times: Fox News Chief, Roger Ailes, Urged Employee to Lie, Records Show 24 February 2011
  11. [, Gawker: Roger Ailes Continues to Ruin His Adopted Home] 10 May 2011
  12. Media Matters: Fox News' rhetoric echoes Ailes' long history of race-baiting 27 October 2009
  13. Rolling Stone: How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory 25 May 2011
  14. Reilly, Ryan J., "Rolling Stone: Roger Ailes' Bomb Proof Office Protects Him From 'Those Gays'", TPM (5/30/11, 5:25 PM EDT).
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Shocking New Claims About Fox News Chief". The Huffington Post. January 7, 2014. 
  17. Koblin, John (2016-07-08). "Roger Ailes, Arguing Gretchen Carlson Breached Contract, Presses for Arbitration". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  18. Gold, Hadas (July 6, 2016). "21st Century Fox launching 'internal review' at Fox News following Gretchen Carlson lawsuit". Politico. 
  19. "Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News Boss, Alleging Sexual Harassment Before Firing" (in en-US). Breitbart. 2016-07-06. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Sherman, Gabriel (July 9, 2016). "Six More Women Allege That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Them". New York. 
  21. Sherman, Gabriel (19 July 2016). "Sources: Megyn Kelly Told Murdoch Investigators That Roger Ailes Sexually Harassed Her". New York. 
  22. "Roger Ailes Resigns From Fox News Amid Sexual Harassment Accusations". Time. July 21, 2016. 
  23. "Roger Ailes leaves Fox News in wake of sexual harassment claims". The Guardian. July 21, 2016. 
  24. Balakrishnan, Anira; Castillo, Michelle (July 21, 2016). "Roger Ailes resigns as CEO of Fox News". CNBC.
  25. Uygur, Cenk; Kasparian, Ana; Iadarola, John; Dore, Jimmy (July 30, 2016). "Roger Ailes Might Run Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign". The Young Turks – via YouTube.
  26. O'Connor, Brendan (July 25, 2016). [, "Is Roger Ailes Going to Run Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign?"]. Gawker.
  27. Johnson, Ted (July 23, 2016). "Donald Trump on Roger Ailes' Fox News Exit: 'Very Sad'". Variety.