New Book Paints Fox News Mastermind Roger Ailes As An Evil, Miserable, Horny, Little Old Toad

01.14.14 44 Comments

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As you may have heard, New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman has a new book out today on Roger Ailes, the dark lord behind Fox News’ evil empire, titled, The Loudest Voice in the RoomIn recent days, a number of anecdotes from the book have spilled into the media — what with reviews coming out and Sherman going around giving interviews and whatnot — with many of them being downright hilarious. I’ve collected a few of my favorite things related to the book that I’ve seen floating around out there here for you, dear reader.

First, via Media Matters, is an excerpt from the book on Ailes’ love for Catherine Crier’s legs and glass desks…

“Be more opinionated,” he told Crier in one meeting. “The guests are there as a foil for you.” He also disagreed with her dress. “He had admiration for her legs,” a senior executive said. In one meeting, Ailes barked, “Tell Catherine I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”

And another involving Ailes’ love for lady legs…

“Anchor Bob Sellers remembered Ailes once calling the control booth. ‘I was doing the weekend show with Kiran Chetry. He called up and said, ‘Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!'”

Also via Media Matters, Ailes doesn’t seem to think highly of his own on-air talent…

No one was spared from Ailes’s eruptions. He vented constantly about his talent. He complained about The Five co-host Andrea Tantaros, who was a former political consultant. “She’s pretty, but did she ever get anyone elected, even a dog catcher?” When Gretchen Carlson’s name came up, Ailes pointed out she was once Miss America, then added, “It must not have been a good year.” Her co-host, Brian Kilmeade, was a “soccer coach from Long Island.” Bill O’Reilly was a “book salesman with a TV show.”

The person who reviewed Sherman’s book for the New York Times opened his review with a personal anecdote…

Twenty years ago, my wife and I bought a weekend house in the town of Garrison, N.Y., in the lower Hudson Valley. We love the place for its scenic beauty, its peace and quiet, and its old-fashioned sense of community. For us, it’s a refuge from the pace of city life, a place with an easygoing mix of lifestyles and a widely shared ethos about preserving what makes it special.

A few years ago, we found ourselves with a new neighbor. Roger Ailes, the chief executive of Fox News, seemed to be looking for something different when he moved to Garrison: not an escape, but a new arena for conflict. He bought the soothing local weekly, The Putnam County News & Recorder; named his wife, Elizabeth, publisher; and set about transforming it into The New York Post with field hockey scores. He fortified his hilltop property by buying up surrounding homes and installing an underground bunker with six months of survival rations. He began appearing at local meetings, Gabriel Sherman writes in his new book, with bodyguard and lawyer in tow, demanding to be heard in opposition to a zoning plan intended to limit future development. He drafted Republican candidates to run for town offices.

Garrison is the key to understanding Ailes because it’s a microcosm of what he’s spent his career doing to the country. He could have moved there to live and let live. Instead, in a way that seems to have been almost involuntary, he recapitulated the culture war he was already busily inciting at a national level. Within a short time of his arrival, town meetings turned ugly. Issues of patriotism, religion and political correctness overtook the normal debates about road paving and property taxes. Single-handedly and almost instantaneously, he injected a peaceable civic space with an aggression and unpleasantness that weren’t there before.

Here’s what Sherman himself  said on CNN last night about Ailes essentially running Mitt Romney’s media campaign for the presidency in 2012…

“He [Ailes] said to his senior executives, we’re going to have to do a lot to get this guy elected, meaning Mitt Romney. And he said to Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard and at the time, a Fox News contributor, that he did not think Mitt Romney had the spine to, quote, ‘rip [Barack] Obama’s face off.’ So Ailes, through FOX, took it upon himself to run Mitt Romney’s media strategy..For the first time in American history, a Republican candidate’s war room was being run out of the headquarters of a news channel. Mitt Romney’s war room was being run out of Sixth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.”

If you’re wondering how Ailes became such a evil and sad little man, this graph from the New Yorker’s review of Sherman’s book says it all, I think…


Again, Gabriel Sherman’s Loudest Voice in the Room goes on sale today. It promises to be the funniest and most disturbing book of 2014.

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