Nov
20
2012

Roger Ailes' Fantasy World

Roger Ailes

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes recently renewed his contract, and he gave an interview to explain why. As one might expect, given the we-only-look-biased-because-the-other-guys-are-so-biased philosophy at Fox, he's motivated by what he sees as the outrageously partisan media everywhere else (MediaBistro, 11/16/12): Ailes was also sparked by what he experienced at a Washington journalists' dinner. "When I saw the president say, 'I know you all voted for me,' and a thousand people stood up and cheered and applauded and then when the applause died down, he said, 'Oh probably except you guys at the Fox table.' I thought, 'Am I […]

Dec
06
2011

Fox News Goes to the Middle (and Other Fantasies)

Is Fox News Channel going soft? In an election year? Some media figures seem to think the hard-right channel is going to the "middle," but this seems to be a figment of the centrist imagination. New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman has a short piece trying to make this case. His first bit of evidence is that Fox granted backstage access at its recent Republican debate to a New York Times reporter–as Sherman put it, "Fox's decision to allowTimes scribe Jim Rutenberg into the building to confront the candidates in person." That sounds rather aggressive, and Sherman sees this as some […]

May
31
2011

The Things That Roger Ailes Fears…

According to Tim Dickinson's new piece in Rolling Stone, Fox honcho Roger Ailes lives in fear of "those gays": Murdoch installed Ailes in the corner office on Fox's second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing a demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself […]

May
24
2011

Behind the Scenes at Fox Is Like in Front of the Scenes

Gabriel Sherman's new piece in New York magazine (5/22/11) about Roger Ailes and Fox News Channel offers more indications that whatgoes on behind the scenesat Fox is more or less what you'd expect, given the channel's obvious on-air slant. The person hired to run the news division has some peculiar ideas about news: Bill Sammon, a former Washington Times correspondent, angered Fox's political reporters, who saw him pushing coverage further to the right than they were comfortable with. Days after Obama's inauguration, an ice storm caused major damage throughout the Midwest. At an editorial meeting in the D.C. bureau, Sammon […]

Feb
25
2011

Latest Glimpse of Fox's Culture of Lying?

A front-page story in today's New York Times strongly suggests that Roger Ailes–the News Corp executive who runs the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Network, and Fox broadcast stations–urged a witness to lie to federal officials in order to protectfriend and politician Rudolph Giuliani. If true, what may be most remarkable about the story is how unsurprising it is coming from Fox. Other networks surely harbor biases, but it would be surprising to find, say, that a top ABC News executive had suborned perjury in a partisan ploy to protect a politician. But if the allegations against Ailes are […]