Roger Ailes

Remembering Roger Ailes

Matt Taibbi: “Ailes was the Christopher Columbus of hate. When the former daytime TV executive and political strategist looked across the American continent, he saw money laying around in giant piles. He knew all that was needed to pick it up was a) the total abandonment of any sense of decency or civic duty in the news business, and b) the factory-like production of news stories that spoke to Americans’ worst fantasies about each other.”

“Like many con artists, he reflexively targeted the elderly – ‘I created a TV network for people from 55 to dead,’ he told Joan Walsh – where he saw billions could be made mining terrifying storylines about the collapse of the simpler America such viewers remembered, correctly or (more often) incorrectly, from their childhoods.”

Megyn Kelly Accused Roger Ailes of Sexual Assault

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly alleges in her new memoir that Roger Ailes tried to sexually assault her in his office and hinted that she would be fired when she “pushed him away.”

Radar Online: “Kelly claims he started to harass her in the summer of 2005, a few months after she was hired as a legal correspondent in Fox’s Washington bureau. She writes that she was informed by her managing editor that she’d ‘captured the attention of Mr. Ailes’ and she was summoned to the first of a series of meetings in his Manhattan office. ‘Roger began pushing the limits,’ she alleges. ‘There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me.'”

Roger Ailes No Longer Advising Trump

Vanity Fair reports Donald Trump has lost one key ally: Roger Ailes.

“The former Fox News boss had reportedly served as an advisor to Trump throughout the campaign. He was said to have played a particularly important role as of late, helping him prepare for the presidential debates. That’s all changed now… The reason for the fallout depends on who you ask.”

What Trump Did During Debate Prep

A great anecdote from the New York Times:

There were early efforts to run a more standard form of general election debate-prep camp, led by Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chief, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J. But Mr. Trump found it hard to focus during those meetings… That left Mr. Ailes, who at the time was deeply distracted by his removal from Fox and the news media reports surrounding it, discussing his own problems as well as recounting political war stories, according to two people present for the sessions.

Fox News Anchor Secretly Recorded Ailes

Gabriel Sherman: “Taking on Ailes was dangerous, but Carlson was determined to fight back. She settled on a simple strategy: She would turn the tables on his surveillance. Beginning in 2014, according to a person familiar with the lawsuit, Carlson brought her iPhone to meetings in Ailes’s office and secretly recorded him saying the kinds of things he’d been saying to her all along… After more than a year of taping, she had captured numerous incidents of sexual harassment.”

From one recording: “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve that way.”

Roger Ailes Had Opposition Research on Journalist

CNN obtained a 400-page opposition research file on journalist Gabriel Sherman, which was compiled for Roger Ailes as Sherman wrote a book about the ex-Fox News chief.

“It has all the markings of ‘opposition research’ about a political enemy — which is precisely how Ailes viewed Sherman. The memo, obtained by CNNMoney from two anonymous sources, is a stunning display of Ailes’ campaign-like strategies. It includes, among other things, property records, voter registration information, and a note that the researchers could find no criminal record for Sherman.”

Ailes Now Advising Trump on Debates

“Roger Ailes, the former Fox News chairman ousted last month over charges of sexual harassment, is advising Donald Trump in preparation for the all-important presidential debates this fall,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Ailes is aiding the Republican nominee as Mr. Trump turns his attention to the first debate with Hillary Clinton… Ailes’s role could extend beyond the debates, which Mr. Trump’s advisers see as crucial to vaulting him back into strong contention for the presidency after self-inflicted wounds that have eroded his standing in public opinion polls.”

Fox Employee Was Harassed by Ailes for 20 Years

Gabriel Sherman: “The morning after Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned, the cable network’s former director of booking placed a call to the New York law firm hired by 21st Century Fox to investigate sexual-harassment allegations against Ailes. Laurie Luhn told the lawyers at Paul, Weiss that she had been harassed by Ailes for more than 20 years, that executives at Fox News had known about it and helped cover it up, and that it had ruined her life.”

“This is the account of a woman who chose to go along with what Roger Ailes wanted — because he was powerful, because she thought he could help her advance her career, because she was professionally adrift and emotionally unmoored. Doing so helped Luhn’s career for a time — at her peak, she earned $250,000 a year as an event planner at Fox while, according to both her own account and four confirming sources, enjoying Ailes’s protection within the company. But the arrangement required her to do many things she is now horrified by, including luring young female Fox employees into one-on-one situations with Ailes that Luhn knew could result in harassment.”

Said Luhn: “He’s a predator.”

Roger Ailes Will Be Ousted from Fox News

Gabriel Sherman: “Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual harassment investigation of Ailes.”

“After reviewing the initial findings of the probe, James Murdoch is said to be arguing that Ailes should be presented with a choice this week to resign or face being fired. Lachlan is more aligned with their father, who thinks that no action should be taken until after the GOP convention this week. Another source confirms that all three are in agreement that Ailes needs to go.”

More Women Accuse Ailes of Sexual Harassment

Gabriel Sherman: “Fox News host Gretchen Carlson may be the highest-profile woman to accuse Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, but she is not the first. In my 2014 biography of the Fox News chief, I included interviews with four women who told me Ailes had used his position of power to make either unwanted sexual advances or inappropriate sexual comments in the office.”

“And it appears she won’t be the last, either. In recent days, more than a dozen women have contacted Carlson’s New Jersey-based attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, and made detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Ailes over a 25-year period dating back to the 1960s.”

Roger Ailes Sent Statement Taunting Trump

“As the war between Fox News and Donald Trump ratchets up, Roger Ailes is fighting off criticism from his senior executives over his handling of the crisis. According to one highly placed source, last night, Ailes sent out the now-famous statement mocking Trump as being scared to meet with the ‘Ayatollah’ and ‘Putin’ if he became president,” New York Magazine reports.

Said a source: “That was Roger 100 percent. A lot of people on the second floor didn’t think it was a good idea.”

Los Angeles Times: “The statement was seen as unorthodox for a news executive and raised questions about the network’s impartiality in its Trump coverage going forward.”