Roger Ailes's life achievement? He helped create this nightmare world
- Author: Marlene Weaver May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:46
"I don't think there's ever been one source of media that has such a loyal political following as Fox News does".
In this Taibbi fantasy, Rolling Stone was never a political fiefdom for hippie leftists and drug-crazed Hunter Thompson fanatics, which later aged into a sort of baby-boomer Tiger Beat for Clinton and Gore, Kerry and Obama (combined with Taibbi slashing the Republicans as monsters like Ailes).
CBS News, for example, grew to prominence in the 1930's, as Hitler was conquering Europe; ABC News became a major player when Roone Arledge used the network's prime-time profits in the late 1970s to hire star talent and create new vehicles, most notably "Nightline".
"No one deserves more credit for the rightward movement of this country over the last 20 years or so than Roger Ailes", said Bruce Bartlett, a former aide to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush who now considers himself an independent.
It was no accident that Trump was handed a microphone by Ailes, who boosted his candidacy by allowing him to phone in weekly to the morning program Fox & Friends. At Fox News, he victimized women while teaching conservatives how to perform, to great success, an imitation of paranoid victimhood. He denied all the allegations, and had it not been for this scandal, Ailes' legacy would have been one largely viewed through ideological blinders. To compete, Abrams led MSNBC to copy the Ailes strategy, and CNN soon followed.
Rumors of sexual improprieties at Fox News and by Ailes in particular weren't new. That total included a $20 million settlement in September to former Fox and Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson, who filed suit against Ailes.
A 2011 Rolling Stones story described Ailes as "the classic figure of a cinematic villain: bald and obese, with dainty hands, Hitchcockian jowls and a lumbering gait".
On the event of his death, his wife, Elizabeth Ailes, will likely inherit the property in Florida, on the condition that that there is no existing pre-nuptial agreement barring her from the same. This follows a long and often controversial career in the world of media.
This public bashing creates personal political divisions that become more important than policy differences and make it nearly impossible for hard, consensus-based decisions to be made. And if he felt crossed by either a critic in the press or an employee who chose to move on, Ailes could be ferocious in his response.
The ascendancy of Donald Trump can be traced to his recognition of the Ailes formula.
Hence, the silence from those long associated with him. But his dominance over the political landscape has loomed large throughout Trump's presidency so far, distinctive in its all-out war against the "mainstream media" and the prominence given to ideologues from the far-right. "Railed against him many times". Three thousand days, more or less. "This is it", Ailes told journalist Joe McGinniss shortly before Nixon's November victory. To this day, Sen.
A majority of U.S. adults (62% ) get news on social media and it has overtaken TV as the main source of news for young people. - Fox commentator, former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. How could they have achieved 15 percent if they didn't have significant name recognition because they weren't covered?
"He really did as much as anyone to redefine the Republican Party as a party of cultural populism ... making resentment of the media, resentment of elites, resentment of liberals who were soft on crime and soft on national security central to what the Republican Party was about", David Greenberg, a Rutgers University political scientist, told AFP. However, blame and charges are the name of the game being played. Ailes had helped these campaigns navigate the new tides of media, changing politics in the process.