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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Newsmax Slobbers All Over Roger Ailes
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax has posted a sneak peek of the upcoming edition of its magazine, featuring a lengthy, fawning profile of Fox News' Roger Ailes. Written by Deroy Murdock, a right-wing columnist whom Newsmax publishes, the profile is a predictably slobbering hagiography that attempts to whitewash Ailes' more dubious personality traits, copiously documented in other, less biased media, and minimizes Fox News' well-established right-wing bias.

Some examples of Murdock's fawning:

Media sketches frequently portray Ailes as a paranoid, bombastic bully. But it is difficult to match those caricatures with the man in person, who comes across as congenial and humble, in part due to a self-effacing humor consistent with his working-class roots. Try though liberals might, Roger Ailes is a hard guy to hate.

[...]

Other adjectives emanating from establishment wisdom are more brutal, labeling him “Crazy . . . evil . . . paranoid.”

The firestorm of controversy that surrounds Ailes was recently re-ignited by a Rolling Stone article titled, “How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory.”

The piece described Ailes in the most bilious terms possible, calling him “the classic figure of a cinematic villain: bald and obese, with dainty hands, Hitchcockian jowls and a lumbering gait.”

Despite the invective Ailes faces daily, he says he never will stop defending American values in order to gain elite approbation. “We’re losing our freedom of speech, we are losing freedom of religion, we are losing freedom of the press,” Ailes warns.

[...]

Despite Rolling Stone’s attempt to brand him as a raging homophobe, Fox News supports the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. “They come and meet with me every year,” Ailes says, “and Fox contributes to their dinner. We have our gay employees. I don’t have any problem. It’s not my business.”

Another common claim that Ailes tries to swat away is that his network echoes Republican talking points. The real focus of Fox News, he says, transcends politics in favor of traditional American values. “I program for working people who work hard, who want information to lead their lives, who believe in America, who believe in tradition, and are basically optimistic about this country,” he says.

Ailes practically pleads, hoping perhaps that someone, at last, will listen: “I know this drives everybody crazy, but they can’t disprove it because it’s true — we are fair and balanced. We let everybody come on this network, anybody who wants to come on with any point of view, and I think that’s what America needs.”

He adds this pivotal point: “Bias is not only what you put into a news story; bias is often what you leave out. And the other networks simply leave that position out. So we put it in.” Despite 15 years of continuous press scrutiny, no one has yet proven there is a vast right-wing conspiracy at Fox News to manipulate the news. “People think that Roger programs us and tells us what to say and what to do,” Greta Van Susteren tells Newsmax, also confirming Ailes’ generally hands-off management approach toward his talent. “In 9 1/2 years, I heard from him only once. In 2004, a Democratic presidential candidate’s underage son had a run-in with the police. Roger said, ‘Do not report that the son was arrested for stealing beer. That would spoil the kid’s life.’”

Remember, Newsmax attempted to buy Newsweek. Articles like this is what a Christopher Ruddy-led Newsweek would presumably look like.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 AM EDT

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