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Posted by on May 23, 2011 in Media, Politics | 17 comments

New York Magazine’s Eye-Opening Revelations about Fox News’ Roger Ailes (UPDATED)

Over the weekend I read New York Magazine’s fascinating, and solidly reported piece on Fox News’ Roger Ailes and like some other pundits, I didn’t know where to start on it for a piece on TMV since it was so packed with info — a quintessential piece of solid fact-based reporting. This was NOT a piece that could be dismissed as an ideological hack job.

I didn’t get to my TMV post on it due to recovery from surgery that kept me off the Internet a good many hours. Now there is a perfect summary of it HERE on Mediaite which notes the five most interesting revelations in this piece that should be shown to aspiring and working journalists everywhere.

Go to the link and read their summary and then to the original.

The most fascinating one to me was the fact that Sarah Palin may not be the wave of the future at Fox. It’s pretty clear that Ailes is into branding and that he has been greatly disappointed in her, particularly in the way she handled advice she sought from him and then promptly ignored.

I worked on several newspapers owned by big corporations and when someone is perceived by management to be a disappointment they found that a)their careers were altered from what they envisioned the careers would be b)they were eventually forced out if management felt they were deadwood or not on the same wavelength.

You get the sense in reading this that Palin is more isolated that ever: not a fave of the GOP establishment, someone the press loves to cover because she is over the top, and not seen as a political pro by Ailes.

I wasn’t surprised at all about the fact the article suggests Ailes is a real power in the GOP. But my take on it was that he wants Fox News to be brand that is respected journalistically that talks to a specific political culture in the United States that rightfully or wrongfull felt shut out by the rest of the mainstreasm media. The biggest surprise was to see that Palin is not a symbol of what Ailes has in mind when he hopes people will tune in and have Fox News branded by the images they see and the analyses they hear.

In reading this you can also make the case that two people who’ve changed the courrse and style of political dialogue in this country have been Ailes and Rush Limbaugh: Ailes for the power of Fox News and Limbaugh for not only his huge loyal audience but the fact that he spawned a whole bunch of Rush wannabes — some of them now on Fox News.

UPDATE: Fox News has responded and now has insisted that Roger Ailes believes Palin is “smart.” Look for attacks now on that mainstream media lying (a charge made when a partisan doesn’t like what a mainstream media publications says but never made when they like what the mainstream media says).

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