Bill O'Reilly pays tribute to Ailes on podcast

Bill O'Reilly pays tribute to Ailes on podcast

As I spoke about Ailes yesterday in television and radio interviews, I thought of Ailes's victims, who were denied the closure of seeing their sexual-harassment lawsuits against him go to trial. How much bellyaching about the mainstream media can one take?

Merrill Brown, who helped launched MSNBC.com, said Ailes "singularly deserves credit and responsibility for the creation of Fox News - which changed the nature of cable news".

P.J. TOBIA: Ailes left a huge imprint on both American politics and media.

Much of Ailes's brief life after Fox was hard to know.

If it was only Fox that took Ailes' theories to heart, it would have been a one-off.

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). He created a television juggernaut that transformed the news business.

"For better or worse & the ignominious end 2 his reign at Fox News, the impact of Roger Ailes on American politics & media was indisputable", he tweeted.

Before founding Fox, Ailes advised Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He implored friends and Fox News employees not to speak with me, hired private investigators to track my movements, and set up a "Black Room" surveillance operation inside Fox News to dig up dirt on me. His passing is big news. "It was an untapped market". "Roger was a media genius, good friend and great American". It could be mirthful, mischievous, we might use the word trolling at times.

"He was unafraid of showcasing voices on the right", said West.

The effect was to politicize the media, a characteristic of banana republics everywhere. "There was an underdog spirit here", Fox anchor Shepard Smith recalled.

What followed was a blurring of the lines between news and conservative opinion, which to the network's detractors was a distinction without a difference. The night her review of my book went online, Ailes's lawyer, Peter Johnson Jr., wrote an email to Fox colleagues that read, "Wonderful". Despite his public flirtation with a presidential run five years ago, Trump ultimately demurred until his infamous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower in July of 2015. A prescient propagandist, Ailes was quick to see the power of television as a tool of political persuasion. He elicited enormous affection and loyalty from most of the people who worked for him, particularly those he plucked from obscurity and turned into superstars. It also carries a whiff of condescension - "specialists" talking down to an audience - that Ailes would never abide by, Carusone said.

Fox might have to start acting like a real news operation, not just in the Special Report news hour or Fox News Sunday.

There were perhaps few parallels, however, as potent as the two men's treatment of women.

The law has not been frequently invoked in cases involving sexual harassment before.

While Ailes was forced out past year in a blaze of sexual harassment allegations, which he denied, Fox News today is the most watched cable news network in America, a powerhouse of the right and the bete noire of Democratic coastal elites. Ailes created what became CNBC but found his patron and calling in media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Trump's misogynistic comments about women had similarly percolated for years, but were viewed in a new light following the tape.

So at age 77, Roger is gone.

Sabrina Siddiqui is a political reporter for Guardian US based in Washington DC.

The former Nixon aide played an essential role in shifting the political debate sharply to the right in less than a generation, employing polarizing and, some say, destructive tactics.

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