Roger Ailes Seeks To Improve On Hitler And Stalin

In an interview with his pals at the National Review, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes made clear that he won’t be satisfied with the slipshod propaganda techniques pioneered by the Nazis 75 years ago. Responding to a question about whether Fox News was inappropriately engaging in persistent attacks on the President, Ailes attempted to redirect the charge of bias back to the media at large:

“This little cable channel called Fox is somehow ruining your life. Keep in mind, the last two guys to get all of them [the media] lined up together were Hitler and Stalin. That did not work out well.”

So Ailes regards Hitler’s efforts to dominate the press as insufficient. Should we, therefore, assume that he aspires to do a better job of it? He’s off to a pretty good start. His network has already homogenized its coverage to fall in lock-step with a conservative agenda and is expertly regurgitating rightist rhetoric from a well-disciplined army of anchors and guests. But even that’s not enough. He also finds it necessary to lie about his record of blatant bias and disregard for facts:

Q: You have the President of the United States and others, including the extremely intelligent James Carville, saying Fox News shapes the nation’s politics. Are you pleased? Are you appalled?
A: No. That’s their fault. What we do is we go on the air every day with two points of view in the news. Glenn Beck has a phone on his set that says if I make any factual errors please call me so I can correct them immediately and apologize. And the phone never rings. Because what he’s saying is apparently true. We have been thirteen years on the air – in our fourteenth year – and we’ve never taken a story down because of factual problems.

Where to start? First of all, we already know that Fox News deliberately tried to shape politics because Rupert Murdoch admitted it in public. Secondly, the two points of view Fox presents are from the Republican Party and the Tea Party. Third, Ailes’ reference to Glenn Beck (whom he said is “actually not a conservative”) beautifully depicts his absence of reason. If Ailes concludes that Glenn Beck’s acute paranoia represents the truth because the White House hasn’t dialed up his prop phone, then it must also be true that Beck worships Hitler because he hasn’t phoned me to deny it.

Faux PasAnd finally, Ailes must not be watching his own network if he thinks that there haven’t been any retractions or corrections. In fact, they are so sloppy with facts that executives had to issue a memo declaring a “zero tolerance” policy after numerous “mistakes” were broadcast. And that doesn’t even include the intentional lies that are the keystone of Fox’s anti-journalistic brand.

Perhaps the funniest quote from the interview is when Ailes pretended to merely be a contrarian whose only interest was to balance whatever the predominant themes were in the press:

“To be honest with you, if all the media was tipped to the right, I’d be the biggest liberal in New York.”

Not exactly. He’d still be the biggest liar. To which side does he think the media was tipped after 9/11, when an idiot president whose legitimacy was still in doubt, was elevated to hero status and given a free pass to legislate away decades of civil liberties? To which side does he think the media was tipped in 2003 when every prominent network, newspaper, and reporter were uncritically supporting the Bush administration’s march into an unjustified and illegal war with Iraq? Why wasn’t Ailes directing his staff to take a contrary position then? Where was the “biggest liberal in New York” when conservative issues were being championed by the international megaliths that own and operate most of the media (as they have for decades)?

Ailes was just where he’s always been – staked out on the far right, disseminating disinformation in pursuit of his arch-conservative mission. He is marshaling his troops and enforcing strict discipline to insure their adherence to the official doctrine. And now he has even insinuated that his competition are aligned with the principles of Hitler and Stalin. So I hope people will stop complaining when I post this:


4 thoughts on “Roger Ailes Seeks To Improve On Hitler And Stalin

  1. I’m not really here to comment on this post, but I couldn’t find any other way to contact you.

    I have a question about Fox News, and you seem to be the man who knows the most. Has Fox been showing the Republican strategy memos leaked by Politco? This is big news, and it insults most Fox News viewers. I’m wondering if they’re aware, and how Fox is talking about it. I don’t have the mental stability to watch this channel to find out, but I thought you might know something. I commend you for being able to take it.


    • If you are referring to the GOP presentations that focused on fear mongering and featured pictures of Obama as the Joker, I did see at least one report about this on Fox. Of course it was done in conjunction with an interview of GOP chair Michael Steele, who denied any knowledge of the material. He said he didn’t approve, but refused to say whether there would be any disciplinary action against those responsible.

  2. My nickname for Rupert Murdoch is “RuMur.” That sums him up nicely, I believe, because if not for rumor,innuendo, and outright lying, there would be no Murdoch empire.Oh, yes. You captured Ailes perfectly.

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