During Monday morning’s edition of NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today program, the host led an extensive discussion regarding the charges of sexual harassment against Tom Brokaw and had some words of advice for the many women who have signed a letter supporting the former NBC Nightly News anchor. Referring to her experience with the late Roger Ailes, who was the chief executive officer for Fox News until he stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct in July of 2016, Kelly cautioned the NBC News colleagues who signed the letter: “You don’t know what you don’t know.”
“Do We Believe Women? Nation Takes Fresh Look At Sexual Harassment,” was the headline and the question posed by reporter Clyde Haberman in Wednesday’s New York Times . But that promised “look” at harassment in business and politics focused only on one side of the political aisle. The print version included an archive photo of Anita Hill from the 1991 U.S. Senate hearings regarding then-Supreme Court conservative nominee Clarence Thomas. Haberman cynically skipped from Republican-nominated Judge Thomas to the late Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes, with President Trump and Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes also mentioned. President Bill Clinton and his scandalous sex history was utterly ignored.
Former Fox News Channel anchor Bill O’Reilly told NBC’s Today co-host Matt Lauer on Tuesday that he “absolutely did nothing wrong” regarding the five women whose accusations of sexual harassment led to the end of his popular weeknight program, The O’Reilly Factor. However, he asserted that his dismissal was the result of an attempted sponsor boycott by liberal organizations, which led Lauer to ask if he was the victim of “a vast left-wing conspiracy.“ Don’t be sarcastic,” O’Reilly replied.
According to author, critic, and former Fox News Watch panelist Neal Gabler, there’s not much of a mystery about who killed “the idea of media objectivity.” The perp, Gabler alleges, was the late Roger Ailes. “Before Fox News, most people actually trusted the media,” wrote Gabler in a screed that ran Friday on Salon and was originally published at BillMoyers.com.
Roger Ailes was no genius, not in the league of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. The founding chairman of Fox News Channel, who died last week from complications after suffering a fall, understood and respected Middle America from whence he came.
Roger Ailes was a media pioneer and a gifted political strategist, whose death leaves a large void in the journalism and political worlds. As the Media Research Center President Brent Bozell respectfully observed “The Left would command a monopoly control of the so-called ‘news’ media but for the Fox News Channel, and FNC would not exist but for him. The good Roger did for America is immeasurable.” It was Ailes’s creation of FNC that cracked the media elite’s monopoly on news that caused many liberal journalists to spew hate against the man, within just hours of his passing. The following are just some of the media’s most spiteful and hateful attacks on Roger Ailes.
In the New York Times Sunday Review, chief Hillary Clinton campaign reporter Amy Chozick (who is writing a book on the campaign) tells tales from the makeup room at sexist, biased Fox News in “Hillary, Roger, and Me.” The story’s text box: “Ailes made female reporters look like models, and Clinton like a criminal.” Chozick’s distaste for conservative-leaning television was apparent. She implied that it was just a shame that “poetic justice” wasn’t served, and that Hillary Clinton didn’t bring down Trump and Ailes herself.
Unintentionally inane sentence of the weekend, from Jon Klein, the former President of CNN/US, on the legacy of the late Roger Ailes, founder of the Fox News Channel: “By unreservedly infusing news with a right-of-center agenda, Ailes popularized the notion that all journalists are biased.” You read that correctly: The media were not widely seen as biased until Ailes created a biased network.
On Friday's Real Time show on HBO, liberal host Bill Maher took his latest opportunity to joke about the death of a prominent conservative as he recalled the passing of Fox News founder Roger Ailes. After some audience members immediately cheered and applauded the news, Maher went on to call it "comeuppance" and mocked the idea that one is not supposed to speak ill of those who have just died as he accused Ailes of "making old white Americans more frightened and more ill-informed."
Eight years ago, in what - quite unsuspectingly - would turn out to be the first of countless CNN appearances for me — I was invited by Lou Dobbs, then a 30-year CNN mainstay, to appear on his CNN evening show. Lou was under attack from the Left for his opposition to illegal immigration, and I had written a series of columns exposing the group attacking both Lou and others, including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck - and his First Amendment rights.
The front page of Friday’s New York Times featured a graceless goodbye to former Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes (and an insult to Fox News viewers): “A Fighter Who Turned Rage Into a News Empire” by Clyde Haberman. Even upon his passing, the Times maintained its hostility toward a man who found a wide and instantly receptive audience who latched on to a point of view clearly absent from the mainstream media’s liberal universe.
The sneering reaction to the death of Roger Ailes continued on CBS, Friday. NPR’s David Folkenflik attacked the Fox News founder for “fostering and exploiting divisions.” He also insisted that it was FNC that encouraged the “emphasis on opinion rather than reporting.” As though liberal journalists on ABC, CBS and NBC haven’t been doing that for decades.