Roger Ailes: Did He Play Rip Van Winkle?

9:28 am in Uncategorized by dakine01

Today’s (1/10/10) NY Times has a profile/puff piece on Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. It’s a somewhat interesting read. It talks about how Ailes confronted Rupert Murdoch when it was rumored that Murdoch was going to endorse Barack Obama for president (Ailes denies that he made any demands but does concede that he did not support Obama). The article even discusses that members of the Murdoch family are embarrassed by Fox News!

However, a second read through shows there are a couple of holes that might have offered some further perspective if the reporters had filled in the information. Ailes is quoted:

“I built this channel from my life experience,” Mr. Ailes, 69, said. “My first qualification is I didn’t go to Columbia Journalism School.

After this quote, the reporters mention how Ailes got his start in politics with Nixon in 1967. They provide a few paragraphs of discussion on his time with Nixon taking him to all of 1969.

Then they cover the next twenty plus years in one sentence:

After serving as a communications consultant for politicians and executives, Mr. Ailes ran CNBC, the business network, in the early 1990s under Bob Wright, then the chief of NBC.

That seems innocuous enough, "… communications consultant for politicians and executives…"

But just who were these politicians and executives? Since this time period includes a whole lot of the life that gave him his experiences, it sure seems as if how Ailes got those experiences would have been a pertinent piece of information for the reader who may not know all that much about Ailes.

A quick check of der Google tells me that Ailes, worked in TV and even produced a musical on Broadway during the ’70s. Then in the ’80s he worked for Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. Worked may be a bit of an understatement, since Ailes is credited with some of the one-liners that both Reagan and Bush I used in their inimitable self-deprecating styles. (That’s snark, OK?)

And the final kicker is in 1991, Ailes helped Rush Limbaugh get a TV show.

It sure would help folks to better understand the perspective and life experiences of the chairman of the "Fair and Balanced" network if the reporters had provided even those tiny snippets of information in covering those twenty plus years of life spent as a "… communications consultant for politicians and executives…" don’t ya think?