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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.


As the news broke that longtime Fox News chief Roger Ailes had died this morning at age 77, the network’s on-air personalities immediately moved to secure his place in history.

Ailes “changed television as we know it,” in the words of Bret Baier. He “founded one of the most important and successful media outlets in American history,” as Laura Ingraham put it. He “dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better,” according to Sean Hannity. “Many people out there would say that he saved this country by starting the Fox News Channel,” Ainsley Earhardt said on Fox & Friends.

Fox’s efforts to use Ailes’ death to rehabilitate his reputation, and burnish the network’s, are ham-handed and self-serving. We can have empathy for the loved ones Ailes leaves behind without forgetting who he was and what he stood for.

Ailes was a monster who was pushed out of the network he founded because dozens of women who had worked for him came forward and reported that he had sexually harassed them. And the legacy he leaves behind is a propaganda machine he created in his own image that has done incalculable damage to the country, slanting facts and information — and sometimes completely inventing them — in service of a vicious, right-wing agenda.

“At Fox, Ailes has ushered in the era of post-truth politics,” Media Matters for America founder David Brock wrote in a 2012 book about the network. “The facts no longer matter, only what is politically expedient, sensationalistic, and designed to confirm the preexisting opinions of a large audience.” Now that focus on “alternative facts” is an overarching theme of the presidency of the man Ailes helped put in office.

In Fox News, Ailes found a way to exacerbate and monetize the conservative movement’s paranoid opposition to the “liberal media,” turning millions of Americans into devoted followers who were inculcated to trust no other source of information. Mainstream outlets soon internalized his critique, forced by constant accusations of bias to elevate hackish conservative commentators and provide false balance.

Under the slogan of “Fair and Balanced,” the former GOP operative built an unparalleled Republican communications apparatus that smeared progressives while openly campaigning for GOP candidates and causes and serving as a staging ground for the party’s politicians between runs.

Ailes saw political opponents as enemies and created a network that demanded the same behavior of conservative politicians. Fox brought political vitriol to a new level. Chasing the approval of Fox’s hosts and its audience, Republican politicians became ever more partisan and intransigent, making congressional bipartisanship and even collegiality a thing of the past.

He was a bigot, with well-documented prejudices against people of color, Muslims, women, and LGBTQ people. The network he created ran on division and hatred, consumed by an unslaked thirst to oppress the oppressed and comfort the comfortable.

He was a conspiracy theorist, and so were the hosts he hired, channeling ridiculous accusations from fringe websites to the masses, creating for their audience an alternate reality in which dark liberal forces were ever ready to steal away their freedom.

Over the last two years, his network has been devoted to propagandizing on behalf of Donald Trump, an Ailes friend who shared his bigotry, misogyny, and spite.

For power and money, Ailes turned Americans against one another. He made the nation a meaner, less informed place. That is his legacy.


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22 responses to “Roger Ailes’ Professional Legacy Is A Propaganda Machine That’s Hurting America”

  1. 1standlastword says:

    May his soul fuel the fires of Hell for an eternity!


    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      Or, may Ailes haunt Trump to his death…rofl.

      • 1standlastword says:

        I’d rather lay my hopes on a mechanic failure in flight or since he’s making out with the people that killed us on 9/11 an IED perhaps

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          To Trump, if he can make a profit, no horrible, heinous act can’t be forgiven.

          For people in my town, we don’t forgive the loss of 11 town neighbors who died on that monstrous day. 5 of them had children barely in grade school.

          This is why I would fight anyone who dares to try and take away our voting rights. Get that kind of treason in my face and the fury of hell is visited upon traitors.

          • Unkabob says:

            They’ve already done it with the manipulation of the Electoral College.. Over three million individual votes for HRC, more even than Obama, and she still lost the presidency.. Let’s just hope the fallacy doesn’t continue.

  2. Ailes should not in the least be eulogized as having made a contribution to TV, and thankfully this article hasn’t fallen in the trap that FOX apologists have fallen into.
    Ailes was a monster who preyed on women behind closed doors while outwardly giving the impression of being a genius. It could be said in a twisted way that Hitler was a genius from the standpoint of anti-Semites and racists as well.

  3. And speaking of FOX, as the article points out, FOX and Friends and the rest of that den of iniquity are trying their best to exalt Ailes to a status of Godhood, but we’re not falling for that crap.

    I guess you might say I wasn’t a fan of Ailes, nor will I ever be a fan of the most decadent form of journalism ever devised by the human mind—FOX and associates.

    A sample of the decadence Ailes conceived and helped foster nation-wide is cited below:
    He “dramatically and forever changed the political and the media landscape singlehandedly for the better,” according to Sean Hannity. “Many people out there would say that he saved this country by starting the Fox News Channel,” Ainsley Earhardt said on Fox & Friends.

    Changed the landscape for the better? This is as clear an example of the disease inflicted on minds like Sean’s and others across the nation as a result of this “change of landscape” which Sean rhapsodizes about. More accurately, the change in landscape wrought by FOX in FOXLAND resembles a form of irreligion and mental hedonism not unlike that characterized in the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch’s hellish scenes.

    Little wonder then that the nation continues to slip into the depths of an abyss of amorality and nonsense. The disorientation in the minds of Sean and FOX viewers is of a critical nature which further threatens to push many towards a pit of perdition and chaos, and further stalling America from fulfilling its destiny, as spoken of often by Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi.

    That “Destiny” which Abdu’l Baha elaborated, and as originally envisioned by Baha’u’llah, differs so drastically from the lurid and demonic vision of Ailes and Murdoch as to leave no doubt whatsoever as to which “Vision” stems from The Creator, and which vision is the product of degenerate human minds, swayed by the “Satan” of the ego and an insatiable lust to assert one’s self over others. The latter is the “vision” preferred by Hannity, and associates at FOX.

  4. Thoughtopsy says:

    F**k Roger Ailes.
    The guy was a sexual predator and knowingly built the propaganda machine that broke the American media/political system for partisan advantage.
    The number of deaths and the amount of human suffering he is indirectly responsible for awards him the title: Monster.

    Monster Ailes… I hope you burn in hell. (And I’m an atheist)

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      My grandmother was a sixth generation relative of Attila the Hun. She was also a Hungarian/Romanian Gypsy who lived by Gypsy beliefs that when you live a life that causes others misery, you spend eternity in never ending misery.

      For me, the idea of saying, “Rest in Peace,” is similar. How do men like Ailes rest in peace when they’ve spent their entire lives creating mass unrest and misery for others?

  5. FireBaron says:

    Ailes cut his teeth on the “dirty tricks” pioneered by Lee Atwater and perfected by himself and Turd Blossom/Boy Wonder (aka Karl Rove).
    His politics of divisiveness split the country, and his “fair and balanced” motto was a joke recognized by all, including himself and the hand-picked toadies that anchored his shows.

  6. stsintl says:

    Time magazine again missed including Rupert Murdoch in their list of most influential people. While Murdoch master minded the destruction of our democracy, and took GWB to an illegal war in Iraq, with his WMDs [Words of Mass Deception], Roger Ailes was the pilot who bombarded them since the inception of Fox [Faux] News.

  7. Dapper Dan says:

    Honestly no one with any decency can be unhappy that he’s died. Kind of like when someone evil dies we feel a sense of relief. I’m sure a lot of us are now feeling the world is a bit better with Ailes gone for good. Now when does Trump plan to die off like the dinosaur he and Ailes was ?

    • 1standlastword says:

      The horror of it is these demons are born and then they live just long enough to create misery and suffer for generations of innocents. THEN THEY DIE….

      I’ve always asked where is the loving Father…as if there ever was such a loving Father?

  8. Eleanore Whitaker says:

    Men like Ailes, Murdoch, Trump, Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, Kenny Boy Lay, Jeff Skilling and Meyer Lansky are men who believe in entitlement to autonomous power and NO accountability.

    Once you combine autonomous power and lack of accountability, a cancer on everything the Founding Fathers established in our democracy and U.S. Constitution metastasizes into the low lifes like Trump, Manafort, Putin, Medvedchuk and Paul Ryan.

    These are men who simply believe they are entitled to power without accountability. The answer is, of course, to always old their feet, if not their asses, to the fire.

  9. midway54 says:

    Good Riddance! The bilge flowing out of Fox “News” will be even greater than usual with all the verbal excrement concerning his allegedly great contributions to American politics. He knew where all the low-information mental midgets are eagerly awaiting to be duped: Located In the always dependable Red(neck) States voting to support the plutocracy’s agenda, Operation Phornicate. The majority Plutocratic Party in House and Senate surely must be grateful.

  10. pics fixer says:

    Oh, Roger changed things but NOT for the better. He and his boss Murdoch made polarizing our country and lying with created “news” a standard. They clearly understood that people like a more sensationalized “news” and making slanderous statements about our leaders the new standard. Also, to manipulate people into believing what will benefit and enrich themselves. Harming our democracy didn’t bother them in the slightest as long as they made money. They are evil.

  11. idamag says:

    Fox news was developed to destroy progressives. They succeeded in dumbing down this country to the point where benghaxzie and e-mail hints were more important than bankruptcies to cheat people out of their money, lawsuits, by the dozens that were settled out of court, sexual assault, and getting rich off gambling. Those attempts to destroy the two-party system are more important than an entire government body signing pledges to gambling moguls. Those so-called scandals are more important than an entire senate violating the Constitution. Those scandals played well to the white supremacists, The paranoid and the people who do not read.

  12. COMALite J says:

    You’re being waaay too kind to Ailes. He didn’t just hurt America. He harmed all of human civilization itself, and that harm may never be undone.

    • latebloomingrandma says:

      Matt Lauer had the gall to call him a patriot. There is no reason to praise the dead if they were a rotten person.

  13. A. D. Reed says:

    Why would we “have empathy for the loved ones Ailes leaves behind”? There are none. His 20-years-younger widow and third wife married him as a young gold-digger; considered divorcing him after the “revelations” of his fondling and groping and propositioning and harassing dozens of young women at and around Fox; his 17-year-old son will inherit at least half of the $100 million he leaves behind, including $40 million gained as a reward for all that sexual misconduct …

    I have no empathy for them at all. The wife knew what she was getting, and got it. The son had no control over his parentage, but will survive the loss, cushioned by millions that should have gone to his father’s victims rather than to him.

  14. Unkabob says:

    Well it looks like someone finally gave him a slight push at home and now he has a lot of ‘splainin to do.. Here’s hoping God can see through his fake news.

  15. kep says:

    Fox is the only media outlet that has been telling the truth for the,last 10 years. Liberal commies now want to silence ALL opposition. Berkeley, the home of free speech now has paid liberal thugs rioting and looting every time anyone of opposing views try to speak. Liberals are seditious, hypocritical, commies that should be deported back to Mother Russia or jailed.

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