May 18th, 2017

RIP, Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes is dead at 77:

Roger Ailes fell last Wednesday at his oceanfront home in Palm Beach, Florida, and hit his head, according to a report from the Palm Beach Police Department. Ailes suffered “serious bleeding” from the fall and was “not completely alert,” the report said.

A source told ABC News that Ailes slipped into a coma while being treated at the hospital and died. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy this afternoon.

I had two quick thoughts on hearing of his death and the manner of his death. The first was how young 77 now seems to me. The second was that the way he died seems a metaphor for what happened to him recently at Fox.

Ailes was a media giant who changed the face of news broadcasting:

Ailes…studied radio and television production at Ohio University…

After graduating in 1962, he started working on the “The Mike Douglas Show,” which gave him “a keen eye for production,” …Ailes went into politics after meeting President Richard Nixon, who made an appearance on “The Mike Douglas Show” in 1967…

Ailes went on to advise President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and then–Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988 for their election campaigns…

In 1996, Ailes helped launch Fox News, which dramatically changed the media landscape. However, last summer he left the channel after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson accused him of sexual harassment in a lawsuit. Other women at Fox News, including former host Megyn Kelly, have said that Ailes sexually harassed them during his tenure at the cable news channel.

Shortly after his resignation, he reportedly returned to politics. Sources told ABC News he was advising Donald Trump during his preparation for the presidential debates, although Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied Ailes’ involvement at the time.

“He is not advising Mr. Trump or helping with debate prep. They are longtime friends, but he has no formal or informal role in the campaign,” she told ABC News in a statement last August.

Not a happy day for Trump, either, I’d guess. Ailes was his ally in a media world that is almost entirely arrayed against him.

10 Responses to “RIP, Roger Ailes”

  1. AesopFan Says:

    Ailes almost took down Clinton.
    Not a bad epitaph.
    Tangential news.

    “In 1998, Fox quadrupled its ratings with its coverage of President Clinton’s extramarital affair with Monica Lewinksy.(sic)”

  2. Cornhead Says:

    Ailes transformed and conserved America. No Ailes means no President Trump. Think about media today with no Fox News and just CNN and MSNBC. Rupert gave him the money but he made it happen.

    Aside: Rupert had hired RWR speech writer Peter Robinson to start Fox but pulled the plug due to timing.

    The guy was a giant political and media figure. And look who his enemies are.

  3. Ray Says:

    Murdoch’s sons apparently want to change the Fox brand established by Ailes so they will be invited to parties by Sulzberger and Bebos. Remember what happened with new Coke when they changed the recipe? Everybody decided the new recipe tasted awful and stopped buying Coke.

  4. Yancey Ward Says:

    Ailes built a great brand in FoxNews, a brand you see sinking into the swamp since his departure from the business.

  5. Frog Says:

    So very often we read or learn about someone over 70 falling with a resultant injury that proves directly or indirectly fatal.
    Diffuse decline in muscle mass is associated with aging. We all see the skinny elderly all the time. The overweight elderly, like Ailes, have their shrinking muscle mass hidden from view, but the shrinkage is still there.
    I am persuaded that age-related diffuse muscle wasting is a leading cause of death. But no one does anything about it. Most don’t think about it, which is why I post about it here and now.
    HIV-associated muscle wasting was treated with anabolic (muscle-building) steroids, but these are no longer available in the USA for anyone. Of course, no one dies of HIV-associated muscle wasting any more, thanks to the drugs developed, in part out of a sense of political correctness. Billions were mobilized for people who couldn’t keep their pants on.
    But the elderly, Pfagh! They have a duty to get out of the way.

  6. Cornhead Says:

    Ailes had hemophilia his entire life. That had something to do with his death.

  7. J.J. Says:

    Fox News has been a mainstay of my TV viewing since 1998. We need many more Roger Ailes in the conservative movement. Getting the message out there is important and he did it.
    RIP Roger Ailes.

    As mentioned above, we see quite a lot of change at Fox already. not necessarily good. More youth but less gravitas. Well, I still watch but with a more critical eye.

    Frog, thanks for speaking up for the old and frail. My 80 year old next door neighbor did just about the same thing as Ailes. Went into the bathroom, fell over backward and hit his head. Died two days later. He was rather frail. I am convinced that strength training has helped me weather two major surgeries in the last eighteen months. Five months since the last and worst surgery and I am now back to squatting, dead lifting, bench pressing, and lat pulldowns. Half way to the weights I was handling before the surgeries. If things keep improving I will make it all the way back in six more months. I don’t care about how I look. I just want to be strong enough to be able to handle working in the yard, wheeling bags through airline terminals, and other things that I never thought twice about three years ago. Anabolic steroids would undoubtedly get me there quicker. And maybe keep me there longer. Which would be nice. 🙂

  8. AesopFan Says:

    to Frog – thanks for the info;
    to J.J. – bravo for you ! Keep going !

  9. Big Maq Says:

    RIP Ailes.

    Setting aside his flaws, he built a media alternative that served an audience in the midst of msm dominance.

    That was an impressive feat, and a culturally important one.

    Several seem to make it sound like his successors want to just become another bland me-too msm network.

    Highly doubt that.

    That’s like taking a craft beer enterprise and retooling it to exclusively serve its own bland Coors Lite, in the face of a well occupied space of competitors in the market.

    More likely we are seeing FNC trying to deal with the very same split in their audience that we have seen on the Republican side.

    Also, they may have found, after a history of keeping such things quite, that they can no longer afford to countenance, let alone pay out for, behavior that may be overly questionable, if not unacceptable.

  10. vanderleun Says:

    Nope. They’re going to trash it in pursuit of approval.

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