January 08, 2014
The Call of the Lonesome Toad
From the New York Times:
Mr. Sherman said in the source notes that he interviewed 614 people who knew or worked with Mr. Ailes for the book, which took more than three years to report and write. More than 100 pages are devoted to source notes and bibliography.
Former employees cited in the book talked of Mr. Ailes’s volatile temper and domineering behavior. In one anecdote, a television producer, Randi Harrison, told Mr. Sherman that while negotiating her salary with Mr. Ailes at NBC in the 1980s, he offered her an additional $100 each week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”
A Fox News spokeswoman said in a statement on Tuesday: “These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”
Why bother? Would you hymen-check a whorehouse?
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 08, 2014 03:16 PM
The book and consequent media attention will annoy Roger Ailes, but I doubt the behavior I've read about is close to a firing offense in the Murdoch empire so long as Rupert is not implicated.
On the other hand, Chris Christie embodies "the bigger they are. the harder they fall." I've read that his expense reports as a US Attorney were egregious both for excessive spending and lack of documentation and that he was contemptuously dismissive of internal investigators. Rules are for little people. As governor, he railed against wasteful spending and used a state helicopter to attend his son's ball games. Rules are for little people. There will probably be no evidence that he instructed his aide to shut down Fort Lee, but any competent lieutenant would know her commander's long history of punishing anything close to opposition. In a fine mystery ("Mackerel by Moonlight") by William Weld, one of the characters remarks, "A fish rots from the head". Christie considers himself above the law; laws are for those who don't administer them.
It's a close race among the Republican candidates, but my greatest fear is a Christie presidency. His hubris, his sense of entitlement, his willingness to use the government to crush opposition, his truckling to the wealthy would make Nixon seem like a model of restraint and moderation.
In looking over my comment, I was not explicit about three reasons for my terror that Christie would out-Nixon Nixon.
First, the outsized ego that considers a failure to endorse his reelection by an elected member of the OPPOSITE party as a punishable offense takes lese majeste to a place I've never seen in American politics.
Second, the willingness to punish that mayor by punishing the citizens of his town. "Nice little town you've got there, mayor. Shame if anything happened to it." Nixon's minions broke into the DNC headquarters and the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist, but to my recollection the abuse of power was directed against opponents and not bystanders.
Third, Christie has interpreted each accession of power as a vindication and a license to use and misuse that power and there is no power greater than the Presidency. "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
I'll violate my usual principle of hijacking comments to my topic by pointing to a long excerpt from the Ailes book in NYMag.
Of local interest, opposing Ailes as he remakes his small town weekly in the Fox image, is a former deputy chief speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, Gordon Stewart