Who says there are no manufacturing jobs left in America?

From Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone:

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

The onetime Nixon operative has created the most profitable propaganda machine in history. Inside America’s Unfair and Imbalanced Network

The key to decoding Fox News isn’t Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. It isn’t even News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch. To understand what drives Fox News, and what its true purpose is, you must first understand Chairman [Roger] Ailes. “He is Fox News,” says Jane Hall, a decade-long Fox commentator who defected over Ailes’ embrace of the fear-mongering Glenn Beck. “It’s his vision. It’s a reflection of him.”


Original DVD cover
(Click on image and then on that for larger version)

1.  New Gingrich
2.  Gretchen Carlson
3.  Bill O’Reilly
4.  Sean Hannity
5.  Laura Ingraham
6.  Sarah Palin
7.  Greta Van Susteren
8.  Steve Doocy
9.  Glenn Beck
10.  Rupert Murdoch
11.  John Boehner
12.  George Takei

Kids, I started to cut and paste parts of the article, but the post got so long, because the article is 13 pages long, and there’s so much interesting stuff in it. Here are just some tidbits:

Faux News is the most profitable sector of News Corp. It brings in almost a fifth of Uncle Rupie’s money. Faux has a thrid of the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN (but I guess that’s not surprising since they don’t do any fact-checking or actual investigation). Ailes has a free hand to do what he wants at Faux. He’s a tyrant, and even Uncle Rupie is afraid of him. Uncle Rupie has very little involvement in Faux. Here’s a telling quote from the article:

Privately, Murdoch is as impressed by Ailes’ business savvy as he is dismissive of his extremist politics. “You know Roger is crazy,” Murdoch recently told a colleague, shaking his head in disbelief. “He really believes that stuff.”

Roger Ailes “repackaged” Richard Nixon for television in 1968,

Ailes started at Television News Incorporated in 1974, a right-wing netword started by archconservative Joseph Coors of beer fame. The motto at TVN was “fair and balanced.” The network was described by a news director as a “propaganda machine.” He quit in protest. After journalists protested the pressure being brought by management, several staffers were fired, and Ailes was brought in to run the newsroom. This is where the seeds of Faux News began.

“I know certain techniques, such as a press release that looks like a newscast,” he told The Washington Post in 1972. “So you use it because you want your man to win.”

With Ailes in charge, TVN signed a contract with the federal government (under Gerald Ford) to produce propaganda.

After TVN collapsed in 1975, Ailes became a political consultant.

He helped to cover up Ronald Reagan’s budding Alzheimer’s disease in 1984. He was responsible for the Willie Horton attack ads against Michael Dukakis for George H.W. Bush in 1988 (though he did so surreptitiously; he had no formal role with the campaign). After Poppy Bush lost to Bill Clinton, Ailes said he was out of politics, but he lied. He worked undercover with Big Tobacco to derail Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal in 1993. He also explored setting up a phone front group for Philip Morris to run ads in the vein of the Willie Horton ads, to make phony phonecalls to Congress critters, and to bus people in for demonstrations. Shades of the Tea Party!

Ailes was president of CNBC in 1993, and when Uncle Rupie hired him for Faux News in 1996, he brought over Neil Cavuto and Steve Doocy, who owed their careers to Ailes and were loyal to him. There was a purge at Faux. Anyone who didn’t toe the conservative hard-right line was fired.

Uncle Rupie put Ailes in a second-floor corner office, and that made ol’ Roger paranoid. He was convinced that gay activists were going to attack him because of his hositility toward gay rights. He had bombproof plexiglass installed in the windows. He’s also convinced that he’s being targeted for assassination by Al Qaeda, and he always has security around him. It doesn’t stop with bulletproof glass:

Befitting his siege mentality, Ailes also housed his newsroom in a bunker. Reporters and producers at Fox News work in a vast, windowless expanse below street level, a gloomy space lined with video-editing suites along one wall and an endless cube farm along the other. In a separate facility on the same subterranean floor, Ailes created an in-house research unit – known at Fox News as the “brain room” – that requires special security clearance to gain access. “The brain room is where Willie Horton comes from,” says Cooper, who helped design its specs. “It’s where the evil resides.”

Ailes is so paranoid that he bought houses around his own in New Jersey so that he could have a wider security perimeter.

Later on in the article:

Ailes is certain that he’s a top target of Al Qaeda terrorists. “You know, they’re coming to get me,” he tells friends. “I’m fully prepared. I’ve taken care of it.” (Ailes, who was once arrested for carrying an illegal handgun in Central Park, now carries a licensed weapon.) Inside his blast-resistant office at Fox News headquarters, Ailes keeps a monitor on his desk that allows him to view any activity outside his closed door. Once, after observing a dark-skinned man in what Ailes perceived to be Muslim garb, he put Fox News on lockdown. “What the hell!” Ailes shouted. “This guy could be bombing me!” The suspected terrorist turned out to be a janitor. “Roger tore up the whole floor,” recalls a source close to Ailes. “He has a personal paranoia about people who are Muslim – which is consistent with the ideology of his network.”

Then there was the election of George W. Bush. Ailes designated John Prescott Ellis, Chimpy’s first cousin. to head the “decision desk” on election night.

As a columnist at The Boston Globe, Ellis had recused himself from covering the campaign. “There is no way for you to know if I am telling you the truth about George W. Bush’s presidential campaign,” he told his readers, “because in his case, my loyalty goes to him and not to you.”

In any newsroom worthy of the name, such a conflict of interest would have immediately disqualified Ellis. But for Ailes, loyalty to Bush was an asset. “We at Fox News,” he would later tell a House hearing, “do not discriminate against people because of their family connections.” On Election Day, Ellis was in constant contact with Bush himself. After midnight, when a wave of late numbers showed Bush with a narrow lead, Ellis jumped on the data to declare Bush the winner – even though Florida was still rated too close to call by the vote-tracking consortium used by all the networks. [Brit] Hume announced Fox’s call for Bush at 2:16 a.m. – a move that spurred every other network to follow suit, and led to bush wins headlines in the morning papers.

“We’ll never know whether Bush won the election in Florida or not,” says Dan Rather, who was anchoring the election coverage for CBS that night. “But when you reach these kinds of situations, the ability to control the narrative becomes critical. Led by Fox, the narrative began to be that Bush had won the election.”

After the election, Ailes was in daily contact with Chimpy. He coached Chimpy just as he coached Poppy. Ailes told Karl Rove that Chimpy should ramp up the War on Terror, and Faux News pushed its viewers to push for harsh measures.

The militarism even seemed to infect the culture of Fox News. “Roger Ailes is the general,” declared Bill O’Reilly. “And the general sets the tone of the army. Our army is very George Patton-esque. We charge. We roll.”

The relationship between Uncle Rupie and Ailes is rocky. Ailes conspired to get rid of Uncle Rupie’s son Lachlan as the heir to News Corp. Ailes became the chairman and took over Lachlan’s office. Many of Uncle Rupie’s relatives have come to hate Ailes:

Murdoch’s third wife, Wendi {Deng], has worked to soften her husband’s politics, and his son James has persuaded him to embrace the reality of global warming – even as Ailes has led the drumbeat of climate deniers at Fox News. Matthew Freud, Murdoch’s son-in-law and a top PR executive in Britain, recently told reporters, “I am by no means alone within the family or the company in being ashamed and sickened by Roger Ailes’ horrendous and sustained disregard of the journalistic standards that News Corporation, its founder and every other global media business aspires to.”

“Rupert is surrounded by people who regularly, if not moment to moment, tell him how horrifying and dastardly Roger is,” says Wolff, the Murdoch biographer. “Wendi cannot stand Roger. Rupert’s children cannot stand Roger. So around Murdoch, Roger has no supporters, except for Roger himself.”

Fox & Friends is supposed to look like a few morons sitting around shooting the bull unscripted, but the 3 Stooges, Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade meet with Ailes before the show going over the propaganda of the day. That show was where the story about President Obama going to school at a madrassa was first aired. Doocy declared that Obama had been “raised as a Muslim.” Even wussy Chris Wallace took offense at the non-stop attack on Obama. After Obama’s election, the network became even more conservative, getting rid of token Democrat Alan Colmes and hiring Glenn Beck.

During his contract negotiations, Beck recounted, Ailes confided that Fox News was dedicating itself to impeding the Obama administration. “I see this as the Alamo,” Ailes declared. Leading the charge were the ragtag members of the Tea Party uprising, which Fox News propelled into a nationwide movement. In the buildup to the initial protests on April 15th, 2009, the network went so far as to actually co-brand the rallies as “FNC Tax Day Tea Parties.” Veteran journalists were taken aback.

Faux News also pushed Princess Sarah’s lies about death panels. Ailes was directing all the coverage of the health care “debate,” including the wording they used. As a result, those who watch Faux News are among the most misinformed citizens.

Not only is Faux News a GOP propaganda machine, but it’s also a fundraiser:

During her Senate race in Delaware, Tea Party darling Christine O’Donnell bragged, “I’ve got Sean Hannity in my back pocket, and I can go on his show and raise money.” Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate who tried to unseat Harry Reid in Nevada, praised Fox for letting her say on-air, “I need $25 from a million people – go to SharronAngle.com and send money.” Completing the Fox-GOP axis, Karl Rove has used his pulpit as a Fox News commentator to promote American Crossroads, a shadowy political group he founded, promising that the money it raised would be put “to good use to defeat Democrats who have supported the president’s agenda.”

But the clearest demonstration of how Ailes has seamlessly merged both money and message lies in the election of John Kasich, a longtime Fox News contributor who eked out a two-point victory over Democrat Ted Strickland last November to become governor of Ohio. While technically a Republican, Kasich might better be understood as the first candidate of the Fox News Party. “The question is no longer whether Fox News is an arm of the GOP,” says Burns, the network’s former media critic, “but whether it’s becoming the torso instead.”

…snip…

Most striking of all, News Corp. itself chipped in $1.26 million to the Republican Governors Association, making it one of the largest single contributors to the club Kasich was seeking to join.

As long as this post is, there’s much more in the article, and I heartily encourage you to read the entire thing. I think the ending sums things up very well:

[Roger Ailes] has put the Republican Party on his payroll and forced it to remake itself around his image. Ailes is the Chairman, and the conservative movement now reports to him. “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us,” said David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter. “Now we’re discovering that we work for Fox.”

32 Comments

Filed under 2008 election, al-Qaeda, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill O'Reilly, Brian Kilmeade, Chimpy, CNN, Democrats, Fox News, Gay rights, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Glenn Beck, Global warming, Greta Van Susteren, Gretchen Carlson, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Homophobia, Homosexuality, humor, John Boehner, Karl Rove, Laura Ingraham, Media, movies, Muslims, News Corp, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Roger Ailes, Ronald Reagan, Rupert Murdoch, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, snark, Steve Doocy, Wendi Deng, Wordpress Political Blogs

32 responses to “Who says there are no manufacturing jobs left in America?

  1. Roger Ailes is a buffoon, so I don’t have any use for him or the network he runs. Well, other hand getting the scoop on their position to remind me to go the opposite.

    Love the graphic …. and others could have made it!

  2. jeb

    I can’t even come up with a snarky comment. I’m not naive, yellow journalism and political posturing is as old as the republic itself. Ailes and Murdoch come from a long line of sleaze bags including Hearst and others. The sad fact though is that technological advances have given Fux News the Orwellian advantage that was once only a scary story.

    Journalism? Meh, it barely even exists now and the true investigative work is being done outside of the corporate media. Perhaps the good that can come out of this is the eventual collapse of the traditional corporate machine under it’s own weight.

    In the meantime, I don’t think I can take too much of Murdoch’s relatives and other employees whinging and sniffling about the bully, Roger Ailes. If he’s really so bad, why do they all sit around with their thumbs up their asses crying while he rapes the nation?

    • yellow journalism is as old as the hills, but with all the new communication methods, it’s really frightening how much it’s taken over politics and society in general. what’s even more frightening is how one old, disgusting, paranoid, bigoted man could have so much power. i bet that most people, if unfortunate enough to meet roger ailes in person, would not like him one bit. i bet he wouldn’t like them either.

  3. John Erickson

    Um, stupid question. What’s Ailes got against Takei? Other than Georgie being gay. (Boy, Takei coming out of the closet – there was SUCH a surprise! (NOT!) I had a long chat with him way back in 1987, and I coulda told you he wasn’t straight all the way back then! He’s a great guy, funny and VERY intelligent – maybe THAT is what scares Ailes! ;) )

    • i originally was going to use a rainbow flag to indicate ailes’s contempt for gay people, but i changed my mind, because george takei launched a really awesome campaign in which you substitute his name for ‘gay’ after tennessee passed a ridiculous hateful law that says a teacher can be jailed for saying anything about gay people in the classroom in all grades up to high school.

      • John Erickson

        Well, dang, I managed to miss that whole bit! I gotta find one of those “It’s Okay to be Takei” T-shirts – love the Federation symbol in rainbow colours.
        By the by, it is HILARIOUS to drive through Amish country and see dozens of houses flying the rainbow flag. For some reason, the Amish (and a lot of rednecks) seem to think it’s some kind of celebration of spring, or summer, or something like that. If they only knew…… :D

  4. Nice spooky line from Frum at the end.

    Nonnie, it must have been mind wrecking deciding which nut to exclude. ;-)

    • m’liss, i kept changing my mind. i had brian kilmeade in there originally, and i was going to put santorum or kasich in there, but then decided on newtie. there were so many idiots to choose from. maybe i should do a sequel. i almost didn’t include bronzo the clown, because so many people have done the oompa loompa gag before. when i was done–make that, when i thought i was done–i decided that it wouldn’t be willy wonka without an oompa loompa.

  5. Fox news ticker was hacked!

  6. Dang girl. Looks like you got the whole family in the picture!!

  7. “Wendi cannot stand Roger. Rupert’s children cannot stand Roger. So around Murdoch, Roger has no supporters, except for Roger himself.”

    Finally, something that made me actually like the woman I went to college with.

    BTW, perfect casting of Newt as Agustus Gloop and of Caribou Barbie as Veruca Salt. “I want it and I want it, NOW!” She really is a bad egg.

    • wendi is still a golddigger, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. i suspect that uncle rupie’s family hates ailes, because he’s taking money that otherwise would be theirs. i think uncle rupie’s family is all about the money, and that’s not surprising, having him as a father.

  8. Super poster Nonnie! That RS story is a must read. It filled in a lot from a book from the big bag sis gave me last Xmas which had a copy of Joe McGuiness great Making of the President 1968, the one with the face of the Dick on a pack of smokes on the cover. Joe talked about how Roger was hired as a stagehand at the Mike Douglas show back in 65 and by 68 was running the operation. When the dickhandlers hired him, and he certainly wanted in, his main job was to make Nixon less repulsive on television. He set up all sorts of phoney “meet Nixon” shows for different cities. All this climaxed on election eve. HHH was in Chicago on TV taking questions from audience. The Dick was at this elaborate charade, again live TV, where this backdrop of young scrubed repub youth answered phone banks where you could call in and ask your question, with runners picking up the card, taken to the interviewer, and not asked. Roger had previously composed the questions to be asked and the Dick dutifully aswered correctly. The “call in” questions were never used at all. After the election, RA was kicked to the curb as Nixons minions were all ad men.

    • thanks, jerry!

      i thought the article was fascinating. ever know a really rotten person and wonder what happened in his life to make him that way? i felt like i was watching the end of a movie when everything is revealed and all mysteries are solved to explain ailes’s douchebaggery. i wasn’t really surprised at all the subterfuge that went on back in the days of nixon and even poppy. however, it amazes me that, with all the electronic instant communiation we have today, that asswipes like ailes still get away with that shit.

  9. I would also recommend the (shorter) article in NewYork Magazine on Ailes:
    http://nymag.com/news/media/roger-ailes-fox-news-2011-5/index1.html
    It suggests that Ailes may be regretting the clown circus he created — otherwise known as the 2012 Rethug nominee slate.

  10. elizabeth3hersh

    So glad you left Shepard Smith out of the mix. He is one of the funniest (if not the FUNNIEST) newscaster in television. Anderson Cooper has a great sense of humor, but it’s guys like Shep who make him laugh. :-)

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