Roger Ailes’ Deathbed Conversion

At the end of a long, fascinating and well-reported article on Roger Ailes and Fox News, New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman drops this nugget:

Last week, Ailes turned 71. He’s spending considerable time thinking about his legacy. It bothers him that he’s still regarded as an outsider. “He doesn’t want to be hated,” a GOPer who knows Ailes well said. “It really bothers him. You can’t gross a billion a year and retain an outlaw sensibility forever.”

What’s the deal with conservative terrorists and their legacies?

By any measure — except honesty and integrity, of course — Roger Ailes should be proud of his achievements. Fox News calls the shots for Republican politics. Presidential contenders have to kiss Roger’s ring, or face his wrath. And there’s that one beeeelion dollars he makes for his Dark Lord.

Perhaps he feels remorse for the Willie Horton ad? He’s never admitted to helping produce it, although he wasted no time capitalizing on it, and as he gleefully told Time in August 1988, “The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it.”

Besides, it’s unclear whom Ailes fears being hated by. We don’t really hate Ailes — more like withering contempt — but we don’t count. Nor do journalists, not after Ailes has done so well making a mockery of their profession — especially the ones too chickenshit to call Fox News the cynically manipulative propaganda outfit it is. And politicians? Surely Roger’s a lot happier being feared than loved.

But maybe we’re looking the wrong direction. Perhaps the one man Roger Ailes fears being hated by is himself.

Because dude, you’ve been building that edifice from the moment you left Mike Douglas to join Nixon. Everything you’ve touched — Nixon, Ronnie’s re-election, Bush I, Fox News — has won. Big time. Roger Ailes, that is your legacy.

And if, at this late moment in your life, you fear being hated for it — well, perhaps, deep down, in what crumbs remain of your soul, you agree with the rest of us that it was all a crock of shit.

The Elephant in the Green Room [New York]


10:44 am • Monday • May 23, 2011

I’ve been cheating
Been mistreating
When will I be loved?

I’ve done slandered
I’ve done destroyed them
When will I be loved?

When I find a new Dem
That I want for mine
I always crush their soul with lies
It happens every time

I’ve made them blue
I’ve said total lies to
When will I be loved?

When I find a new Dem
That I want for mine
I always crush their soul with lies
It happens every time

Oh, I’ve done cheating
Been mistreating
When will I be loved?
When will I be loved?
Tell me, when will I be loved?

Apologies to Linda Ronstadt.

12:00 pm • Monday • May 23, 2011

@ManchuCandidate: Din Buddy Holly write that tune?

12:05 pm • Monday • May 23, 2011

From wiki, it was Phil Everly in 1959.

Linda altered the order of the verses in her version (which I used.)

12:08 pm • Monday • May 23, 2011

@ManchuCandidate: Yes, Linda did a great cover of this.

12:33 pm • Monday • May 23, 2011

There is a lot of wisdom in this I think. I’m always amazed to the point that it even kinda makes no sense to me – How REALLY powerful people who squash their fellow humans, imprison and torture them and have entire nations cowering in fear, are themselves terribly terribly afraid of the WORD. Spoken or printed, THEY fear what people say and think.
If you lived in a palace and controlled stockpiles of weapons and armies, what threat is a bunch of talk from ragged people in huts?
But…they do fear it, both what people are saying NOW and their after death “legacy”

I suppose, that having worked to distort and play with reality all his life, he actually knows how little any illusionist can actually change things, and how much the audience has to be complicit. It takes only a second for a person to decide, “no this is a crock of shit” and all the effort is made worthless. Anyways, it wouldn’t be the first time an “abusive person” wanted their victim to absolve them before they die.

In WWII Nazi Eichmann was also confused why he was “unliked”. He wrote of his memories of Jewish babies being bayoneted while in their mother’s arms, this was his normal workday and he spoke of it like another might refer to any mundane office duty. Yet he was confused about the way the public hated HIM once his groups’ Power and Hate party was over, once the so-powerful men faced their own deaths and lack of power over that, and were all quite terrified when the “spirit” of History began to materialize before them.

2:23 pm • Monday • May 23, 2011

@Annie K.: I think John Lennon nailed every one of the wealthy and powerful people with this song: Instant Karma. Eventually everything you did and didn’t do catches up with you.

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