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Chappell writes: "Ailes resigned from his post leading Fox News last July, amid allegations of sexual harassment. He was 77."

Former Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes turned the network into a ratings juggernaut but was forced to resign amid a sexual harassment scandal. (photo: Wsley Mann/Fox News)
Former Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes turned the network into a ratings juggernaut but was forced to resign amid a sexual harassment scandal. (photo: Wsley Mann/Fox News)

Roger Ailes Dies at 77

By Bill Chappell, NPR

18 May 17


ormer Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has died, the network says, citing a statement from the late executive's family. Ailes resigned from his post leading Fox News last July, amid allegations of sexual harassment. He was 77.

Ailes helped found Fox News in 1996. On Thursday, the network initially announced his death by citing the Drudge Report, which had published a statement from Ailes' wife, Elizabeth.

According to Fox News, that statement reads:

"I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise — and to give back."

Anchors of the channel's morning show Fox & Friends were noticeably emotional in announcing Ailes' death.

"Beth, you are in our thoughts and prayers," co-host Ainsley Earhardt said, "and so is Zachary, their beautiful son. Roger, rest in peace."

Ailes was famous for his shrewd leadership of Fox, including his focus on airing conservative opinions and hiring anchors and reporters with big personalities. But he left Fox with a tarnished legacy, facing legal actions over allegations of sexual harassment.

Ailes denied accusations that he built a culture at Fox that encouraged harassment, after a lawsuit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson prompted other women at the network, including high-profile anchor Megyn Kelly, to step forward with similar claims. He abruptly resigned last July.

In the decades before he created a ratings juggernaut in Fox News, Ailes worked in politics, serving as a media adviser and consultant — most famously for Richard Nixon, whom Ailes helped to win the presidency in 1968. He later worked for other Republican leaders, from Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Ailes was a producer of the variety and talk program The Mike Douglas Show when he met Nixon. In the years that followed, as NPR's David Folkenflik has reported, Ailes "kept toggling between producing television specials and serving as a political consultant, sometimes doing both at once."

The architect of Fox News was also close to President Trump, to whom he gave a weekly slot on Fox & Friends — a show that the president has regularly touted in his tweets from the White House.

Trump "sort of represents Roger Ailes' legacy of 50 years of using television to advance a style — a populist style of conservative politics," journalist and author Gabriel Sherman told NPR's Terry Gross last summer.

Sherman, who wrote a biography of Ailes titled The Loudest Voice In The Room, also spoke to Terry back in 2014, when his book was first published.

Discussing Ailes' impact on politics and culture in the U.S., Sherman said, "One of Ailes' lasting legacies will be that for millions of Americans, news is now no longer viewed as a way to be informed about the world; it's a way of gathering information that advances your side." your social media marketing partner


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+17 # mebemo 2017-05-18 13:31
I don't believe in Hell but for him am willing to reconsider.
+13 # dusty 2017-05-18 13:45
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
+6 # Floe 2017-05-18 14:39
Nothing about what the villain died of. Bye bye. Not a nice man.
0 # futhark 2017-05-18 20:17
According to Ailes' Wikipedia article, he was a hemophiliac and had suffered a bump on the head some days back. This resulted in a sustained subdural hematoma.
+9 # Time Traveller 2017-05-18 14:40
And of course 90% of Roger Ailes' estate and accumulated wealth will be donated to America's poor!
+1 # Cassandra2012 2017-05-18 14:59
Just another sexual predator....
+1 # markovchhaney 2017-05-18 15:44
"It wasn't the airplanes. . . it was beauty that killed the beast."
+16 # Farafalla 2017-05-18 16:09
This man was the architect of the conservative dog whistles that coded their animus toward minorities and their love of guns. He weaponized television to manipulate the vastly ignorant swath of Americans who don't read newspapers and know nothing of the world outside their counties.

My only regret is that there will be another one like him to replace him in the pecking order of right wing "journalism".
+15 # mcafeetr 2017-05-18 16:22
As Thom Hartmann said today, "One should not speak ill of the dead, only good; Roger Ailes is dead -- good."
+9 # angelfish 2017-05-18 16:23
"Moms" Mabeley always said, "Never speak ill of the Dead". I agree. He's dead? Good.
+13 # dandevries 2017-05-18 18:58
Harry Truman is alleged to have remarked, "It's a damned shame anytime someone dies." There are, of course, exceptions.
+3 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-05-18 20:28
Good riddance to the horrid old swine: he degraded his profession & his nation.
0 # ericlipps 2017-05-19 04:30
And so the left is deprived of one of its favorite punching bags. Of course, the right keeps offering more such overstuffed windbags to be thumped on. One of them is in the White House.
+1 # mebemo 2017-05-20 08:18
Perpetuating this "left-right" division shows that Ailes' perfidy lives on after him. If we want a healthy society again, wouldn't it be better to emphasize the values that bind us together rather than the opposite? Which means seeking the wholeness within our individual psyches first. Yes?
0 # Hooligan 2017-05-20 15:02
Good Riddance!

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