The Fox News Puppeteer

The current issue of RollingStone features a profile of Roger Ailes, the television mogul and businessman who really believes all the conspiratorial and circuitous limbic-brain massaging that his network, Fox News, pumps out 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The article’s written by Tim Dickinson whose star at RollingStone has risen in this feature: his masterpiece. Ailes’ profile avoids beating the dead horse of “But so much of Fox News is bullshit” and instead focus on the dementedly successful business practices that Ailes/Murdoch use, the way they expertly handle each news cycle for maximum GOP brain conditioning. There’s also some inside-reporting from Fox News defectors and – hey just for fun – a little history on Roger Ailes – the once sickly, now obese and jowled, Limbaugh-Beck fusion that is the locus of Fox News’ Cult of Personality.

Gems:

a) Can you really call yourself news when:

With its bare-bones news­gathering operation – Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN – Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising…

b) Paranoia proof in the pudding perhaps?

Murdoch installed ailes in the corner office on Fox’s second floor at 1211  Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was  close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to  attack… Barricading himself behind a massive mahogany desk, Ailes insisted on having “bombproof glass” installed in the windows – even going so far as to personally inspect samples of high-tech plexiglass, as though he were picking out new carpet. Looking down on the street below, he expressed his fears to Cooper, the editor he had tasked with up-armoring his office. “They’ll be down there protesting,” Ailes said. “Those gays.”

c) Agenda fluffing (precisely what news isn’t):

According to insiders, the morning show’s anchors, who appear to be chatting ad-lib, are actually working from daily, structured talking points that come straight from the top. “Prior to broadcast, Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson – that gang – they meet with Roger,” says a former Fox deputy. “And Roger gives them the spin.”

Source (it’s 13 pages online, but shut the fuck up about it and just read it)

One-Page link

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