Roger Ailes: Off Camera

Roger Ailes: Off Camera

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by Zev Chafets
     
 

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“When you’ve got Roger Ailes on your side, you do not lose.”—Rush Limbaugh

Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. He more or less invented modern politi­cal consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as aSee more details below

Overview

“When you’ve got Roger Ailes on your side, you do not lose.”—Rush Limbaugh

Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. He more or less invented modern politi­cal consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as a master of cable television, first as the head of CNBC and, since 1996, as the creator and leader of Fox News, the most influential news network in the country.

To liberals, Ailes is an evil genius who helped polarize the country by breaking the mainstream media’s long monopoly on what constitutes news. To conservatives, he’s a champion of free speech and fair reporting whose values and view of Amer­ica reflect their own. But no one doubts that Ailes has transformed journalism. Barack Obama once called him “the most powerful man in America”— and given that Fox News has changed the way millions understand the world, it may be true.

Yet for all that fame and infamy, very few people know the real person behind the headlines.

Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man. We see Ailes in action at Fox News and hear him reflect on personal mat­ters he has never before discussed publicly. And we discover the heart of his sometimes surprising political beliefs: his profane piety and his unwav­ering belief in the values of his small-town Ohio boyhood.

Ailes loves to fight, but he is a happy warrior who has somehow managed to charm and befriend many of the people he has defeated in political campaigns and television wars. Barbara Walters, Rachel Maddow, Jesse Jackson, the Kennedy clan— all are unexpected Ailes fans.

Chafets also gives us an unprecedented look at the inner workings of Fox News and explores Ailes’s relationships with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, Chris Wallace, and the other stars he has nurtured.

Ultimately, Ailes is neither villain nor hero but a man full of contradictions and surprises. As Chafets writes, “What will he do next? What stokes his competitive fires and occasional rages? How to reconcile his acts of exceptional loyalty and pri­vate generosity (even to rivals) with his impulse to present himself to the world as a ruthless leg breaker? What makes Roger run—and where, if anywhere, is the finish line? As Ailes himself might say: I report, you decide.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A tantalizing look into the life of a man who altered the TV-news landscape.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Conservatives, who have struggled to connect with voters emotionally, and liberals, who instinctively revile and dismiss him, would do well to look closely at the factors that have contributed to Roger Ailes’s enormous success.”
National Review Online

Kirkus Reviews
A chatty look into the life and motivations of Fox News founder Roger Ailes. Fans of Ailes will recognize many of the incidents related in Chafets' (Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, 2010, etc.) authorized biography. However, for those unfamiliar with Ailes' story, the author's narrative traverses his childhood, his early career experiences, his keen political intuitions, and his shrewd understanding of the cable-news business and its role in our media-saturated society. Ailes quickly grasped that personality would drive ratings on cable news. "He realized that it isn't like broadcast news, an hour or two a day," explained an Ailes colleague. "It's a twenty-four-hour operation, which means that a good part of it has to be about opinions." Once Rupert Murdock hired Ailes and he assembled his news team, Fox News began its ascent. Chafets flushes out his portrait of Ailes through an amalgam of individuals who offer vignettes and quotes describing the Ailes personality, business style and media matters, from their vantage point within or outside of his sphere of influence. Ailes' conservative stance is well-known, but the author offers a list of Ailes' liberal friends, including members of the Kennedy clan, Chris Cuomo, a CNN journalist and son of the former governor of New York, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich, "the longtime darling of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party." Ailes hired Doug Kennedy, a reporter and the youngest son of Bobby Kennedy, to work at Fox. "What people don't understand is that Roger is very comfortable with others who don't agree with him," Kennedy explains. "He knows what he believes and says it--Roger never talks for effect--and we go out to lunch and really go at it. All he asks is that you be real with him in return." No matter where readers are on the political spectrum, this light biography is a tantalizing look into the life of a man who altered the TV-news landscape.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101608265
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/19/2013
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
460,502
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“A tantalizing look into the life of a man who altered the TV-news landscape.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Conservatives, who have struggled to connect with voters emotionally, and liberals, who instinctively revile and dismiss him, would do well to look closely at the factors that have contributed to Roger Ailes’s enormous success.”
National Review Online

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