Roger Ailes: Off Camera

( 16 )

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 ...

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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 televisions 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

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: 9781595230959
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 690,887
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

ZEV CHAFETS is the author of twelve books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and a former columnist for the New York Daily News.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    This book was one of the best books I've ever read on Leadership

    This book was one of the best books I've ever read on Leadership!
    Though the word leadership was hardly used, everything Roger Ailes did, could be quickly attributed to his leadership. He just got things done! He got them done faster and better than one could imagine. Somehow he was able to recognize talent, develop it even more, and stay behind the scenes without taking the credit. The book was entertaining and a delight to read. I highly recommend it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Outstanding analysis - Recommended Reading

    The author has provided an insight into not only who Mr. Ailes is as a person but also to the image of the FOX Network team that provide millions of Americans the news every day. It is good reading for not only those on the right side of the aisle but can be enlightening to those who consider themselves well informed left wingers. Mr. Ailes displays a work and moral ethic that many of us should and can admire.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Is he an evil genius or just a genius? Read the book and you dec

    Is he an evil genius or just a genius? Read the book and you decide. A very well crafted, very thorough story of an incredibly powerful man.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2014

    Great read and look into the success of the man and Fox News.  I

    Great read and look into the success of the man and Fox News.  I find this type of biography and person interesting because the life style of Ailes is outside my comfort zone and I think, belief system.  However, after reading the book, my opinion is that Roger Ailes is an ethical man and that trait is one of the reasons for his success.  The author has another win with this fair treatment of Ailes following up on his work  with Rush Limbaugh. May Roger & Zev continue to reap the rewards of their talents and hard work.  Buy the book.  You will find it a real page turner.  You will want other people to read it not so much for  political gain but because it might motivate others to excel and appreciate freedom.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Tuck

    I was recently given a pile of books. One being 'Off Camera'. I made the cardinal sin of having pre-conceived notions. It is a good read. One of the other books was 'Drift' by Rachel Maddow. Both books are short. Dont pre- judge. Just read. A mind, just like a parachute, works best when open.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Very Good!

    I am not a big biography fan, but I saw the author interviewed on TV and was intrieged. I knew who Mr. Ailes was but did not realize he had had so many political jobs. I will be passing it on so others in the family can read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Great read!

    I am a big fan of Fox and appreciate the people who work on the network. I love The Five, Special Report, and other programming. Now I know why the network is so fair, balanced, and honest with the news. Reading about Roger Ailes added to my respect for all the people who are connected with his network and life. I hope he does have a longer time to keep making the Fox Network even better.
    The author did a tremendous job in writing this inside story on Mr. Ailes and I recommend it to all readers whether they like Fox or not. The ones who already do will appreciate it even more and those who don't might see it from a new perspective.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Sooo funny

    I was not expecting this book to be so funny, but it was a GREAT read. Everything makes sense now, and how and why Fox is the best and always will be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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