New Bio Casts Fox News Chief Roger Ailes As Politically Aggressive, Bad Tempered, Dismissive of Women — Unlike Industry Norm. FNC Denies It.
Roger Ailes bragged “I want to elect the next president” in the walk-up to the 2012 presidential election, recommended a speech coach for Mitt Romney’s running mate, and was the brainchild behind that four-minute video criticizing President Obama’s policies that was telecast on Fox And Friends at the start of the general election, according to the new, unauthorized Ailes biography, The Loudest Voice In The Room.
Ailes also once called Bill O’Reilly “a book salesman with a TV show,” and, when he was an exec at NBC, offered a female employee a bump to her salary if she’d have sex with him, according to the New York Times’ look at an advance copy of the 560-page biography, set to publish on January 21 by Random House, written by New York magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. Fox News has blasted all points of the bio.
“These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”
“Today’s ruling is a major win for all journalists,” Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said this morning, after New York’s top court ruled one of his reporters can’t be forced to reveal sources used to cover the Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass murder. The New York Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that the state’s shield law protected New York FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter from being compelled to name sources. Winter first reported that law officers told her James Holmes kept a diary depicting violence and gave it to his psychiatrist before 12 movie-goers were gunned down during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July of ’12. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder; prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes’s lawyers wanted Winter brought to Colorado to name her sources, arguing they had violated a gag order and would not be credible trial witnesses.
“There is a substantial likelihood that a New York reporter will be compelled to divulge the identity of a confidential source (or face a contempt sanction) if required to appear in the other jurisdiction — a result that would offend the core protections of the shield law, a New York public policy of the highest order,” the court said, overturning a mid-level appeals court’s decision, according to news reports.
That might explain why cable news channels “have an outsized ability to influence the national debate and news agenda,” the Pew Research Center says based on its new study How Americans Get TV News At Home. …
The graveyard shifts of local and national media were thrust into covering one of the biggest, fastest moving news stories of the year last night — an alleged convenience store robbery, which turned into a carjacking and escalated into a manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects and a firefight that left a police officer and one of the suspects dead, a suspect on the loose and a whole city on lockdown. Getting reliable information in the middle of the night amidst all the chaos was incredibly difficult, but local Boston media got a chance to shine.
Related: Networks’ Coverage Of Boston Manhunt
The Boston Globe was miles ahead of everyone else, reporting the connection between the MIT shooting and the Boston Marathon suspects as well as the apprehension of one of the suspects at least an hour before anyone else. Gun-shy after erroneously reporting that there was a bombing suspect in custody on Wednesday, CNN anchors led by Jake Tapper were overly cautious, declining to even reference the Boston Globe report on the arrest and only connected the events after the statement of Col. Timothy Alben, commander of the Massachusetts State Police. Meanwhile, Fox News‘ Bill Hemmer was holding a tablet with the Boston Globe on air, reading updates off the site.
The way the Globe was ahead of all national papers, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, local stations beat the national news networks too, with Boston newspaper and TV outlets also getting the news of the death of Suspect #1 out first. CNN actually tapped into the feed of a local Boston station to carry Alben’s key impromptu presser, which officially confirmed that the chased men were the bombing suspects and that one was dead and one on the lam.
Karl Rove’s Election Night dispute with Fox News’ statisticians after they projected that Ohio would go for President Obama was tailor-made for Jon Stewart. The Daily Show host gleefully says the reporting and disappointed commentary that followed Obama’s victory “will, unlike us, live forever.”
UPDATE 3:50 PM: An estimated 67.2 million people watched last night’s Presidential debate, according to Nielsen, up 28% compared to the first debate in 2008 between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. It was a close race for the broadcast networks. ABC drew in 11.2 million total viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET. NBC followed a close second with 11 million and CBS was third was 10.5 million. In the Adults 25-54 demographic, NBC was No. 1 with 5.1 million, followed by ABC with 4.6 million and CBS with 4.5 million. ABC also topped the list in total viewers for post-debate analysis form 10:30-11 PM ET with 8.8 million. It was followed by NBC with 8.7 million and CBS with 7 million. In the Adults 25-54, NBC led again with 3.8 million, followed by ABC with 3.5 million and CBS with 2.9 million.
PREVIOUS: Fox News Channel dominated cable news coverage of the first Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Fox News drew 10.4 million viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET with nearly 3 million in the 25-54 demographic. That marked FNC’s highest-rated presidential debate ever. CNN was a distant second with 6 million viewers, followed by MSNBC. I’ll update with final numbers for the broadcast networks, most of whom also posted around 10 million viewers each in the fast nationals.
In an interview today with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto the GOP presidential candidate seemed to expand his definition of the 47% of the electorate that he says likely won’t support him. He told a small group of contributors a few months ago that President Obama can count on 47% of voters who “are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them…These are people who pay no income tax,” according to a secret recording of the event. But he told Fox News that he was referring to “the perspective of a lot of individuals who are not likely to support me.” He added that “some believe that government should take from some and give to the others….I think that’s an entirely foreign concept.”