Fox News founder and chairman Roger Ailes dropped in to the Washington Bureau this afternoon for an impromptu talk to the troops ahead of tonight’s RTCA dinner.
Sources inside the packed newsroom tell TVNewser Ailes started by telling staffers what a great job they’re doing. “I’m very proud of this bureau,” he said “[Viewers] used to come to us after the news event now they come to us for the news event as well. I really just want to congratulate you and thank you for that.”
Ailes then turned to the issue of Monday’s Washington Post story, in which Howard Kurtz wrote about “tension” over Glenn Beck. “There is a deep split within Fox between those who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network,” wrote Kurtz.
Signaling that Kurtz’s sources came from within the DC bureau, Ailes said, “For the first time in our 14 years we’ve had people apparently shooting in the tent, from within the tent.”
“Glenn Beck, does his show and that’s his opinion. It’s not the opinion of FOX News and he has a right to say it,” added Ailes. “We prefer people in the tent not dumping on other people in the tent.”
And in a challenge to those employees, Ailes said, “I was brought up to defend the family. If I couldn’t defend the family I’d leave. I’d go to another family.”
Fox News has spent the most of any network on tonight’s RTCA dinner buying 34 tables for a grand total of more than $85,000. Beck will not be at tonight’s dinner.