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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Ailes’

Gabriel Sherman’s Piers Morgan Interview: ‘Roger Ailes Has Surpassed the GOP’

Morgan ShermanOn CNN last night, Gabriel Sherman detailed the “most brutal” reporting assignment of his young career: the unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” A three-year long project, that hits store shevles today.

But if you read this site regularly, you may find there was not much news in Piers Morgan‘s interview with
Sherman, which focused largely on Ailes’ politics: “Roger Ailes’ personal politics, as I report in the book, are actually very quite extreme,” Sherman says. But because Ailes is a “brilliant political strategist,” he goes against his own views to back more moderate candidates with winning elections in mind.

Sherman also suggests Ailes was an active political player during the last presidential election.

“Roger Ailes has surpassed the GOP, you know, and during the 2012 election, he said to his senior executives, we’re going to have to do a lot to get this guy elected,” Sherman said, adding Ailes didn’t think Mitt Romney had the “spine” to “rip” Obama’s face off.

In an interview just after the 2012 election, Ailes told TVNewser about how the network covers the president: “If he runs into a burning building tomorrow and saves four kids, he’s gonna be the biggest goddamn hero Fox News ever saw. But if he leaves four guys behind on the battlefield but can’t explain it, then he’s gonna have a problem with Fox News.”

Sherman’s book got a positive review from The New York Times, but he’s also generating criticism. The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple points out that during an interview with “CBS This Morning” last week, Sherman didn’t back up his own claim that Ailes has divided America.

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NYT Book Review of Ailes Bio: ‘Actually Fair and Balanced, Carefully Documented’

roger_ailes_a_lWith “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Gabriel Sherman‘s unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes set for release tomorrow, New York Times media reporter David Carr uses his Monday column to discuss his own coverage of Fox News and its founder over the years:

I’ve dealt with Mr. Ailes while covering the news media, and beyond his charms and smarts, he is animated by a belief that just about everyone would like to see him laid low. Even as he has vanquished his opponents, he clings to the role of aggrieved underdog, and Mr. Sherman’s critical book reinforces that worldview.

Jacob Weisberg, the chairman of the Slate Group was asked to write the New York Times Book Review on “The Loudest Voice in the Room.”

What drives this need to create conflict? In his actually fair and balanced, carefully documented biography, Sherman struggles to come up with an answer. (He does so, it bears noting, without the cooperation of his subject, who set a new benchmark for biographical obstruction by working with the journalist Zev Chafets to rush a more sympathetic portrayal out first.) Ailes’s father, who was abandoned by a father with a degree from Harvard, spent his career working as a foreman in the maintenance department at Packard Electric, an automotive manufacturer. But Ailes himself grew up cared and provided for in an intact family

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Jeff Zucker Fires Back at Roger Ailes

AilesZuckerTwo top generals in the cable news wars are going at it.

Following Fox News chief Roger Ailes‘ comments in a Hollywood Reporter interview in which he said CNN “is out of the news business,” CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker fired back Friday at the TCA: “[Ailes] doesn’t do an interview in a long time and then does it the week that the book comes out? He’s trying to deflect attention,” said Zucker.

While THR ran the Ailes interview this week, it was actually conducted last month. The book Zucker refers to, Gabriel Sherman‘s “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” an unauthorized biography of Ailes, will be released Tuesday. The original publication date was for later this month, but when excerpts leaked earlier this week, Random House moved up the publication date.

In his comments Friday, Zucker said the book “confirms what we’ve known all along, which is the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.” RNC chairman Reince Priebus then got into the mix, tweeting, “Hey Jeff Zucker, we’re the Republican Party and we speak for ourselves, pal.”

A Fox News spokesperson says Zucker is the one deflecting because of the network’s ratings woes. In 2013, CNN experienced  a 20-year ratings low. CNN has produced several segments this week on Sherman’s book. He’ll be a guest on “Reliable Sources” tomorrow morning.

In response to Ailes’ original shot across the bow, Zucker says, “Clearly there’s probably no other network in American television that is covering news in such a substantial and serious way than CNN.”

Random House Moves Up Publication Date of Roger Ailes Biography

Ailes bookBecause of “heavy media attention and heightened interest,” Random House is moving the publication date of Gabe Sherman‘s book on Roger Ailes up a week, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports. The book, originally scheduled to be released January 21, will now be published next Tuesday, January 14.

Sherman’s book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” has received heavy media attention since The New York Times released the first details from it Tuesday night. Yesterday, New York magazine published a lengthy excerpt about Ailes’ involvement in local politics in Garrison, N.Y., where he owns a home and two local newspapers.

New York released additional excerpts from “Loudest Voice” this afternoon, including an anecdote about Ailes’ first tour of the Wall Street Journal’s News Corp. newsroom:

The ratings failure of the Fox Business Network, which Murdoch had tapped Ailes to launch 2007, was all the more glaring given that Murdoch had acquired The Wall Street Journal around the same time. But Ailes spoke of the Journal as a threat. The paper had no synergy with Fox. Executives noticed that Ailes resented Murdoch’s lavish support of the Journal‘s parent company, Dow Jones, and his close friendship with Robert Thomson, the former editor of The Times of London whom Murdoch tapped to be publisher of the Journal. As Les Hinton, then president of Dow Jones, accompanied Ailes on a tour of the Journal‘s gleaming new newsroom a few floors above Fox News, Ailes grumbled, “So, you’re showing me what I paid for.”

Sherman did not interview Ailes for the book. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published yesterday, Ailes said “attacking me and Fox News is nothing new.”

Speaking of the “gleaming new newsroom” at the Wall Street Journal, MediabistroTV’s CUBES got a tour of it last year. Watch after the jump. Read more

Gabriel Sherman Defends Book: ‘Roger Ailes Declined Every Request’

Gabriel Sherman 304A nine-page excerpt from the hotly buzzed about upcoming Roger Ailes biography by Gabriel Sherman is up on New York Magazine’s website, and the author defended himself to POLITICO against Fox News accusations the book is light on fact checking.

“During two and a half years of reporting, I made a dozen requests both in writing and in person to speak with Roger Ailes about every aspect of my book, The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Sherman told POLITICO. ”A team of two fact-checkers spent more than 2,000 hours vetting the manuscript before publication. Roger Ailes declined every request to discuss the reporting with me.”

While Fox News confirms Sherman’s requests for an interview with Ailes, neither he nor Random House fact-checked directly with them, they say.

By the way, you may have seen a Gawker story pointing out what looks like a “prominent video device” behind Ailes’ desk. TVNewser has gotten to the bottom of desk-gate: Fox News tells us the device is a computer speaker (manufactured by Logitech), and not a video recording device.

Reporters Spend 30 Minutes Questioning Jay Carney on Details of ‘Duty’

CarneyGatesIt’s not just Fox News pushing back against a controversial new book today. At the White House this afternoon, all the cable news channels covered Press Secretary Jay Carney‘s response to allegations in the new memoir from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Reporters spent more than a half hour peppering Carney with questions about the book.

In “Duty,” Gates criticizes Pres. Obama’s national security team for routinely phoning military commanders, calling the micromanagement “unthinkable.” Gates singles out Vice President Joe Biden, saying he has been “wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security decision of the last four decades.”

“The president and the rest of us here simply just disagree with that assessment,” Carney said today. “As a Senator and as a Vice President, Joe Biden has been one of leading statesmen of his time… he’s played a key role in every major national security and foreign policy debate and policy discussion in this administration.”

Carney went on to say President Obama greatly appreciates Gates’ service. Differing opinions is what the president sought when he picked a “team of rivals” for his foreign policy team, Carney says.

Roger Ailes on Gabe Sherman, Rupert Murdoch and Jeff Zucker

rogerailesfox-afpOn the same day that the first pieces of Gabe Sherman‘s book were published by The New York Times, Roger Ailes is the subject of an extensive Q+A with The Hollywood Reporter.

He weighs in on last year’s changes to the primetime lineup (“I believed, in some cases, we needed to freshen up a little bit”) and his relationship with Rupert Murdoch (“He wanders in and ruins my schedule and just wants to talk”). He also talks about his competitors and Sherman’s upcoming book:

You’re the subject of an unauthorized book, for which you declined to participate. Are you doing anything to counteract any negative elements?

Bette Davis said, I think it was Bette Davis, ‘What other people think of me is none of my business.’ Attacking me and Fox News is nothing new – it’s a cottage industry. What’s new is that Random House refused to fact check the content with me or Fox News — that tells you everything you need to know about this book and its agenda.

What do you think of Jeff Zucker saying CNN is now focused on making shows and moving away from newscasts? Read more

New York Times Gets Early Copy of Explosive Roger Ailes Biography

AilesInvestorDayThe New York Times got its hands on a copy of “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Gabe Sherman‘s 560-page biography of Roger Ailes. In the more than 100 pages of source notes and bibliography, Sherman writes that he worked on the book for three years and interviewed 614 people who knew or worked with Ailes. The Times story recounts several episodes of Ailes’s “volatile temper and domineering behavior.”

In one anecdote, a television producer, Randi Harrison, told Mr. Sherman that while negotiating her salary with Mr. Ailes at NBC in the 1980s, he offered her an additional $100 each week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”

A Fox News spokesperson responds: “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.”

The Times also highlights the ugly power struggle between Ailes, then an executive at NBC, and David Zaslav, now the president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

At a company dinner, according to the book, Mr. Ailes made clear he was ready to do battle with Mr. Zaslav. “Let’s kill the S.O.B.,” he told his dining companions, Mr. Sherman writes. At a separate meeting with Mr. Zaslav, the book says, Mr. Ailes was said to have unleashed a vulgar, anti-Semitic slur at his rival.

Ailes denies the charge. So does Zaslav who says the incident never happened, telling The Times, “We fought with each other and we fought with a lot of other people,” he said Tuesday in a phone interview. “But this allegation is false.” He added that he and Mr. Ailes were now friends.

“The Loudest Voice in the Room” goes on sale in two weeks. An excerpt will appear earlier in New York magazine.

Buildup for Roger Ailes Book Begins

roger-ailesWith Gabriel Sherman‘s book on Roger Ailes “The Loudest Voice in the Room” being released on January 21, Capital New York reports publisher Random House has launched a wesbite dedicated to the facts.

Advance press copies are presumably starting to circulate among reviewers and media reporters, and today, the book has a brand new website that “will be a source for pushback against misinformation throughout the book’s release,” a source close to the publisher tells Capital.

Capital reports Sherman’s book is based on “hundreds of of interviews with Fox News insiders past and present.”

Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff is also out with a column about “The unbeatable Roger Ailes,” asking why rival executives Phil Griffin and Jeff Zucker work in a profession where they’re destined to fall short of Ailes. Read more

How Did Fox News Become Fox News?

FoxNewsLogoBill Hemmer will take a look at Fox News’ history for a special airing tonight at 10pmET.

“Fox News: Our Story” features interviews with Brit Hume, Sean Hannity and Shepard Smith, who recalls he initially didn’t think the channel could succeed: “Not a chance, no way, no how. And what that shows is that I didn’t know the boss,” Smith says. “I can remember [Roger Ailes] telling me distinctly, we will win … I love what Roger and our folks have accomplished. I’m very proud of it.”

Watch a preview at Fox News Insider.

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