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Roger Ailes: Off Cameraby Zev Chafets
Synopses & Reviews
When youve 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 medias long monopoly on what constitutes news. To conservatives, hes 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 Ailess relationships with Bill OReilly, 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.”
Roger Ailes 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. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Ailes transformed both politics and media.
Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues, including Bill OReilly and Sean Hannity. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man.
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 Ailess enormous success.” —National Review Online
An illuminating look at the life, politics, and practices of Roger Ailes, founder and CEO of Fox News Channel
Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. As a political consultant, he helped put Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush in the White House. As the creator of Fox News, he has revolutionized American media. Even President Obama has called him “the most powerful man in America.”
Now Zev Chafets, author of Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One, offers a rich biography of the man who (with the backing of Rupert Murdoch) has given conservatives a game of their own, infuriated the establishment, changed the way millions understand the world, and had a rollicking good time doing it.
Chafets draws on unprecedented access to Ailes and Fox News to offer a portrait of arguably the most influential, and controversial, media mogul alive.
About 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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