Patterico's Pontifications


Roger Ailes Passes Away

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

Roger Ailes has died at the age of 77:

His wife Elizabeth, with whom he has one son, said: ‘I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many.

‘He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise — and to give back.
‘During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions.

‘And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life,’ the statement reads.

No information was released as to the cause of his death.

Ailes, who in recent years faced accusations of sexual harassment from on-air talent, as well as being fully aware of any number of sexual harassment accusations toward Bill O’Reilly, resigned in 2016 as a result. Fox News with Ailes at its helm “… developed a virtual public square for the American right and filled a void on television. It has dominated all other cable news channels for 14 years.”

Here is a round-up of reactions to Ailes’ death from blue-checked journalists and other important people who help “shape” the news and culture. And more reactions from both the left and the right here.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


50 Responses to “Roger Ailes Passes Away”

  1. What a pioneer he was during the advent of cable news. And yet like many successful men, he was brought down by his own weak character and heady intoxication of power.

    Dana (023079)

  2. ugh megyn kelly’s just so tacky

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  3. Even our own DCSPCA expressed an opinion

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  4. Ailes and Fox changed cable news, and not necessarily for the better. None of the networks today can lift a candle to CNN of 1990

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  5. The Boston Globe, in their coverage of his death, reported he had hemophilia. There are several lesser types which are compatible with an age of 77 but he was also reported to have fallen in his bathroom on May 10 and hospitalized. A fall and head injury and hemophilia sounds like a bad combination.

    Mike K (f469ea)

  6. People should be worried with Alex Jones shows more insight and class than they do.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  7. Fox dropped $5 per share on the stock market since Roger “resigned.” He took Fox for $40 million to “resign.” Would his death have been worth more to his family if he died on the job, or did he take Fox to the bank for their ingratitude.

    jim (f25baa)

  8. Re, #4 that is truth. They let the SoDem restoration of 1992 get to their head and haven’t recovered since.

    urbanleftbehind (ebe312)

  9. Dana, were you on the jury that convicted Ailes?

    Steven Malynn (4c1400)

  10. @4. Hugh betcha.

    It was rogering Roger who pushed the Big Dick on camera back in ’68 to utter ‘sock-it-to-me’ — and the mix of politics and teevee has spiralled down ever since. Decades of devolution fueled and financed by Rupert the Wreckless, which dumbed down and poisoned American media for good, feeding flyover country a diet of cotto candy blond eye candy. His mantre: I’m qualified to run a cable news channel because I don’t have a degree in journalism; his method: turn down the audio and see how they look– the prettier, the better.

    The legacy is cable teevee for dummies: leg lights, lip gloss and news poodles. He won’t be missed. But the wreckage left behind is unavoidable.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. @ Mr. Malynn, who asks (#9):

    Dana, were you on the jury that convicted Ailes?

    Perhaps you weren’t following the news. Mr. Ailes’ separation from Fox was largely the result of scandals relating to him and his subordinates — scandals whose common feature was the payment of millions of dollars in cover-up money specifically to avoid any such trials. Dana’s description is factually accurate, regardless of your views about whether Fox was or wasn’t justified in the separation. And obviously he died a free and rich man, an accomplished man, despite what can aptly be described as a “downfall” so near the end of his life.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  12. @11. “downfall”– figuratively and literally.

    Apparently he fell in his Palm Beach home and w/his medical condition, gave himself a fatal blood clot.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. And then … minutes later … Trump launches off into a rambling justification for firing Comey.

    No impulse control at all. No clutch between ego & mouth.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  14. Oops, intended that last (#13) for the Trump post (where I’ll copy it).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  15. @4. Turner had the right idea: make the news the star.

    CNN today is a Montgomery Wards sandwiched between a Macy’s and a Sears.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  16. Pres. Santos of Colombia was nimble and impressive in two languages. Trump supporters will surely appreciate and applaud Trump’s crisp if slightly condescending follow-up to a question posed to Pres. Santos about his views on Trump’s proposed border wall (which Pres. Santos dodged with all the grace of an experienced political matador).

    Trump cannot grasp that on this special counsel stuff, he will be at least ten times better off, immediately and in the long run, if he talks about 10% as much.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  17. And there again (#16), I just posted on the wrong post. I’m losing browser window discipline, apologies for the wasted bandwidth & confusion.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  18. Beldar, It may be a case of “build a thousands bridges, but suck one !@#$, and you are not remembered as an engineer.” Perhaps Ailes deserves to be remembered as a !@#$sucker, but the only reason he is being attacked today is because he is not of the left.

    The absolute glee the left has at his death is entirely because of his having given voice to the right, because he understood the unserved middle and delivered a countervoice.

    Now, Compare the continued lionization of leftist political figures, the Kennedy Brothers, Billy Jeff, leftist entertainers, Polanski, Brando, Bertolucci, Woody Allen.

    The only thing we know about the settlements are that they were made. You know insurers always have their say, you know it is an unfounded assertion to call a settlement a “cover-up” or an admission. So do you take every case to Trial?

    An if, in fact, these settlements were made – isn’t that more than the victims of the left have ever received?

    Steven Malynn (4c1400)

  19. @17. At least you know what they are. Safe bet Lieberman doesn’t.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  20. “The allegations against Roger Ailes last summer were a complete surprise to most people at Fox News.” – Brit Hume.

    Fake news.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  21. It’s certainly correct to observe that the people lining up to kick Ailes’ corpse mourned Ted “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy piously, and will do likewise for Bill Clinton when he sheds this mortal coil.

    M Scott Eiland (1edade)

  22. WJC raped women. Raped. Yet Roger Ailes is the misogynist.

    It is most unfortunate that he died before his non-compete expired. It is clear that moves were afoot to create a new conservative media outlet with Roger’s support and guidance. He also would very likely have identified some bigtime skeletons in the Murdoch and Fox News closets.

    He was a genius and he was flawed. RIP

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  23. Roger Ailes launched MSNBC. Founder of. Kind of like how Ron Coleman founded the Weather Channel. Birthed the sucker. Never can tell how your children will turn out.

    How soon they forget. (Except for me. I actually never knew that.)

    papertiger (c8116c)

  24. Seriously, the way it’s written up on the Wiki (

    allegations tossed out after and because of, never prelude or before hand, to on air reassignments.
    The hiring environment being what it is, the polarized vindictive pettiness of the commie networks, so it’s Fox News or nothing. Once your hired on there, Megyn Kelly included, those other outlets treat you like an Ebola carrier.

    I think these cases are disgrunts finding out how little their brand attracts at the [edit]head networks, looked for the easy score to feather their nest after the exit.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  25. @23. Fake news.

    Ailes did not launch MSNBC; it was established by Tom Rogers. Ailes helped develop a cable channel called America’s Talking which, after he left to work w/Murdoch, was reworked into what became MSNBC. Ailes was developing Fox News which began cablecast operations in October, 1996. MSNBC began cablecasting in July, 1996. In fact, Ailes test marketed the Fox News concept at the GOP convention in August, 1996 locally on cable in San Diego under the name “GOP TV.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  26. He birthed the baby. So it acts like an ungrateful spoiled brat. So what. He’s still the daddy.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  27. @26. Except he didn’t and he wasn’t.

    Still too early for you to be drinking, Cottonelle.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. Taking a break from his Boston hotel job, Matt McKenna said it felt like the weather had skipped spring and gone straight to summer.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  29. Dana, were you on the jury that convicted Ailes?

    Steven Malynn (4c1400) — 5/18/2017 @ 12:30 pm

    It would be helpful if you re-read the post.

    Dana (b96347)

  30. @ Mr. Malynn (#18): No, I don’t take all my cases to trial. However, I do try to keep my clients, be they insured or not, from paying out money to settle and silence unless that’s a reasonable decision based on risks assessed through pretrial discovery. And on these sorts of claims, which allege intentional torts and violations of federal statutes, there’s almost never insurance coverage, actually, so no, don’t pretend like some brain-dead insurance companies were paying off on bogus claims.

    Again, you suggested that Dana was being unfair in this post’s descriptions of Mr. Ailes and his career. I actually think Dana was fair and balanced, so to speak.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  31. Are you a Buckeye, Mr. Malynn?

    Beldar (fa637a)


    In a Vanity Fair profile from 2013, Roger Ailes said that he thinks he will die within 6 to 10 years….

    ….“Because of my hemophilia, I’ve been prepared to face death all of my life,” he said. “…So I’m ready. Everybody fears the unknown. But I have a strong feeling there’s something bigger than us. I don’t think all this exists because some rocks happened to collide. I’m at peace. When it comes, I’ll be fine, calm. I’ll miss life, though. Especially my family.”

    Sammy Finkelman (0e8c82)

  33. In spie of all that, and the fact that something that hapned to him all his life became fatal probably because of his age, it could be this was an often overlooked danger of blood pressur emedication. I don’t know if he was taking them, but they cause falls, but those falls are not attributed to the blood pressure medication.

    Sammy Finkelman (0e8c82)

  34. @31. They are, of course, a useless nut.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  35. From the other thread:

    The last time around he was elected in part because a left splinter candidate

    narciso (d1f714)

  36. Beldar, sexual harassment claims are absolutely covered by E&O insurance. Intentional wrongdoing may not (depending on the policy), Punitives and criminal penalties are not.

    EPLI insures against claims of discrimination (based on age, sex, race, religion, color and
    national origin), sexual harassment claims, wrongful termination (including constructive
    discharge and retaliatory discharge), infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract,
    violation of the Family Medical Leave Act or other leave laws. In addition, some policies
    contain a catch-all category to provide coverage for claims of discrimination based on protected
    categories (e.g., sexual orientation) that are not covered under federal discrimination statutes, but
    may be covered by state or local law.2
    For example, in a typical EPLI policy of this type, a
    carrier may list a number of categories of protected classes covered by its insurance and then add
    that it covers those “and other protected classes.” Coverage for suits brought by third parties,
    such as customers, continues to increase in modern policies. However, some carriers restrict the
    coverage to sexual harassment and some to business relationships.

    Yes, I’m living in Ohio – Do you intend to Dox me here?

    Steven Malynn (4c1400)

  37. Meanwhile the Carlos slim president Mark Thompson covered up the jimmy saville when he was at the BBC but much like chain saban (inivision) failed tax shelters few talk about it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. How about the curious way that Joe Scarborough left Congress, I’ll leave it at that. Ailes like his patron Murdoch were sort of the hearst of the age, he helped steer Nixon s campaign,when it was foundering,

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. “And then … minutes later … Trump launches off into a rambling justification for firing Comey.

    No impulse control at all. No clutch between ego & mouth.”

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/18/2017 @ 2:01 pm

    He double-clutches, Beldar, thereby missing the grind of the bad syncros when he shifts between teh two!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  40. Pastrana is part of the conservative party, but he too entertained the idea of five always to guerillas, uribe a liberal in the 19th century sense, actually brought the guerillas to heel and many including my favorite Colombian author vazguez Gomes, still can’t live that down, that is the peculiar political geography of colombia

    narciso (d1f714)

  41. @39 He double-clutches

    And the Rooskies have that on tape as well.

    Haiku! Gesundheit. Wipe your nose.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  42. And we’ve seen for two decades what demobilizing guerillas without accountability was wrought:

    narciso (d1f714)

  43. glad to get him down here!

    satan's (a9a7b0)

  44. Another liberal finds religion. It’s a Roger Ailes miracle.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  45. No, Mr. Malynn. Thank you for the link.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  46. @38. He knows where the bodies are buried, eh. But ask yourself when the two on camera sippin’ Starbucks whether an hour earlier Mika went took a ride to work or Schmoe simply screwed the pooch.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. Mr. Malynn, your link — although it’s to what looks like a CLE paper prepared for plaintiffs contingency-fee lawyers — taught me something, and it led me in turn to this industry article from 2015:

    It’s been interesting to watch the growth of employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) during more than 25 years of working in the specialty insurance industry.

    Twenty years ago EPLI was rare in the United States and, even a decade ago, most companies didn’t buy it. Today, however, many firms have stand-alone EPLI coverage: 41 percent of those with more than 1,000 employees, 34 percent of those with 500 to 750, 23 percent of those with 200 to 500 employees, 32 percent of those with 50 to 200 employees, and about 20 percent having fewer than 50 employees, according to Advisen.

    Most businesses in the U.S. have commercial general liability insurance (CGLI), and in most of the garden-variety civil litigation cases I’ve seen in my own 37 years of practice — which has indeed included defending employers against claims of sexual harassment or other prohibited discrimination from time to time — there has been no insurance coverage. I don’t know, or intend to dig to find out, whether Fox News or its corporate affiliates had EPLI during most of Ailes’ tenure. It wouldn’t surprise me if Fox did purchase and pay for such coverage; on the other hand, I presume premiums would vary by industry and exposure, and surely for a media company like Fox News one would expect relatively high premiums.

    In any event, however, I stand on my earlier assertion that the pattern of multi-million payouts, whether funded by insurance or otherwise, are inconsistent with any claim that this was “nuisance value” litigation without even arguable merit. Thanks again for helping broaden my knowledge, though.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  48. Beldar, in some respects you have read more into my point than I intended. I do not claim this is nuisance value alone, nor that insurance has control over ultimate decisions to settle, but my point is that guilt is not proven by settlement in any flavor of litigation. I have defended large clients where the claims were pure sour grapes (defended Merrill Lynch after the 2000 dot-com bubble) after successfully defending 8 cases against the ML IPO specialist, one win was reversed on appeal, the next copycat claim came and Merrill settled to stop the litigation hassle (despite the fact that the individual Broker was fully supported by ML, the stress of the litigation forced him into retirement, the stress destroyed his home life and his performance).

    Just look at the Asbestos litigation scam – Some Texas law firm funneled over $3 Billion in settlements from some of the scummiest plaintiff creation pure volume cookie cutter litigation imaginable. 😉

    In some jurisdictions E&O (California employment discrimination – just renewed a policy, our broker reported a 40 fold increase) claims are the massive growth sector for plaintiff lawyers, and Mediation settlements are easily 2x annual salary for any claim that would survive summary judgment. Why, because the risk is 3x annual salary + punitives + fees as a base line for a successful claim in a friendly jurisdiction. In Ohio, jury’s expect fired employees to get off their butts and find another job, often won’t even give a full year salary from a rural Ohio jury – In California your insurer will tell you to settle if you can bring it in under 2 years salary.

    If the value of the settlement is the indicator of the value of the claim, how do you rate Ailes’ $40 million settlement – Fox paid him to go away, 2 times more than they paid these ladies to go away.

    Dana, I have no argument with your original post – it was your later throw-away assignment of guilt that bugged me.

    Steven Malynn (4c1400)

  49. I rate Ailes’ golden parachute as reflecting in part his role in the company’s growth and success, and in part reflecting the company’s need not to alienate him (since the company and he were co-defendants in still-pending claims).

    Bob Beckel was (metaphorically) frog-marched off the premises today. I think the Board has laid down the law internally, so to speak, and they’re fully committed to demonstrating a “zero tolerance” policy or something as close to it as their procedures manuals will permit. They’re spending money now to put this behind them, in the context of which paying out another $40M or so to a guy who already had a huge contract was small potatoes.

    Thanks again for the civil discussion, which has resulted in my being better informed about EPLI coverage.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  50. @49. Wait ’til they start getting into the ‘creative’ bookkeeping ops and shifting budgets around to make these ‘payments.’ Jaysus, what a jackass way to operate.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

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