Ailes Is Gone, But Fox Will Be Horrible Until Rupert Murdoch Drops Dead

Ailes Is Gone, But Fox Will Be Horrible Until Rupert Murdoch Drops Dead

You should definitely read Gabriel Sherman's story about serial sexual predator Roger Ailes and the Fox News campaign to cover his behavior up, which included unauthorized access to a Media Matters reporter's personal phone records, plus a lot of looking the other way by Rupert Murdoch and others. We learn that Gretchen Carlson used an iPhone to tape her encounters with Ailes; if there's a just God, we'll hear those someday.

I have nothing to add to what Sherman says about this pig, but I'm struck by what we learn about the future of Fox News. Yes, Murdoch's sons want to take it in a somewhat different direction. But Daddy is still running the show, as he made clear after Ailes was let go:

Murdoch assured Ailes that, as acting CEO of Fox News, he would protect the channel’s conservative voice. “I’m here, and I’m in charge,” Murdoch told Fox staffers later that afternoon with Lachlan at his side (James had gone to Europe on a business trip).

Rupert gave the job of overseeing Fox programming to Bill Shine, an Ailes loyalist who helped Ailes manage his clearly non-consensual relationship with a subordinate, Laurie Luhn. Shine also thinks Ailes has a way with a homophobic joke:

When Ailes spotted James Murdoch on the monitor smoking a cigarette outside the office, he remarked to his deputy Bill Shine, “Tell me that mouth hasn’t sucked a cock,” according to an executive who was in the room; Shine laughed. (A Fox spokesperson said Shine did not recall this.)

There's speculation in the story that this arrangement is only temporary, and that soon, presumably after the election, things will change. The Murdoch sons don't seem to have utterly terrible ideas for the future of Fox:

According to sources, James’s preferred candidates include CBS president David Rhodes (though he is under contract with CBS through 2019); Jesse Angelo, the New York Post publisher and James’s Harvard roommate; and perhaps a television executive from London. Sources say Lachlan, who politically is more conservative than James, wants to bring in an outsider.


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But Poppa appears to have his own notions of what Fox needs:

Rupert was seen giving Rebekah Brooks a tour of the Fox offices several months ago, creating speculation that she could be brought in to run Fox. Another contender is Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy.

Yes, Rebekah Brooks, the editor of the News of the World during the phone-hacking scandal. (She escaped conviction.) And while Ruddy is now a Clinton pal and his website is tame these days, he was the author of The Strange Death of Vincent Foster and an inveterate conspiratorialist.

So, no, don't expect changes at Fox until Rupert kicks the bucket.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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