When you watch Roger Ailes on TV, you can really see why Fox News is what it is: a compulsively mendacious propaganda operation. Because nearly every word out of Ailes' mouth is a lie, distortion or prevarication of some kind.
The most egregious yesterday on This Week, as John already noted, was in defense of Glenn Beck, after Arianna Huffington -- who has already made an issue out of Beck's rhetoric recklessness -- called Ailes out on it:
HUFFINGTON: Well, Roger, it's not a question of picking a fight. And aren't you concerned about the language that Glenn Beck is using, which is, after all, inciting the American people? There is a lot of suffering out there, as you know, and when he talks about people being slaughtered, about who is going to be the next in the killing spree...
AILES: Well, he was talking about Hitler and Stalin slaughtering people. So I think he was probably accurate. Also, I'm a little....
HUFFINGTON: No, no, he was talking about this administration.
AILES: I don't -- I think he speaks English. I don't know, but I mean, I don't misinterpret any of his words. He did say one unfortunate thing, which he apologized for, but that happens in live television.
Well, as John pointed out, this is flatly false. Just a couple of months ago, Beck was telling his audience that "progressives" like President Obama and SEIU chief Andy Stern were taking the country down the path to genocide:
Beck: I told you yesterday, buckle up your seatbelt, America. Find the exit -- there's one here, here, and here. Find the exit closest to you and prepare for a crash landing. Because this plane is coming down, because the pilot is intentionally steering it into the trees!
Most likely, it'll happen sometime after Christmas. You're gonna see this economy come up -- we're already seeing it, and now it's gonna start coming back down again. And when you see the effects of what they're doing to the economy, remember these words: We will survive. No -- we'll do better than survive, we will thrive. As long as these people are not in control. They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered!
Moreover, as Arianna pointed out, he talked last October about the Obama administration embarking on a "killing spree," inspired by Mao:
Spread the wealth -- hello, Mao -- that is what this is all about. And anybody not on board, look out because you too could be the next victim of the killing spree.
More to the point, the point of Beck's most recent big project, his fake "documentary" touting Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" thesis, is that the progressive movement -- represented by Hitler, Mao, and Stalin -- is responsible for all of the genocides of the previous century.
It's nothing new, in fact. Beck has been telling his audiences for some time that Obama and "the progressives" are planning all kinds of evil and nefarious activity in pursuit of the destruction of America -- including rounding people up into concentration camps, and marching us toward a "new" kind of fascism.
We've put together a compendium of these various moments.
So, who do you believe? Roger Ailes, or your lying eyes?
As Simon Maloy at Media Matters points out, Ailes also lied about Beck supposedly apologizing for an "unfortunate remark." Moreover, in spite of his endless deluge of misinformation and lies, Beck has not once apologized for a single thing he has said on Fox. On the few occasions when he has corrected a falsehood, he has decidedly not apologized; instead, he has used those occasions instead to launch fresh rhetorical assaults on the persons about whom he's already lied.
Seems a perfect fit for Ailes, really, considering just who Roger Ailes is and what he's done for years. Fox is just the final outcome of a lifetime stoking the politics of resentment -- a politics stoked by hate, fear, and above all, lies.