Esquire Profiles Roger Ailes

People either love or hate Roger Ailes. He’s either a hero or a villain. That’s what happens when you’re the President of Fox News – there’s really no gray area. Tom Junod of Esquire takes an in-depth look at the highly-divisive Ailes in “Why Does Roger Ailes Hate America?” and by the end provides more ammo for each side.

Junod writes the piece as if he’s talking to Ailes, and though parts are a little cheesy, overall it’s a great read. Early on Junod probes Ailes on why he refuses to use a Blackberry. Ailes says that he finds using one beneath him, but Junod doesn’t stop until finding out the truth, that Ailes is too immature to use one:

He did it time and again, fighting fire with fire, intemperately answering every intemperate e-mail that came his way with no insult or complaint beneath his notice, until his public-relations staff, fearing that the Ailesian e-mails might become public and that their boss was having too much fun, concluded that maybe giving a man like Roger Ailes a BlackBerry wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Because FishbowlNY can be counted on the “villain” side of the debate regarding Ailes, the observation Junod garnered from Dick Wald, a professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, was particularly striking:

The pundits, the professors, the professional journalists, the left-wingers, the tree huggers, the liberal blogosphere, President Obama — they all keep trying to catch him on violations of rules that they follow and he doesn’t. ‘Frankly, Roger doesn’t give a shit,’ says an associate. ‘He just doesn’t have the governor that other media executives have. He does things they would never do, says things they would never say.’

And there’s also the fact that throughout the piece, Junod reminds us that Ailes repeatedly asks that Junod be respectful and keep certain negative things out of the profile. Let’s go over that again: The head of Fox News is seeking a fair and positive review of himself.

It’s maddening. Well, either maddening or fantastic, depending on if you want to punch or hug Ailes.