On CNN last night, Gabriel Sherman detailed the “most brutal” reporting assignment of his young career: the unauthorized biography of Roger Ailes “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” A three-year long project, that hits store shevles today.
But if you read this site regularly, you may find there was not much news in Piers Morgan’s interview with
Sherman, which focused largely on Ailes’ politics: “Roger Ailes’ personal politics, as I report in the book, are actually very quite extreme,” Sherman says. But because Ailes is a “brilliant political strategist,” he goes against his own views to back more moderate candidates with winning elections in mind.
Sherman also suggests Ailes was an active political player during the last presidential election.
“Roger Ailes has surpassed the GOP, you know, and during the 2012 election, he said to his senior executives, we’re going to have to do a lot to get this guy elected,” Sherman said, adding Ailes didn’t think Mitt Romney had the “spine” to “rip” Obama’s face off.
In an interview just after the 2012 election, Ailes told TVNewser about how the network covers the president: “If he runs into a burning building tomorrow and saves four kids, he’s gonna be the biggest goddamn hero Fox News ever saw. But if he leaves four guys behind on the battlefield but can’t explain it, then he’s gonna have a problem with Fox News.”
Sherman’s book got a positive review from The New York Times, but he’s also generating criticism. The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple points out that during an interview with “CBS This Morning” last week, Sherman didn’t back up his own claim that Ailes has divided America.
What’s divisive, after all, about understanding what “resonates with a certain audience”? What’s the problem with speaking to Americans who feel “left behind by the culture”? Wouldn’t that be a public service? Indeed, everything that Sherman cited to the CBS people — including blue-collar origins — would appear to be assets for a guy like Ailes. Why haven’t Fox News allies seized upon these remarks as evidence of Sherman’s disdain for conservative America?
Sherman with Piers Morgan:
Sherman continues the book tour tomorrow on “The Colbert Report.”