What Ails Roger


Machiavellian Fox News exec Roger Ailes, who once refused to give up a reserved seat for Calvin Klein at Michaels, knew, even as far back as 1970, about the mysteries of that fabled cool medium: television. The Smoking Gun (link via Romenesko) has a memo written by the then-young Ailes titled “WHITE HOUSE TELEVISION,” with these little chestnuts:

  • “I think it is important for the President to show a little more concern for Mrs. Nixon as he moves through the crowd … women voters are particularly sensitive to how a man treats his wife in public. The more attention she gets, the happier they are.”
  • “The President looked good outdoors with his hair blowing in the wind, but I think he should wear make-up.”
  • “Someone said that they thought perhaps he had a yellow cast to his make-up. On the playback I watched this was definitely not the case. In fact, his make-up was every bit as good as Ray Voege‘s.”

We rather imagined memoranda in the Nixon White House to be whiskey-stained superlative examples of manliness, not so much bitchy rants about backlighting and make-up.


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