Who, among the wide swath of presidential candidates, would Roger Ailes hire as a political contributor for Fox News Channel?
“Well, half of them have been,” Ailes joked to Adweek during an hour-long interview recently. “I gotta decide which ones I want to re-hire. There’ll be a line outside here,” he added.
A few days before the first Republican debate on FBN we sat down with Ailes as part of his selection as Adweek’s 2015 Media Visionary. There was much from our interview that didn’t make it in to the magazine. So we’ll be sharing outtakes here on TVNewser this week. When we asked Ailes which of the GOP candidates would be a good fit as a Fox News analyst, two names stood out:
Ailes: Well, [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie was never, but he’s good on TV. I think he’s gotten a bum rap in this race. Carly Fiorina has been on the stage with 15 men twice and she’s beat them, twice. That’s pretty good. Her answers are solid. Carly is a formidable woman. Did she wreck Hewlett Packard? No. Was she in the middle of all that crap going down? Yes. Did she make mistakes? Probably. I bet she learned a hell of a lot.
Adweek: She was one of the candidates who did not sign on to that letter that would have made certain debate demands of the networks. What did you think of that? Did you reach out to any of the campaigns?
Ailes: You notice they left Fox out of the letter for [the FBN] debate? They feel I’m not going to do what they tell me to do. I think somebody said in the meeting, ‘Look, the first guy who’s going to get off this train is Ailes.’ You’re not going to tell him how to program a network. Besides he’s not out to kill anybody. He’s been a television producer for 50 years. He actually knows how to do this.