How Roger Ailes May Have Helped Destroy The World

“I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

—Tony Schwartz, real author of The Art of the Deal

A a headline in the New York Post reads:

The end is near for Roger Ailes

Let’s hope that the end is only near for him.

From the article:

Ailes, 76 — who built Fox News into an influential $3 billion business — is reportedly being shunted aside in the wake of a sexual-harassment suit filed against him by former anchor Gretchen Carlson.

Ailes has strongly denied the accusation.

I’m going to apply the standards of Fox “News” to this case. I’m going to evaluate the accusations and evidence in the case just like the typical Fox anchor or pundit would do if this were a claim made against Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or any other Democrat. Ready? I find Ailes guilty as charged. He did it. Everything Gretchen Carlson—and the other women who have come forth alleging the same kind of harassment since the 1960s—said is true. It must be true because I want it to be true.

With that out of the way, think about something with me.

Roger Ailes, piggybacking on the success of right-wing talk radio, created in 1996 a fact-ignoring environment on television and disguised it as “fair and balanced” news. He sold it to gullible conservatives anxious to see on television what they were hearing on the radio each and every day since the emergence of Rush Limbaugh and his imitators in the late 1980s. That fact-ignoring environment at Fox eventually became a place where a fact-free demagogue and bigot and racist like Donald Trump could thrive. Ailes is therefore guilty of establishing and profiting from a media culture that not only nourished a factless fungus like Trump for the last year, but helped him take over and make over a once-great political party.

Roger Ailes also created a culture at Fox “News” where women were subjected to his male aggression. He created a hostile environment for certain women. He tried to exploit them and, again using Fox truth standards, likely did exploit some of them. Trump’s history of remarks about women indicate he is in Ailes’ league. In fact, they have both harassed the same woman, Megyn Kelly. And Trump tweeted last year:

If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?

Given such sexism, it is no surprise that the first two days of the Ailes-Trump Republican National Convention have featured the most aggressive and shameful verbal attacks on a woman one can imagine at such an event. The delegates have become a hate-filled mob. By Thursday night, when mercifully this madness will end, the crowd may be so frenzied that someone may round up a posse and bring Hillary Clinton to justice, the old-fashioned way.

The theme of Monday night’s convention was dark and disturbing. Essentially, America is a dangerous shithole. Speakers included people like Scott Baio—who essentially called Hillary Clinton a “cunt” on Twitter just ten days ago—and Rudy Giuliani who angrily riled up the crowd, calling both Clinton and Obama liars and saying that Clinton didn’t care “how or why people serving America are killed.” The crowd went wild as Rudy became unhinged. I thought I had stumbled on WrestleMania.

Monday night also brought us perhaps the worst moment in big-time politics I have witnessed. Organizers of the convention, no doubt mostly men, managed to exploit a still-grieving mother, who turned her grief into a despicable and hostile speech in which she, without the slightest bit of evidence, blamed Hillary Clinton for the death of her son. “How could she do this to me?” said Patricia Smith, whose son was killed in Benghazi in 2012. Then, quite tastelessly, Mrs. Smith said in response to someone in the crowd, “That is right. Hillary Clinton for prison! She deserves to be in stripes.” Needless to say, the congregation of merciful, forgiveness-loving Christians were quite pleased.

Tuesday night showcased more Hillary-hating. Mitch McConnell—who mentioned her name 24 times in his few minutes of vitriol—dutifully called Clinton a liar and said,

I’m here to tell you Hillary Clinton will say anything, do anything, and be anything to get elected president.

That’s the equivalent, in this context, of saying a woman will bang the boss to get that promotion. Icky stuff.

Chris Christie, former prosecutor, failed governor of New Jersey, and now a second-class Trump butt-wiper, went after Hillary Clinton like it was Salem, 1692. And the crowd was eager to see the witch behind bars, if not burned at the stake. “Lock her up! Lock her up!” they shouted in Jesus-approved orgasmic unity.

That’s enough. I couldn’t take any more. Off went the TV.

Next week Democrats will nominate a woman for the presidency. That woman, should she be elected, will become the most powerful woman in the history of the world. That bothers a lot of people for a lot of reasons. But let’s not discount the fact that it bothers a lot of people because she is a woman. Which leads me back to Roger Ailes.

Among other things, Gretchen Carlson has accused Ailes of sabotaging her career because of her refusal to quietly work in a hostile environment. Her legal complaint says:

After learning of Carlson’s complaints, Ailes responded by calling Carlson a “man hater” and “killer” and telling her that she needed to learn to “get along with the boys.”

The boys are in charge. The boys should stay in charge.

The complaint also states:

Ailes had made it clear to Carlson that he had the power to make anything happen for her if she listened to him and “understood” what he was saying.

You see? These things are tacitly expressed and then “understood.” Roger shouldn’t have to say it out loud all the time. Women should just understand what they’re up against and submit. Or else.

Or else they will face a witch hunt at the Republican National Convention.

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Remarks And Asides

Newt Gingrich, the thrice-married, buffet-crashing, family-values, ethics slob, is about to announce his candidacy for the presidency.  In related news, Fox “News” Channel announced last week that it was terminating its contract with Gingrich, which allows Fox to now feature Gingrich on its various television shows for free.  Rupert Murdoch is one smart cat.

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Speaking of potential GOP candidates for president who will never be president, Rick Santorum appeared last Friday at a GOP convention in South Carolina, a state still unaware that the Civil War is over, but very much aware that a Negro is president. 

Jon Ward, at HuffPo, wrote:

At this weekend’s South Carolina GOP convention, Republican lawmakers warned that a second term for President Obama would kill America’s independent spirit and guarantee a permanent big government welfare state.

Ward also reported that the word “socialism” was tossed around a lot and that Santorum,

even raised the specter of Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Italy in a speech here Friday night while explaining why his grandfather emigrated to the U.S. His uncle, he said, “used to get up in a brown shirt and march and be told how to be a good little fascist.”

There is no word from the birther-Right whether the fact that Santorum’s father was born in Italy, or whether Santorum may qualify for dual citizenship, disqualifies him from serving as our president.  Not to mention that Santorum may have some fascist blood in his veins. 

Oh, never mind. The fascist blood wouldn’t matter all that much to some of his supporters.

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Gallup reports on a new poll that tells us two things most of us already knew:

Romney’s GOP Supporters Tilt Upscale; Palin’s, Downscale

Only 9% of Republicans who earn less than $24,000 support Romney, compared to 21% of Republicans who support him and earn more than $90,000. Romney also attracted more college graduates (21%) than non-grads (13%), which means the smart money is on Romney.

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Most of us savvy political junkies know that Republicans love the idea of “local control.”  I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Nobody knows what’s best for the folks than those at the local level.”  Except that the notion is false.  Republicans are all about control at every level.

From an AP article last week:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that prohibits local governments from passing ordinances guaranteeing workers’ paid sick and family leave.

The Republican governor says it’s all about jobs: If you cut workers’ benefits, employers will flood the state.

God, I love Republicans.

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Finally, I have often suggested that the popular Fox “News” morning show, “Fox and Friends”—which has been the number one show (1.3 million viewers) for more than eight years—will cause one’s IQ to atrophy, if one tunes in too often. 

Here’s video evidence just from this morning, courtesy of Media Matters, which features the busty and leggy Gretchen Carlson offering up the opinion that “one of those dudes who was waterboarded” could make the case for collecting the reward on bin Laden’s now-skeletal head:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

CNN Redefines Middle Class

Apparently, CNN, just another liberal network, pays its morning anchors a lot of money; so much so that they have a somewhat skewed view of America’s middle class.

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting pointed out something peculiar that happened today on CNN’s American Morning.

Kiran Chetry interviewed Peter Orszag, Obama’s budget director, and had this exchange:

CHETRY: You also talk about letting taxes expire for families that make over $250,000. Some would argue that in some parts of the country that is middle class.

ORSZAG: Well, I guess it’s not the parts of the country where I’ve been. What we’re trying to do is cut back on the tax breaks for the elite, for the very highest earners in part to help get this deficit problem under control over time and also to rebalance the tax code.

While Chetry didn’t say just who the “some” were who would argue that middle class folks haul in a cool 250 thou a year, FAIR linked to this survey from the U.S. Census Bureau that showed a mere 1.5% of Americans make $250,000 or more. 

Chetry, who reportedly made Maxim‘s top ten of TV’s Sexiest News Anchors, must have used some talking points from her old gig at Fox “News,” while interviewing Orszag.  She should have destroyed Fox’s playbook just so she wouldn’t get caught in embarrassing episodes like this.

In a previous embarrassing moment, she also, according to the New York Post, wanted Gretchen Carlson, the insufferable female co-host of Fox and Friends, fired from her show a few years ago so that Chetry could replace her.

So, the little “dark-haired, Nepalese beauty” (as the Post called her) not only missed an entry-level course on economics in school, she also skipped the Fox Etiquette Training, which resulted in a sudden dismissal from the tight-knit Fox family along with these departing words to her agent:

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