Roger Ailes bragged “I want to elect the next president” in the walk-up to the 2012 presidential election, recommended a speech coach for Mitt Romney’s running mate, and was the brainchild behind that four-minute video criticizing President Obama’s policies that was telecast on Fox And Friends at the start of the general election, according to the new, unauthorized Ailes biography, The Loudest Voice In The Room.
Ailes also once called Bill O’Reilly “a book salesman with a TV show,” and, when he was an exec at NBC, offered a female employee a bump to her salary if she’d have sex with him, according to the New York Times’ look at an advance copy of the 560-page biography, set to publish on January 21 by Random House, written by New York magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. Fox News has blasted all points of the bio.
“These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”
The book looks at the Fox News Chairman from childhood to present, running the cable news network that is the most profitable division at 21st Century Fox (despite its older skew) with annual earnings estimated at $1 billion. According to the book, for which Sherman says he interviewed more than 600 people and spent years writing, when Ailes was an exec at NBC in the 90’s, he was locked in a power struggle with fellow exec David Zaslav, in the course of which Ailes used an anti-Semitic slur against Zaslav. NBC launched an investigation that concluded Ailes probably said it. Zaslav, now CEO at Discovery, has denied it happened. Likewise, Ailes has denied it.