Last week, Fox News chief Roger Ailes came under fire for characteristically incendiary remarks he made about The New York Times (“cesspool of bias,” “a bunch lying scum”) and other media organizations during a lecture at Ohio University.
The event was woefully underreported, but an unnamed “senior Fox executive” told Howard Kurtz that Mr. Ailes thought he had gone too far in the lecture. He respects Jill Abramson, the source said, and thinks the Times has been fair under her. At that lecture, he was speaking exclusively about Russ Buettner, who reported that Mr. Ailes had pressured Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators about her relationship with Bernie Kerik.
The full transcript of Mr. Ailes’s May 21 lecture at Ohio University is now online (via Romenesko), and it reveals plenty more original Times commentary. Mr. Ailes said former executive editor Bill Keller was fired for publishing biased news (it went down a little differently in the Ken Auletta version) and that Mr. Keller’s stated opinion of Fox News amounts to sour grapes because the newspaper industry is dying and Fox is thriving. He also said that the two of them are getting a drink.
[UPDATE: That rendez-vous hasn't happened...yet. Mr. Keller told The Observer in an e-mail: “After my column identifying Fox as a satanist front, he sent me a light-hearted email. I offered to buy him a drink. He hasn’t taken me up on it yet. Stay tuned.”
Below, an excerpt of his conversation with moderator Andy Alexander.