Biographer: Roger Ailes Knows He's Right (Wing)

Salon’s Vincent Rossmeier has an interview with Kerwin Swint, biographer of Fox news Godfather Roger Ailes. Mr. Swint, a Professor of Political Science Kennesaw State University, says he "couldn’t believe that no one had written a book on him yet. He’s been such a central figure for so long."

In 2003, The New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta described Mr. Ailes as "a man of Falstaffian girth… Ailes is sixty-three and does not look immediately fearsome. He says he is five feet nine inches tall and weighs two hundred and twenty-five pounds; his jowls droop over his collar. With his pallor and barely perceptible eyebrows, Ailes looks like someone who has spent a lifetime under fluorescent lights." Personally, he’s always reminded us of a certain famous director.

Here’s a sample of what Mr. Swint to tells Salon about Mr. Ailes:

He’s good at what he does, he knows that Fox News is not objective, he knows there’s a political agenda there, and the thing is, much of Fox’s audience knows it too, but they’re willing participants. It’s not necessarily that they’re being fooled, it’s that Fox News draws a lot of Republicans, a lot of conservatives who like the kind of news they provide. There’s a willingness on the part of the audience as sort of cheerleaders. But I do think he takes in a lot of people too. There are a lot of people who tune in to Fox who are moderate or who have little information from other sources and they are taken in to a degree.

And here’s how he answers Mr. Rossmeier’s question, "As you point out, Fox News ratings are declining. Do you think the network’s, and Ailes’, heyday has passed?"

I don’t think so. Their ratings are slightly down, but they’re still winning in the key time slots. They’re not crashing. They’re not what they were a few years ago and I attribute that to their viewing public, which is primarily conservative.
I think Republicans in general, there’s a depressed turnout. They’re not turning out in as high of numbers. And that includes Fox News’ audience. They’re not tuning in in as high of numbers as they used to two or three years ago because of the problems that Bush is having and the Republicans are having.
Biographer: Roger Ailes Knows He's Right (Wing)