Excerpts of Gabriel Sherman’s biography of Roger Ailes have given rise to some chatter: Where are all the bombshell revelations? In its media newsletter today, Capital New York notes that Fox News’s own push-back against the book centers around the lack of “newsworthy” material in it.
But there’s value in cementing or corroborating previous impressions of the controversial Fox News chief. And here’s what sticks out from the material thus far: Whenever the boss speaks up, it seems, there’s some deep and creepy fear factor at play. Take this excerpt from the latest excerpt in New York magazine:
Other executives spoke of Ailes’s tangles with Joel Klein, the former New York City school chancellor, whom Murdoch hired in November 2010 to launch a for-profit education business. “Roger said, ‘The education business is a big mistake. The teachers unions will never let Rupert Murdoch educate their children,’” an executive said. About a year after Klein joined the company, News Corp hired Klein’s former spokeswoman, Natalie Ravitz, to serve as Murdoch’s chief of staff. Ravitz went to Fox News to introduce herself to Ailes. She reported back to colleagues that her conversation with Ailes went well. Ailes had a different take. “I’ve just seen that spy!” he later told Chase Carey. “I know she’s a Clinton spy and Joel’s spy!”
Or this little bit from the previous New York magazine excerpt, about what Ailes told a visitor to his hilltop home in Garrison, N.Y.:
Roger told him his German shepherd, Champ, helped protect them. “He said, ‘I let the dog out of the car when we come here. The dog gets out first. He’s trained to patrol the whole grounds and report back before we get out.’ ”
Now look to whom the paranoia is spreading! Capital New York reported this morning that staffers at Fox News were interested in the New York magazine excerpts, yet not so interested that they’d click on their computer screens in plain view of their colleagues. “[P]eople were reading [the excerpt] on their iPhones in the bathroom,” a network source told Capital New York.