Amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment, Roger Ailes is reportedly in talks to depart his position as chairman and CEO of Fox News.
To those of us who observed Ailes from the outside, this comes as a shock, despite multiple reports that Rupert Murdoch and his sons wanted the network chief out. He was a skilled infighter who over the years had survived numerous internal fights against powerful foes in the News Corp/21st Century Fox universe.
Fox host Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment allegation brought about the end of his career. (It should be noted that accusations of sexual harassment have floated around Ailes for decades.)
The impact of this moment cannot be overstated. In 2010, at a meeting with progressive donors, I watched a very senior Democratic media consultant tell the audience, “Roger Ailes is a Republican operative with a news network. Give me $100 million and I can build the same thing.”
This was not true.
The operative underestimated the raw talent and ability Ailes brought to the task.
He didn't just create the behemoth of Fox News, running the network outside of Murdoch’s control. Ailes shaped the way we consumed cable news, sometimes at a granular level. The ubiquitous news crawl at the bottom of your television screen? That was a September 11, 2001, Fox News innovation.
Ponder this for a moment: What is the longest-running show on MSNBC?
It was Ailes who put the show and it’s host Chris Matthews on air when he ran America’s Talking, the precursor network to MSNBC.
In the early 1990s, Ailes built CNBC into the dominant business cable television network.
In the 1960s, Ailes rose from production assistant on the Mike Douglas Show to become its executive producer, as it bloomed from a local variety show to one of the most watched shows in America.
The Mike Douglas Show green room was where he met Richard Nixon and launched his political career.
It is this combination of talents that has led to the incredible power of Fox News and the damage Roger Ailes has wreaked on our country for nearly 50 years. His late friend Joe McGinniss, author of "Selling the President," a book about the 1968 campaign, said of Ailes in 2014: “From Richard Nixon to Rupert Murdoch, I think everyone he’s ever worked for has harmed this country in some way. I also think Fox News is an excrescence. And Roger knows that.”
Ailes’ most common tactic has been to use race as a weapon to divide the American people. In 1968 McGinniss himself quoted Ailes musing before a televised Nixon event, “You know what I’d like? As long as we’ve got this extra spot open. A good, mean, Wallaceite cab driver. Wouldn’t that be great? Some guy to sit there and say, ‘Alwright mac, what about these n**gers.’”
During George H.W. Bush’s 1988 campaign, he remarked to a reporter, “The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it.”
And while denying he had anything to do with the infamous ad, Ailes’ testimony before the FECrevealed how he thinks about race and politics:
Q: Did the Bush committee have any policy about not using Mr. Horton's photograph?
A: I have no knowledge of that. I personally rejected the use of Mr. Horton in the advertisement.
Q: How is that?
A: A young researcher brought me a picture of him sometime and I tore it up and threw it in the wastebasket and said we’re not going to do that.
Q And why is that?
A: I knew the issue would backlash because of the liberal media.
Q: And what was that about?
A: When Republicans see Willie Horton they see a criminal, and when Democrats see Willie Horton they see a black.
Later, running Rudy Giuliani’s first mayoral campaign, he used similar tactics in an attempt to pit the black and Jewish communities of New York against each other.
During the Obama administration, Fox News never missed a chance to use minorities to scare its predominantly elderly, white audience. Bill O’Reilly mused openly on air that Rev. Jeremiah Write was Willie Horton “times a thousand.” As I’ve previously written, “That was the beginning of an almost endless list of divisive racial controversies stoked by Fox – Shirley Sherrod, the New Black Panther Party, and Glenn Beck’s statement that Obama was a racist. Each of these was designed specifically to scare white voters away from the President.”
Roger Ailes also represented the paranoid streak that infests the Right, from the Trump campaign to Glenn Beck. As I reported in the book I coauthored with David Brock, "The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned A Network Into A Propoganda Machine":
From the paranoid rants about the creeping threats of communism to odd comparisons between mainstream political leaders and Nazis, Glenn Beck gave voice to some of Ailes’s deepest fears about the Obama presidency. In October 2009, Obama adviser David Axelrod was interviewed during the First Draft of History conference, hosted by The Atlantic magazine. Addressing the polarization that was infecting political discourse, Axelrod mentioned a conversation he had once with a “significant figure on the right”—later revealed to be Roger Ailes—who tried to explain to him why conservatives were suspicious of the president.
Ailes told Axelrod he believed Obama wanted to form a national police force, based on a twenty-one-second clip from a speech where the president proposed a civilian force that would complement the military in providing humanitarian aid around the world. Axelrod quoted Ailes telling him, “You can understand why that has people very nervous. This has shades of Nazism.”
For the last three decades Roger Ailes has been a central force in our media. His departure from Fox News won’t change the network overnight, but the absence of Ailes will have an immeasurable impact, not just on Fox News but the entire media landscape.
Roger Ailes will go down in history as one of the most talented television producers ever, but his entire career has been an excrescence.
Roger Stone Wants To End 'Petulant Child' John Kasich's Political Career, Boot Mike Lee From GOP Caucus
Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone joined conservative talk show host Steve Malzberg on his show Monday to discuss Republicans who have held back from supporting Trump, calling Ohio Gov. John Kasich “a petulant child” for his refusal to back the presumptive GOP nominee and expressing his desire to “end [Kasich’s] political career.”
“[John Kasich] is the governor here of Ohio, the host state [of the Republican National Convention],” Stone said. “He is not coming to the convention. He pledged to support the nominee, he signed a pledge on national television. He is not honoring that pledge, so he’s acting like a petulant child, he’s acting like a sore loser, and as far as I’m concerned, this exempts him from any future role in the leadership of the Republican Party. In all honesty, I hope he runs again so I can go out there in the post-Trump presidency and end his political career. In all honesty, I think he’s acting like a misfit, and the people around him, you know, they’re losers and they should bow to the will of the voters.”
Stone also criticized Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and claimed that Lee will face competition in a Republican primary despite the fact that there will be no primary since Lee has already clinched the Republican nomination.
“Look, I think Sen. Lee has guaranteed himself both a Republican primary in his own reelection, and I guarantee you, Steve, a conservative challenger in the fall if he wins that primary,” Stone said. “He’s part of the old establishment, he obviously likes the status quo, he likes the way things are in America. He thinks maybe jobs are plentiful, maybe he thinks that ISIS isn’t really a threat or maybe he thinks that the current state of our trade situation where we’re being taken to the cleaners by the Japanese, by the Mexicans, by the Canadians, by all of our trade partners, perhaps he thinks that’s great. This guy’s a disgrace to the United States Senate. In all honesty, under the rules of the party, he should be booted from the U.S. Senate caucus.”
One person who is unambiguously thrilled with Donald Trump's choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate is Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, the demon-hunting Religious Right activist who is currently serving out the end of his term as Republican member of Colorado's state legislature.
Klingenschmitt's activist career is grounded in his claim that he was fired from a post as a military chaplain because he prayed "in Jesus' name." In reality his lost the job because he violated military rules in appearing at a political event in uniform. When Klingenschmitt sued, a federal judge found that he had never been ordered not to pray in the name of Jesus and that along with defying orders by appearing in an official capacity at the political event he had been found to have an "unsatisfactory" job performance.
But those facts didn't stop Klingenschmitt from sending out an email to his followers on Sunday recalling how Pence, when he was the head of the conservative Republican Study Committee in Congress, had met Klingenschmitt in a "divine appointment" in the halls of Congress and championed his cause.
Klingenschmitt credits Pence with spearheading a letter from a few dozen conservative members of Congress objecting to a Bush administration Pentagon policy that The Hill described at the time as calling for "nonsectarian prayers" after the emergence of "allegations that evangelical Christians wielded so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment had become pervasive."
From Klingenschmitt's email:
If you remember my story, you know in 2005 the U.S. Navy punished my chapel sermons in writing, then wrote a policy that banned praying "in Jesus' name" which cost my career.
That year I walked the halls of Congress, meeting any Members who'd defend religious freedom for Chaplains. Friends told me "go see Mike Pence" the Congressman from Indiana who was then chairman of the powerful Republican Study Committee, composed of the 70 most conservative Congressmen.
So I went to Congressman Pence's office. I had just missed him, but I glanced at his official photo to get a visual impression of his face, (something I never did otherwise), and a half-hour later I turned a hallway corner, and literally bumped into him. It was a divine appointment.
"You're Mike Pence!" I said, immediately recognizing his face from the photo.
"Yes I am!" he smiled.
He was very attentive, and although he was on the way to another meeting Congressman Pence said to me, "walk with me and tell me your story." We walked and talked for 10 minutes together.
I told Pence how 65 Chaplains were suing the Navy, all denied promotion for praying and preaching "in Jesus' name." I showed him documents how they punished me for quoting the Bible in chapel.
He looked me in the eye and said "OK, I get it. I'm with you 100%."
Pence kept his word. The next week every member of his committee, all 70 members led by Mike Pence and Walter Jones, signed a letter to the President on my behalf, demanding he let Chaplains pray "in Jesus' name."
One year later Congress ordered the Navy to reverse their bad prayer policy and we won.
I know from personal experience, Mike Pence is a Christian, Conservative, Republican, as he freely admits "in that order" and I've seen him stand up for chaplains' rights.
Monday’s “America First Unity Rally” sponsored by Alex Jones and Roger Stone included representatives from what Rep. Steve King might call subgroups, including Bikers for Trump, Christians for Trump and Asian-Americans for Trump.
Paul Jhin, introduced as a senior adviser for Asian-Americans for Trump, dedicated much of his remarks to Trump campaign talking points about making America great again, putting America first, Benghazi, terrorism and more, before talking about his hopes for Asian American voters. Some excerpts from his rally comments:
Ladies and gentlemen, there are 25 million Asian Americans in this country and we are growing. When Ronald Reagan ran for president, 67 percent of the Asian Americans supported Reagan. Guess what? I’m going to do everything I can so that more than 67 percent of Asian Americans will vote for Donald J. Trump!
Let me tell you something. They talk about minorities. I can tell you one thing: Asian American minority is the one you can trust. And we’re going to vote for Donald J. Trump, OK? God bless America, and God bless Donald J. Trump.
In reality, Trump has been polling miserably among Asian Americans. But the Asian-Americans for Trump Facebook page has plenty of love for him and harsh rhetoric for others:
Last night, Republicans gathered in Cleveland for the first night of the Republican National Convention. The evening's theme was supposed to be “Make America Safe Again," so speaker after speaker charged that the Obama administration is doing little, if anything, to fight radical Islamists.
Many presenters repeated the claims, frequently put forward by Donald Trump, that the U.S. would be able to finish off the terrorists if only the president stopped being “politically correct, ” uttered the words “radical Islam,” which Trump and others believe will have a miraculous effect in destroying terrorist groups, and channeled a “winning” spirit.
Not mentioned were Trump’s actual policies or, at least, the ones he isn’t keeping a secret.
We didn’t hear a single speaker echo Trump’s views that the U.S. should:
- Increase nuclear proliferation and allow countries from South Korea to Saudi Arabia acquire nuclear weapons.
- Jeopardize the global economy by taking haircuts on the national debt.
- Ban all Muslims from entering the country “until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
- Let Syria become “a free zone for ISIS” to “let them fight and then you pick up the remnants.”
- Expand and broaden rules on torture and implement torture ID who wrote this quote “techniques ‘a hell of a lot worse’ than waterboarding and use them regardless of effectiveness on terrorist organizations like ISIS because they ‘deserve it.’”
- Shut down parts of the internet so terrorists can’t use it.
- Turn the U.S. into both a “consistent” and “unpredictable” world power.
- Ignore global climate change because it is a hoax manufactured by China.
Maybe there’s a reason Trump’s own supporters aren’t championing these ideas….
Alex Jones, the radio personality who consistently promotes the most reckless, paranoid, and utterly ridiculous conspiracy theories, has embraced and been embraced by Donald Trump. Yesterday, Jones teamed up with Trump adviser and legendary political dirty trickster Roger Stone to host the “America First Unity Rally” in Cleveland’s riverfront Settlers Landing Park on the first day of the Republican National Convention. The rally was a perfect fit for the Republican National Convention’s chaotic and divisive first day.
The big names at the rally were Jones and Stone, who were both greeted as rock stars. While Stone denounced Hillary Clinton, someone in the crowd repeatedly shouted, “She’s a reptile!” – a reference to one of the more, uh, colorful theories Jones has promoted.
Some of the other notable speakers:
- Kelli Ward, GOP primary challenger to Arizona Senator John McCain, mocked him while people in the crowd shouted “traitor!”
- Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who has been embroiled in a power struggle between Ted Cruz-supporting board members and Trump backers Martin and Schlafly.
- Diamond and Silk, who entertained the audience with a rendition of their “we’re proud black Trump-supporting women” shtick, calling Hillary Clinton a "bitch," denouncing the media, and telling black voters to “get off that Democratic plantation.”
- Jan Morgan, extreme gun rights advocate, sounded like one with her seeming suggestion that any regulation of firearms violates the 2nd Amendment
- Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart senior editor whose public persona is a performance of the self-described “dangerous faggot” and whose flamboyant raunchiness makes some conservatives squirm even while they love him for his far-right politics.
Joining them on the podium were Tea Party activists, political candidates and leaders of Bikers for Trump, Christians for Trump and Asian Americans for Trump. We were told that God had anointed Trump and he would bring God back into American life.
In addition to Trump campaign talking points and hard-edged attacks on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a number of speakers attacked Republicans. While the event highlighted the participation of veterans, several speakers denounced former prisoner of war McCain, drawing shouts of “traitor” from the crowd. One Tea Party leader said it’s important to get rid of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Another speaker went after Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
These and other attacks on Trump doubters and the Republican establishment were made while the speakers were standing in front of a banner proclaiming “unity.”
We will post more information on some rally speakers in separate posts.
On “The Eric Metaxas Show” yesterday, Ann Coulter criticized public schools for supposedly “teaching classes to white children on how bad white people are,” while insisting that segregated schools during Jim Crow “were not teaching classes in the white schools on how bad black people are.”
“[America] is the last Christian country on earth, it is one of the least sinning countries and far more sinned against, and all we do is wallow in every tiny little thing, not we, but you know, it’s forced on us from every media outlet,” Coulter said. “‘Oh, let’s talk about the bad things.’ I mean, you see the analogy with what’s done to policemen in America, keeping us safe, risking their lives, risking their lives to keep people who hate their guts safe, and 99 percent of them are fabulous and unbelievable. I would say it’s less than one percent, and all we have to hear about is, ‘Oh that one percent, and yes, there are some bad apples.’ Why don’t we say that about any other profession? How about hedge fund managers? How about campaign consultants? Any bad apples in there? How about newspaper editors?”
Coulter continued, “With them, it would be shocking to even begin a sentence with, ‘Well, there are some bad apples.’ It’s the same thing with America. We have, you know, the most magnificent country, should be fighting to protect it and instead, I mean, look at these course curriculums.”
“Even, you know, in the worst days of Jim Crow, when – true, black people could not go to school with white people because of the Democrats, but in the worst days, they were not teaching classes in the white schools on how bad black people are,” Coulter said. “Today, right here, within a half mile of where this studio is, they are teaching classes to white children on how bad white people are.”
Metaxas said, “This started in the ‘60s, and basically, we have been teaching young people – we’ve not been teaching them about the greatness of America and the heroes of America, the people who have died for liberty. And we have not been teaching that.” He accused universities of “teaching against the greatness of America.”
On Saturday, white nationalist leader and Donald Trump booster David Duke promoted his potential run for Congress on “The Political Cesspool,” the “pro-White” radio program that once hosted Donald Trump Jr.
Duke said that if he decides to run for Congress in Louisiana, it will be to warn people that “European-Americans” are “headed toward an ethnic cleansing, and that’s the only way to put it, in the nation that our forefathers created” and to combat policies that are “destroying our people.”
He repeated his belief that Trump, who has notoriously shared the Twitter messages of white supremacists, include one with the handle @WhiteGenocideTM, has given white nationalists an opportunity to go “on the offensive.”
I love what Trump’s doing. I think that Trump is a breath of fresh air. I don’t know exactly what he’s going to do when he’s in but I think it’s great what he’s doing. But I tell you something, we have got to continue to take this another step, we have got to continue to go on the offensive in this battle. As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to vote for Trump, I said I supported Trump, I’ve been aligned with Trump from very early in this campaign, as you have, but there’s no question in my mind that we need at least one guy in the United States Congress, whether in the House of Representatives or the Senate, at least one guy that will openly stand up for the rights and the heritage of European-Americans and I believe that the time is right.
Duke went on to say that he is proud of his past leadership role in the Ku Klux Klan: “I’m not ashamed of that. I was in a nonviolent Klan organization. I always promoted nonviolence. I took a different path later on but I’m not ashamed of the fact that I stood up because at that time, as a young man, I realized that we were headed towards disaster.”
BarbWire columnist Chris Mills is just asking the question: What if ISIS uses Pokémon Go “to gather people to specified locations at certain times where there just so happened to be a bomb, or snipers?”
In a column today, Mills accused President Obama of fanning “the flames of a Civil War in America, shielding American thugs and Muslims around the world from criticism while the death toll rises” and “crushing any attempts to rebel against his agenda.”
This lawless and violent environment that Obama has created, he said, will pave the way for ISIS to kill people using the game.
Our president has fed the flames of a Civil War in America, shielding American thugs and Muslims around the world from criticism while the death toll rises. Hundreds dead, hundreds wounded and exactly zero of these heinous acts were committed by law abiding, white, Christian conservatives. Yet, we seem to bear the blame for everything. Even a Jihadi maniac driving a truck through a crowd of innocent families in Nice, France will be the fault of Americas NRA, even though it has been revealed that one of the weapons used in the previous terrorist attack in France was a weapon “lost” by Obama’s ATF in the botched Fast and Furious sting.
The pro-Islam Prime Minister of Turkey put down a “coup” that would have overthrown his regime, which is reportedly sympathetic to ISIS. Some say he created the coup himself as a ruse to increase his own power and arrest those within the Government that opposed him. He manipulated the emotions of a frightened citizenry, under the guise of religious “tolerance”, for his own gain. President Obama backed the Turkish Prime Ministers pro-ISIS actions.
Isn’t Barack Obama doing exactly the same thing in America? Creating unrest within his own nation in the name of tolerance? Placing propagandist blame on those who oppose him? Ultimately crushing any attempts to rebel against his agenda; increasing the global perception of his personal piety and party’s power over the populace, concurrently?
Speaking of which, is anyone else creeped out by the ramifications of PokemonGo’s technology falling into the wrong hands? As it stands, our children are being led through the streets on a virtual scavenger hunt by a computer generated algorithm designed by Nintendo. It uses GPS technology to make real people go to real world locations to gather imaginary monsters.
What if this technology was used by ISIS to gather people to specified locations at certain times where there just so happened to be a bomb, or snipers?
It would only take one person on Nintendo’s staff and one person on the outside to place the bomb.
If you see a middle-aged man (we’ll call him Chester) walking down the street swiping his finger rapidly across his i-phone wearing three-weeks-dirty sweatpants, he has probably ventured forth from his mom’s basement for the first time in months looking for Pokemon. Your kids may meet up with him in the park, looking for the same digital monster. Remember kids, don’t talk to strangers, unless he can tell you when the next Charizard will “spawn”.
Chester the Pokemon Trainer may even end up in a women’s bathroom looking for the same creature. If he happens to identify as a woman that day. Don’t worry, if Hillary wins there will be pedophile pride parades soon enough. Chester shouldn’t have to be ashamed of his desires for Pokemon or your daughter, right?
On Saturday’s edition of “The Eric Metaxas Show,” Ann Coulter attacked the immigration reform plan championed by Hillary Clinton and agreed with Metaxas that Clinton’s appointment of “activist” Supreme Court justices would result in “the end of America.”
“Hillary Clinton is going to elect people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court,” Metaxas said. “That’s the end of America. You’re gonna have an activist judiciary.”
“I think it will be the end because she will work directly with Paul Ryan, unless the great primary opponent Paul Nehlen takes him out on August 9, which I hope he does,” Coulter said. “But we know that Paul Ryan is 100 percent for amnesty, 100 percent for transforming America into a different country more like France has been experiencing. You can see the new country they’re foisting on us. Well, that’s 100 percent Paul Ryan, and Hillary already said the first thing she wants to do is reach out to the Republicans and pass amnesty.”
“The country will be overwhelmed, more than it already is, with the third world,” Coulter said. “We’ll never win anything again. Look to France, look to California to your future.”
“Have they already overwhelmed the country with so many ringers coming in, collecting welfare and bloc voting for the Democrats?” Coulter asked. “Maybe we already are California.”
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