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weasel of the week
"We Distort, You Decide"
by The Cranky Media Guy

Weasel of the Week:  Republican Media Mole Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes    

I know, I know, right about now you're thinking, "Who the hell is Roger Ailes?" See, Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, you don't know everything, do you?

Roger Ailes is one of those behind-the-scenes guys you've probably never heard of, unless you're in the TV business. Ailes is the guy who advised Ronald Reagan that he shouldn't try to remember specific facts and figures for his presidential debates and just be himself. Roger Ailes is the guy who, standing just outside camera range, pumped his fist in the air when George Bush (the daddy and ex-president) told off Dan Rather on the air. In short, Roger Ailes is a guy who has been lurking around the edges of the Republican Party for some time now.

That, in and of itself, is no crime. When it comes to knowing how TV works, Ailes is kind of an evil genius. I'd recommend his book, You Are The Message, to anyone who wanted to be a TV (or radio) personality. When it comes to electronic media, Ailes really knows his shit. In a way, that's the problem.

See, Ailes' current job is running the Fox News Channel. He built it from the ground up; Fox mega-weasel Rupert Murdoch gave him six months to get it up and running and he did it. That's a hell of a trick. OK, so why is he a weasel?

FNC's slogan is "We Report, You Decide". That implies objectivity, wouldn't you say? That's what you're supposed to get out of that, for sure. The slogan and the channel are supposed to appeal to people who think that the mainstream media are "liberal". Even if you think that that argument is a bunch of hooey, objectivity is a good idea in journalism, right? The trouble with FNC is that the operation lists to starboard harder than the Titanic. The general sense you get when watching FNC is "conservatives good, liberals evil". Hate to break it to you, Rog, but that ain't "objective".

Remember all the criticism about Oliver Stone's movie JFK when it came out? Remember how people said that some of Stone's "facts" were shaky at best? Remember how Stone said that he was creating a "counter myth" to oppose all the untruths he said had been spread about the Kennedy assassination? Well, what people said about that movie applies here: you don't counter BS with more BS; you counter it with FACTS. That should be especially true in the news biz. You think the other guys lean to the left? Don't lean to the right and call that "objectivity". Fox News Channel is well-produced and, God knows, way more entertaining than CNN. All you have to do, Rog, is what your slogan says: report. Just give us the facts without the spin to the right. We're big boys and girls. We can handle it.


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