Fox News architect Roger Ailes died Thursday, only days after his 77th birthday, and the liberal hate machine went into overdrive in the comments section of the Washington Post, smearing not only the man but the cable network he built into a powerhouse.
There was no immediate cause of death, and a message from his widow, Elizabeth, appeared across the top of Matt Drudge’s website:
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise—and to give back. During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life.”
But reader comments below the Washington Post’s straightforward report of Ailes’ passing take a far different course with such remarks as these:
“It’s poor taste to speak ill of the dead but may his rotten soul fester in the ground.”—TriciaMaryland
“They say one should always speak good about the dead. Roger Ailes is dead. Good.”—ThankGodForMakingMeAnAthiest
On the other hand, there are some reactions from people less inclined to scorn a dead man. Sprinkled among the criticisms of Washington Post readers are some remarks like this:
“A great man whose vision changed the political landscape by presenting the news in a fair and balanced manner! Without this news network we would have only the lap dog media delivering the Democrat party talking points. Thank you Roger Ailes!!”—Team Trump
Born Roger Eugene Ailes in Warren, Ohio on May 15, 1940 to Robert and Donna Ailes, he rose to a leadership position in cable news more than two decades ago. According to various biographies that have appeared across the media, he was the middle child in the family, and he had suffered from hemophilia. He attended Ohio University. His broadcast career began with “The Mike Douglas Show” in an entry-level position, but by age 25 he had risen to the position of executive producer, the Seattle Times reported.
Unlike the Washington Post, the Seattle Times did not open up its report to public comment.
Fox News morning hosts recalled Ailes fondly as reports of his death broke across the wires, leading some to tears.
Ailes died less than a year after he was forced to resign from Fox over allegations of sexual harassment of various female employees, including Gretchen Carlson, who received a large settlement.
But Ailes may best be remembered as the man responsible for building Fox News into the top-rated cable news network in the country, eclipsing rivals CNN and MSNBC. He was also president of CNBC prior to creating Fox News.
Fox News began in 1996, and over the past 20 years has managed to maintain its No. 1 position under the banner of “Fair and Balanced” news. The “We Report, You Decide” principle struck a chord with middle Americans who have become wary of what they believe has become a biased dominant news media that veers far to the left.
Ailes will no doubt be remembered as the man who made Fox News, providing an alternate view of the news that has appealed to tens of millions of Americans.