When I first heard the other day that Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, was considering a run for the office of President of the United States, I had a bit of a chuckle. It would be quite amusing to see him run, and watch Fox "news" anchors trip all over itself trying to flaunt or break federal election laws as they trip all over themselves campaigning for him.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews flirted with a run for the U.S. Senate, but abandoned the run shortly after rumors of his campaign first began circulating last December. The issue? Campaign finance questions relating to Matthews position on MSNBC’s Hardball. Would he be able to keep his coveted job as a news anchor and political commentator while running for the senate? Would MSNBC face legal issues if Matthews remained on the air while campaigning?
No doubt. And no doubt Matthews could have taken a leave of absence from his job, or just quit, if he really wanted to run.
At any rate, Matthews never did run, and I’m glad. We need more Hardball.
A candidacy by Roger Ailes bothers me for different reasons.
Yes, the White House had its fun this week dissing Fox, but they really need to dial it down now. I’m not going waste time analyzing the flaws of Fox. However, knowing that anything at all can happen in a political campaign, I was momentarily concerned about a potential run by Ailes.
Then I remembered this from 2006.
David Friend’s book, Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11, received incredible reviews, and Friend’s website has become a focal point for people’s memories and reflections.
What has escaped the attention of many when the book was published was a disturbing quote in the book from Roger Ailes. Friend asked him, "What was the significance of two billion people being able to watch the same thing at the same time on September 11?" Ailes’ response was extremely disturbing:
"The implications from a television standpoint are simply that: When the end of the world comes, we’ll be able to cover it live until the last camera goes out. I believe I mean it literally. If you can witness something like [9/11] by two billion people, live, then there’s nothing that can’t be covered. And if we get into a world war, with nuclear weapons, I assume we’ll be covering it live."
"It’s horrifying to think about. But maybe God set it up that way. You can either figure out how to live in freedom…and hope, or you can watch yourselves burn to death. Nine-eleven is a warning shot that says: Look, this can go either way. It’s your choice, folks."
There you have the heart and soul of Robert Ailes. Does he really believe that the end is near, and Fox News will somehow be blest to cover the final battle? When pressed as to whether he really meant that we would all be watching the Apocalypse live on FOX, Ailes responded, "I believe I mean it literally."
Would an Ailes Administration work to fashion public policy to bring us to the brink, the Final Battle, attempt to lead us to Armageddon?
You betcha. Roger "literally" answered that for us.