Roger Ailes by Zev Chafets
Off Camera

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...it is a must read for those who do and do not praise Fox News, Roger Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch. Understanding the man behind Fox News, how his juggernaut was assembled, and how it is captained shines a new light on news reporting...
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

“When you’ve got Roger Ailes on your side, you do not lose.”—Rush Limbaugh
 
Roger Ailes is the quintessential man behind the curtain. He more or less invented modern politi­cal consulting and helped Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush win their races for the White House. Then he reinvented himself as a master of cable television, first as the head of CNBC and, since 1996, as the creator and leader of Fox News, the most influential news network in the country.
 
To liberals, Ailes is an evil genius who helped polarize the country by breaking the mainstream media’s long monopoly on what constitutes news. To conservatives, he’s a champion of free speech and fair reporting whose values and view of Amer­ica reflect their own. But no one doubts that Ailes has transformed journalism. Barack Obama once called him “the most powerful man in America”— and given that Fox News has changed the way millions understand the world, it may be true.
 
Yet for all that fame and infamy, very few people know the real person behind the headlines.
 
Journalist Zev Chafets received unprecedented access to Ailes and his family, friends, and Fox News colleagues. The result is a candid, compelling portrait of a fascinating man. We see Ailes in action at Fox News and hear him reflect on personal mat­ters he has never before discussed publicly. And we discover the heart of his sometimes surprising political beliefs: his profane piety and his unwav­ering belief in the values of his small-town Ohio boyhood.
 
Ailes loves to fight, but he is a happy warrior who has somehow managed to charm and befriend many of the people he has defeated in political campaigns and television wars. Barbara Walters, Rachel Maddow, Jesse Jackson, the Kennedy clan— all are unexpected Ailes fans.
 
Chafets also gives us an unprecedented look at the inner workings of Fox News and explores Ailes’s relationships with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Neil Cavuto, Chris Wallace, and the other stars he has nurtured.
 
Ultimately, Ailes is neither villain nor hero but a man full of contradictions and surprises. As Chafets writes, “What will he do next? What stokes his competitive fires and occasional rages? How to reconcile his acts of exceptional loyalty and pri­vate generosity (even to rivals) with his impulse to present himself to the world as a ruthless leg breaker? What makes Roger run—and where, if anywhere, is the finish line? As Ailes himself might say: I report, you decide.”
 

About Zev Chafets

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ZEV CHAFETS is the author of eleven books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary. He is a former columnist for the New York Daily News, and his work appears frequently in newspapers around the world, including The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York City.
 
Published March 19, 2013 by Sentinel. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Business & Economics. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 28 2013
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Critic reviews for Roger Ailes
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Mar 18 2013

...much of the material that Mr. Chafets provides about the Fox News chairman’s past will be familiar from Mr. Ailes’s own book, and from newspaper and magazine articles over the years...

Read Full Review of Roger Ailes: Off Camera | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by David Rosman on Mar 19 2013

...it is a must read for those who do and do not praise Fox News, Roger Ailes, and Rupert Murdoch. Understanding the man behind Fox News, how his juggernaut was assembled, and how it is captained shines a new light on news reporting...

Read Full Review of Roger Ailes: Off Camera | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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