The widow of the late Roger Ailes took to Twitter on Monday to wish her husband a “happy heavenly birthday”
The former chairman and CEO of Fox News died in 2017 at the age of 77, after suffering a fall at his home in Florida. Ailes’ death came less than a year after he resigned from his position at the network in response to sexual harassment claims levied by several female employees.
“Happy Heavenly Birthday Roger Ailes. It took you 20 years to build Fox News into the powerhouse that it was and only 6 years for the Murdochs to wreak havoc,” his widow tweeted. “Rupert thought he could do your job. What a joke. He has the checkbook but could never come close to your genius. RIP.”
Happy Heavenly Birthday Roger Ailes. It took you 20 years to build Fox News into the powerhouse that it was and only 6 years for the Murdochs to wreak havoc. Rupert thought he could do your job. What a joke. He has the checkbook but could never come close to your genius. RIP. pic.twitter.com/UqQHhS5Uvz
— ELIZABETH AILES (@ELIZABETH_AILES) May 15, 2023
Interestingly, of all people, Megyn Kelly has been complimentary of Ailes’ abilities as a broadcaster and his skill to develop on-air talent. Kelly sued Ailes for unwanted sexual advances and while her attitudes in that regard have not softened much, she was able to recognize that Ailes established Fox News as the dominant cable news network in a recent episode of her popular podcast while noting how thin the bench is at the network in the absence of Tucker Carlson.
Kelly called Carlson’s recent ouster a “terrible move by Fox,” and suggested that there is little doubt that patriarch Rupert Murdoch signed off on it if he didn’t orchestrate the departure himself.
Fox News has still not given an official reason for nixing Carlson, but there are a growing number of reports that it was linked to the network’s $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
The beginning of the end for Ailes was when former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him in 2016, claiming he canceled her show when she rebuffed his advances.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter that center more on Ailes’ contributions at Fox News than his failings:
When Roger left, so did @FoxNews‘ credibility.
— David Wohl (@DavidWohl) May 16, 2023
It’s true- Fox only thrives on the legacy talent Ailes brought in
Murdochs walking tightrope between Trump base and mainstream news viewership
Direction of commentary in doubt after Carlson’s departure
However I do credit Fox for the AZ call and election night tech investments
— Simon Phillips-Hughes (@Simon_P_H) May 16, 2023
Ailes’ downfall was beginning of @FoxNews decline…There’s been some great successes “post Ailes”, but they’ve been short lived…Ailes’ power ended up being his demise.
— Danny (@Dyoung1208) May 16, 2023
Hater’s gonna hate. Mr Ailes was indeed a visionary genius, Fox is unfortunately a neuters hollow shell of what it was. There is no ‘equal time’ on cable or network TV anymore. Without Roger, and Rush, we are moving to social media, but it’s a great time to do so!
— Guy Emett (@GuyEmett) May 15, 2023
Indeed. “The news is like a ship. If you take hands off the wheel, it pulls hard to the left.”.
— Dolce Joe Cannoli (@twitiocy) May 15, 2023
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