Roger Ailes’ parting words to Jon Stewart could have come right out of Stewart’s “Destroyer of Worlds” (not) segment last night.
Last night, Stewart acknowledged that despite all the times he “eviscerated” and “annihilated” his comic foes they were still going as strong as ever. That included Fox News.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ailes all but said as much as a send off. The interview is time stamped 5:35 PDT, which is 8:35 EDT and The Daily Show usually concludes its taping in New York by 7:30 PM. But maybe Stewart got an early copy or was contacted by the reporter in advance. Or it could just be coincidence.
“He’s been after us for years. Occasionally we pay attention. We think he’s funny. We never took it seriously and he never made a dent in us,” Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter after being contacted on Wednesday.
The Fox News chief added: “As he faces the end of his career, he’s beginning to wonder: ‘Is this as popular as I’m ever going to get? Is this as much power as I’ll ever have? The one person I could never get rid of was Roger Ailes. I tried. I did everything I could.’ This was all a plea to his lefty friends. I think he’s disappointed that he didn’t accomplish that goal, and we, of course, supplied him with half of his comedy. It’s just a matter of disappointment.”
Ailes’ claim that Fox never took Stewart seriously is about as true as the “fair and balanced” motto. For one thing, Fox would not have attacked Stewart the way it has if the network didn’t take him seriously. Secondly, Fox’s own Megyn Kelly said he "reduced some people to tears."
Unfortunately, it’s true that Stewart was unable to get rid of Ailes.
Ailes suggested he likes Stewart – at the same time that he took a swipe at him:
“He’s a brilliant comedian. He’s actually a very nice guy, and I saw him with his kids on the street. He’s a good father. He has a bitter view of the world and you see it embodied in how he’s reacting to Fox News, equating it with death.”
…”You can’t say that many negative things about people unless you’re really unhappy about something,” he said. “I actually think he doesn’t dislike me. We met once or twice. I talked to him for an hour once in my office. I think he’s really smart and he’s got a great future.”
But if Ailes really thinks that saying “many negative things about people” means you must be “really unhappy about something,” then there must be a lot of seriously depressed people at Fox.
“Occasionally we pay attention”? Bwaaah! That’s the understatement of the year! And “we never took it seriously”? Are you freakin’ kidding me?
First of all, I don’t think Stewart was ever trying to actually take FOX “news” down. However, I think that he did feel a responsibility to call out its blowhards/their tactics for the sake of honesty and the pure comedic value of the tripe that they try to pass off “fair & balanced” journalism/reporting.
Despite Ailes ridiculous bloviating spin and bogus bravado to The Hollywood Reporter, Stewart totally got under the skin of the FOX “news” talking heads with his solid critiques, spot-on mocking and razor sharp wit – Douchey, Kilmeade, BOR, Bolling, Kelly, Gutfeld, Hannity, Greta, etc. – they all felt his burn and deliberately chose to pay serious attention to his remarks. The fact that Ailes feels the need to throw in some cheap shots at Stewart in these statements only serves to highlight how much Stewart’s commentary/jokes did indeed get to Ailes.
As for his “unhappy” quips, it’s called psychological projection, Ailes – perhaps you should seek some professional help.