Gabriel Sherman, the reporter who got it right when he predicted Roger Ailes would be ousted from Fox News this week, explained in an interview why Fox can probably coast up to the election. But who will write their narratives after that?
In Slate, Sherman had the following exchange with interviewer Isaac Chotiner:
I wrote a piece Thursday saying that if Fox News could keep its talent, it is a pretty well-oiled machine by now and should be able to keep thriving. I sense you disagree.
Yeah, I disagree. But it’s a question of timing. Could they ride this out through November? Sure, because they know the storyline and have the narratives Ailes has teed up for them: Benghazi, Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton’s past affairs. They know the playbook for the next six months. The real danger is that post November, with a political realignment under either a Clinton presidency or a Trump presidency, there is not going to be a conductor guiding the orchestra about what music to play. Fox exists as a megaphone to broadcast Roger Ailes’ master narrative about American politics.
I think Sherman is spot on here. Fox revised its narrative from "we're the patriots who support our president" during the Bush years to "We're the network that blames our president for everything" during the Obama administration. But even during the Obama years, Fox picked and chose how to attack Obama: birtherism, "secret Muslim" dog whistles, "won't say 'Islamic terrorism'" and "more black than American" are some of the hideous Fox memes that undoubtedly came straight from Ailes.
But how far will the Murdoch sons want to go in neutralizing the poison propaganda that lays the golden egg for parent company 21st Century Fox? It’s too soon to know, Sherman says. And again, I agree.
“By announcing that Rupert is going to be CEO, it buys them time. My sense is that they are not going to just rip the place up before November. But I think they will be watching the political landscape in America as the election unfolds. They have people right now looking at how they are going to reposition this network for a post-2016 landscape.”
But we may be rid of some of Ailes toadies who rallied to the boss’ side after Carlson filed her sexual harassment lawsuit.
“Inside Fox, and also at 21st Century, there is a huge amount of misgivings about the people who came forward to denounce Ailes’ accusers and support Ailes. He rallied especially female employees to issue statements to the press, and there is a feeling that, now that we know the seriousness of the scandal, it is untenable that these Ailes loyalists and dead-enders could really stay. They have been so discredited. There is a strong feeling that the people who spoke out so aggressively against Carlson, that their time could be cut short at Fox.”
I could so easily live without them.
Photo of Roger AIles by Sgt. Christopher Tobey via Wikimedia Commons.
Surely her dismissal so close to the start of this fiasco can’t be coincidence. Could Tantaros be somehow orchestrating/instigating this?
They may keep Faulkner, just because she’s black.
“Trump stands by Roger Ailes: He ‘really helped’ those ‘women who are complaining’”
Not too surprising The Donald likes the work culture Ailes built at Fox News dedicated to sexual harassment since Trump has like 3 woman accusing him of sexual harassment himself. Birds of a feather…
So if widespread sexual harassment was going on, what other employee abuse was going on? The Murdoch sons may give Faux a big reaming (pun intended) over giving the parent company huge liability costs. Good excuse to clean house.
“Kissing, touching, oral sex: Fox News employees say harassment problem goes way beyond Roger Ailes”
Using that as an unlikely lead-in into the Roger Ailes sexual harassment lawsuit and subsequent dismissal, if the right-wing Fox New propaganda factory is dependent on Roger for its anti-Democratic narrative they’re in trouble. Serious trouble. And not post Hillary in the White House. Right now.
The contrast between Hillary/Kaine and Trump/Pence is striking. And regurgitating Hillary smears going back to ‘80s ain’t going to cut it.
For maybe the first time I’m feeling some real energy on the stage with Hillary. Hillary appears to be truly enjoying herself on stage listening to Tim versus Pence who alternately looks intimidated, alarmed, and bored listening to Trump.
You’ve got Kaine who spent 17 years fighting for civil rights as a lawyer versus Trump who in the past fought lawsuits like Kaine’s accusing him of racial discrimination as a landlord and to this day he is energizing white supremacists with his neo-fascist message to keep America as white as possible. Try to whitewash (no pun intended) that Ailes-less Fox News!
The positive message coming off this stage in contrast to the false #RNCinCLE one of dystopian end times unless Trump doubles-down on the law and order, America turning insular, and more nativist couldn’t be starker.
I’ve always wondered if some have someone feeding them replies and talking points in their earpieces when talking with a guest with an opposing point of view. Not all, but some where they use the old advertising trick of having a pretty face reading the scrip to sell you a worthless product.
Rupert’s spawn despised Jabba and won’t allow any successor to wield the power he did. The new Jabba will labor under the heavy thumb of the Murdoch boys.
I will bet that both Kimberly and Harris witnessed first-hand Jabba’s sexual predations. They lied to protect their jobs, and now they will pay the price.