Toadlike Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes has always been thought of as an evil genius—even his detractors admire his media-savvy PR brilliance. It's not true. In fact, he's an isolated old man whose anger has driven him insane.
We tend to just dismiss most of Roger Ailes' public proclamations as so much rote (albeit viciously rote) Republican propaganda, in the same way we tend to dismiss most of what Robert Gibbs says. Ailes is only notable in that he's ostensibly a media executive rather than an open political operative. Still, it was hard to ignore how Ailes described NPR in an interview out today:
"They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view."
There are plenty of commentators across the political spectrum that we disagree with—and many of them we don't even respect—but for most of them we still trust that they are, in their own ways, in full control of their mental faculties. Not so, for Roger Ailes. He has graduated to publicly spouting the most paranoid variety of right-wing lunacy: one in which a media organization that doesn't even rival your own is not only made up of Nazis, but of left wing Nazis, a political classification that we can't even begin to conceptualize. (Free speech in concentration camps?) And while there are certainly right wing commentators out there who practice the same brand of purely imagination-based rhetoric—Glenn Beck comes to mind—those commentators are, of course, not in charge of one of America's most influential media outlets. When the talent goes crazy, it's entertaining; but when the boss goes crazy, well, it may be time for him to take a nice long vacation on a secluded island far, far away.
We fear that Roger Ailes' own paranoia has got the best of him. This is a man who's already acquired a permit for carrying a concealed handgun and who told the New York Times "I've got a bad leg, I'm a little overweight, so I can't run fast, but I will fight" in case of terrorist attack at his place of employment, and who is shadowed by private bodyguards at all times, and who bought the newspaper in the small town where he lives in order to buffer himself from criticism. He has become so insulated from the normal human experience of life that he has become untethered from reality. It's actually sad to see.
Paranoid Personality Disorder: a psychological condition "characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Those with the condition are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases...They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, disregarding any facts."
Far be it from us to try to help Fox News, but you have to wonder how much longer Rupert Murdoch—whose own children have already spoken out against Ailes—will let this go on. Roger Ailes has full control of News Corp's most powerful asset. And he's plainly gone over the edge. It won't end well.