Roger Ailes, the totally paranoid chairman of Fox News, called up Newsweek/The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz over the weekend to fight back against some of the bad press he's seen over the last couple weeks. Kurtz dutifully wrote down the things Ailes said irrespective of their truth value, and then published them online.
Ailes seems to be reeling a bit from stories over the last couple weeks in New York magazine and Rolling Stone depicting him as a psychotic and deluded political operator desperately trying to find a suitable GOP presidential candidate to throw the full weight of Fox News Channel behind, so he sought out a friendlier forum in which to announce that he's doing great!
And don't believe the left-wing smears. For instance, New York's claim that he called Sarah Palin an "idiot" is gibberish: "Denying a New York magazine report that he called the former Alaska governor an idiot, Ailes marveled at the frenzy surrounding her tour of historic sites: 'She's so smart she's got the press corps running up the whole East Coast behind her bus.'" Trouble is, New York never reported that Ailes called her an idiot—it quoted an Ailes confidant as saying that Ailes thinks she's an idiot. Which he obviously does.
Ailes also told Kurtz that Rolling Stone's accounts of his large security retinue are "fantasy" and "fiction." See, it's not true, because Roger Ailes said so! Are you wondering why News Corp reported paying $200,000 for Ailes' personal driver and security detail in a 2010 SEC filing [pdf]—$186,000 more than it spent on CEO Rupert Murdoch for security—if Ailes does not, in fact, have an ever-present security detail? Me too. I guess Kurtz never thought to ask.
Ailes also denied Rolling Stone's report that he had blast-resistant glass installed in his office. His proof to Kurtz? "He invited me to throw a rock at the glass-and promised security would arrest me." That settles it.
[Photo via AP]