When we last checked in on Fox News chief Roger Ailes' campaign to transform his peaceful, adopted rural redoubt of Putnam County, N.Y., into the sort of cesspit of fear and dread that he's more comfortable with, he was publicly pushing, threatening, and mocking the 80-year-old proprietor of a local newspaper that rivals his own vanity papers. Now he's trying to sue the guy out of existence.
Donald Hall is the crusty, crotchety owner of the Putnam County Times and Putnam County Press. For years, his newspapers have been designated "official newspapers" by the county legislature, meaning the county pays Hall to run various legal notices. And ever since Ailes and his wife Elizabeth purchased rival papers the Putnam County News & Recorder and Putnam County Courier in fulfillment of Ailes' fantasy of one day retiring a gentleman publisher of small-town American news, they have also won the designation—pulling down $23,000 last year in taxpayer-financed ads.
Everybody wins, right? No. This is Ailesville. And because Ailes is a vindictive madman who can't peacefully coexist with a rival even in the small-town idyll he retreats to from the daily grind of perpetual war that is his television career, he decided to destroy Hall. That began with a behind-the-scenes attempt earlier this year to lobby the Putnam County Legislature to delist Hall's newspapers. (Not to mention confronting Hall in public, poking his finger in his chest, threatening to sue him, and darkly suggesting that if Hall ever retaliated, Ailes' papers would go public with damaging information.)
To review: Roger Ailes is suing the government to ice out a competitor and reserve a government contract for himself. Also, the problem with America is our litigious business climate and everyone is waiting on handouts from the government instead of creating jobs on their own and small businesses just need to be left alone and freed from onerous regulations NOBAMA.
[Image via Getty.]