Details from Gabriel Sherman's new biography about Fox News president Roger Ailes are beginning to trickle out, and it's as unflattering as Fox's recently ramped up PR campaign against the book's release would suggest.
The book details Ailes' efforts to influence national politics — at one point in 2012 telling Fox News executives, "I want to elect the next president." According to the book, Ailes took great efforts to promote Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, and even before his nomination, advised Paul Ryan to get a speech coach for future TV appearances.
The New York Times got an advance copy and published some of the key revelations today. Among them:
- During a salary negotiation in the 1980's, Ailes offered producer Randi Harrison an additional $100 each week she would agree to have sex with him whenever he wanted.
- He also privately thinks of Bill O'Reilly as "a book salesman with a TV show" and Brian Kilmeade as "a soccer coach from Long Island."
- During a 1990's power struggle with NBC executive David Zaslav, Ailes was accused of making an anti-Semitic remark involving an obscenity and "the words 'little' and 'Jew'." NBC's chairman and counsel believe "he probably said it."
Fox News has already offered a statement: "These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News."
[image via AP]