In an interview with The Daily Beast, FOX News Chairman Roger Ailes let it all out– on President Obama, on Jon Stewart, and on NPR. I’ll let his words speak for themselves.
On President Obama: “The president has not been very successful. He just got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea, and he came home and attacked Republicans for it. He had to be told by the French and the Germans that his socialism was too far left for them to deal with.”
On Jon Stewart:
“He loves polarization. He depends on it. If liberals and conservatives are all getting along, how good would that show be? It’d be a bomb. He hates conservative views. He hates conservative thoughts. He hates conservative verbiage. He hates conservatives…he’s crazy. If it wasn’t polarized, he couldn’t make a living. He makes a living by attacking conservatives and stirring up a liberal base against it.”
“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. They don’t even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive.”
For the record, NPR gets no direct funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or the federal government, and less than one tenth of its funding comes from taxpayer dollars. Hence the seasonal beg-a-thons, which Ailes would be able to acknowledge if he actually tuned in to the station every now and again.
Yet facts seem to find themselves falling through cracks with Ailes and the rest of the FOX news team, which deludes itself into thinking that there are two sides to every political debate: GOP and Tea Party. “We’re interested in two points of view; most networks aren’t,” Ailes said while drinking from a mug stamped with FOX’s logo: “Fair & Balanced.”
When asked to comment on the interview, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs replied, “If you watch most of the programming on the channel, I don’t think you would find many of those comments surprising.”
Ailes later made a semi-apology, not to NPR, the President, or Jon Stewart, but to the Anti-Defamation League
“I was of course ad-libbing and should not have chosen that word, but I was angry at the time because of NPR’s willingness to censor Juan Williams for not being liberal enough… I’m writing this just to let you know some background but also to apologize for using ‘Nazi’ when in my now considered opinion, ‘nasty, inflexible bigot’ would have worked better…. Many IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) warriors know me as someone who is consistently strong in the defense of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. Even if I’m occasionally politically incorrect I never leave any doubts about my loyalty.”
I’m not holding my breath for an apology to the American people. Because my simple sentiment is this:
Mr. Ailes, I’m going to say the same thing to you that I said when Juan Williams was fired from NPR. Building a career around the fight for civil rights for one minority in America doesn’t give him a pass to make prejudicial comments about another American minority, especially when you factor in how many Muslims in America are also black. Being Jewish, Mr. Ailes, and pledging allegiance to the nation of Israel does not give you a pass to call others Nazis and to let your news commentators throw the label “Hitler” around like it’s Halloween candy, especially when you factor in how many Jews in America are also faithful listeners of NPR. It also hurts your stance to state your defense of Jews when you call another of the chosen people crazy.
Even if NPR were state-funded propaganda- does it conduct witchhunts? Does it mandate persecution against others not like them? Does it operate concentration camps? Does it kill people? The answer to all of the above is no, and how dare you throw that analogy around lightly with no consideration for cultural sensitivity. The fact that you support Jews makes it even worse. You should know better, Mr. Ailes, to use such sloppy labeling. As a leader of the most watched news network in the country, hold yourself accountable for your words. If you don’t, you have no business criticizing others for balanced reporting and political satire. However, given FOX’s track record, I can’t say I’m at all surprised with you. Your interview reflects the same lack of class as the rest of your staff. Congratulations on setting the bar of cultural integrity yet another notch lower.
by Silas 916 via Flickr/Creative Commons