Is Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Going to Jail?
By Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America
Posted on February 28, 2011, Printed on March 2, 2011
First, let’s stipulate that the New York Times scoop last week about Fox News chairman Roger Ailes allegedly urging an employee to lie to federal prosecutors is a real jaw-dropper. The report, based on uncovered legal filings, not only has the media world stunned but it has loyalists who orbit the Fox News world utterly dumbstruck by the revelation.
They’re stunned, not because they can’t believe Ailes would do such a thing. Instead, they’re shocked Ailes left himself so open, so vulnerable. They’re astonished that his former employee, Judith Regan, reportedly has Ailes on tape urging her to lie to federal investigators about her affair with Bernard Kerick, a former top lieutenant of Rudolf Giuliani when he served as New York’s mayor. With Giuliani eyeing a possible presidential run, Ailes allegedly told Regan to lie in order to protect both Kerik and Giuliani.
In short, the Times report has managed to shock everyone. It’s shocked media insiders for the sheer recklessness of Ailes’ behavior. It has startled Fox News critics (like myself) who are amazed how cavalierly Ailes would counsel an employee to break the law. And the report has shaken Ailes loyalists who can’t believe the Machiavellian Fox News chief was so sloppy in his execution.