Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Most Vindictive Man In Media

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By Nick Denton

It's not exactly news that Roger Ailes, News Corporation's brilliant but amoral Goebbels, is vindictive. Kurt Andersen mentioned, almost casually, that the Fox News founder had threatened to trail his 3 and 5-year-old kids in pre-emptive retaliation for an article the New York Magazine columnist was writing. But Dan Cooper, a colleague of Ailes during the early days of Fox News, has had even more lurid encounters with the irascible TV newsman, now posted to a personal blog.

Ailes, who admitted after one tantrum that he was a diagnosed paranoid, according to Cooper, was the subject of a New York Magazine profile; Cooper was interviewed on background. Ailes' former colleague claims he was fired by his agent after Ailes discovered he'd been briefing. Cooper remembers being told: "I got a phone call from Roger Ailes an owwa ago. He told me that until I drop you as a cloyent, any demo tapes I send ovah for talent jobs will sit in the cawwna and gatha dust." Such drama!

The only flaw in the story: Cooper claims that Fox News' Brain Room, officially the cable news network's research department, also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office, able to access phone records, which would explain how Ailes suspected Cooper had been snitching. Look who's paranoid now.

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