Saturday, May 12, 2018

Dustin Pickering writes

Hymn to Roger Ailes
(dedicated to the last tycoon)

Remember how sex sells
and controversy bends tales,
O Roger Ailes!
Roger Ailes!

Hire the aging bimbos
whose dreams are akimbo
to your own, Mr. Ailes!
You know little remorse don’t ya?

Roger Ailes! Roger Ailes!
Doesn’t war perform its duties!
Your bleeding knees
and toxic sleeze
make you seem a bit fruity!

O Roger Ailes, Roger Ailes,
your ilk is in decline,
but I’ll watch you in hell
when you are burning there…
Roger Ailes, Roger Ailes,
enjoy that great repine.
When you learn to report
instead of distort,
come back to me and share!
Roger Ailes, sex sells,
don’t you see the dividing line
between  the masses?
Roger Ailes, Roger Ailes,
your kind is doomed to repeat history.
-- Edward Sorel

1 comment:

  1. When Richard Nixon appeared on "The mike Douglas Show" in 1967, in preparation for his successful presidential run, the 26-year-old producer of the show told him that "Television is not a gimmick. And if you think it is, you’ll lose again.” That was the beginning of Roger Ailes' career as conservative media manipulator. As Ailes said of Nixon after he won the 1968 election, “ "Let's face it,a lot of people think Nixon is dull. Think he’s a bore, a pain in the ass. They look at him as the kind of kid who always carried a bookbag.... Now you put him on television, you’ve got a problem right away. He’s a funny-looking guy. He looks like somebody hung him in a closet overnight, and he jumps out in the morning with his suit all bunched up and starts running around saying, ‘I want to be President.’" Ailes' solution was to package the candidate the way advertisers package products, mainly through TV image creation. He knew how to craft the sound bites or actions that would be replayed to the candidate's advantage, and crafted the rise of sensationalist political coverage. A campaign memo succinctly summarized the Ailes approach: "Voters are basically lazy. Reason requires a high degree of discipline, of concentration; impression is easier. Reason pushes the viewer back.... Impression can envelop him, invite him in." After decades of political consulting he returned to television, becoming president of CNBC and then creating the channel that later became MSNBC. In 1996 he became CEO of Fox News and created the edgy, prpagandistic style of news commentary that made it the leading cable news network in the US, while continuing his role as informal advisor to presidents and would-be presidents. (For instance, he sent George W. Bush a memo that the American public would be patient with his handling of the war on terrorism as long as they were convinced that Bush was using the harshest possible methods. However, in 1916 one of his commentators charged him with firing her because she would not submit to his sexual advances, followed by similar claims from other women, leading to his forced resignation just as his contract was to be renewed (though he continued as an advisor). He died in 2017, 3 days after his 77th birthday.


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