Lee Atwater (see bottom of this post) apologized for political dirty tricks he pulled with Roger Ailes, but it looks like Ailes isn't about to apologize.
Fox News' Roger Ailes Calls Obama Socialist, Jon Stewart 'Crazy' and NPR 'Nazis'
David Knowles Writer
AOL News Surge Desk
Nov. 18, 2010
How does one define "fair and balanced"?
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes was not shy about voicing his opinions on a variety of subjects, including President Barack Obama, Jon Stewart and NPR. The interview, which ran in two parts at Tina Brown's site, offered insights into how the man charged with running Fox News views some of the topics most discussed on his network.
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."
"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."
What's striking about Ailes' commentary is not that it mirrors the perspective that often seems to be offered by the hosts and anchors at Fox News, but that it is being offered so freely by the head of a news organization whose motto would seem to dictate withholding it.
"If you watch most of the programming on the channel, I don't think you would find many of those comments surprising," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in response to the interview.
For his part, Ailes contends that his network, which donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association in the 2010 elections, is still focused on maintaining objectivity. "We're interested in two points of view; most networks aren't," Ailes told Kurtz while drinking from a mug adorned with the network's famous logo, "Fair & Balanced."
Ailes and Atwater (from Wikipedia)
Ailes served as a political consultant for many Republican candidates during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. His first such job was as media advisor for the Nixon campaign in 1968. He returned to presidential campaigning as a consultant to Ronald Reagan in the latter stages of the 1984 campaign. He is widely credited with having helped coach Reagan to victory in the second presidential debate with Walter Mondale, after aides Richard Darman and David Stockman bungled preparations for the disastrous first debate.
In 1987 and 1988, Ailes was credited (along with Lee Atwater) with guiding George H. W. Bush to victory in the Republican primaries, and the later come-from-behind victory over Michael Dukakis. Ailes scripted and (with Sig Rogich) produced the "Revolving Door" ad, as well as all of Bush's broadcast spots in the primary and general-election campaigns.
Ailes denies producing the so-called Willie Horton ad, which showed the face of the convicted rapist furloughed by Michael Dukakis. The ad was sponsored and funded by the independent-expenditure group National Security Political Action Committee (NSPAC), but the Democrats later charged the Bush campaign with illegally coordinating the ad with the NSPAC. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigated the charge, but deadlocked on a 3-3 vote, essentially clearing Ailes and the campaign of any legal wrong-doing.