Thursday, May 25, 2017

Another False Aspect of the Roger Ailes Mythology

Last week, upon the death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, tens of thousands of words were written about the impact that Ailes and Fox had on our politics. Much of it talked about giving voice to a particular kind of conservatism. To understanding the resentment and anger in the country, to mining the populism that has now emerged full blown. Journalists, pundits, professors and consultants all chimed in.

The problem is that very little of it is true. Sure Ailes understood television and politics. but at core what he did was to take the world of talk radio, combined it with a bit of blondification and transferred it to television.

To put it bluntly he simply exploited the rise and power of conservative talk radio. The Economist said many months ago that, “to understand the Republican politics, get in a car, turn on the radio and drive.”

Talk radio, is far more than the viewers that watch even the top rated Fox News shows each night. It's the lens through which millions and millions of it’s hard core listeners view the world.

No one understands this better than the go-to-guy for talk radio, the founder, editor and publisher of Talkers and, Michael Harrison:

My conversation with Michael Harrison: