Friday, November 19, 2010

What Ailes You

Roger Ailes really hates NPR.

“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.”

Later Mr. Ailes sent a note to the Anti-Defamation League in a preemptive attempt to stop a firestorm of criticism for going down the Hitler road.

“This morning you might be receiving calls because I used the word ‘Nazi attitudes’ to describe the NPR officials who fired Juan Williams,” Ailes wrote. “I was of course ad-libbing and should not have chosen that word, but I was angry at the time because of NPR’s willingness to censor Juan Williams for not being liberal enough.”

Ailes, later in the letter, apologized “for using ‘Nazi’ when in my now considered opinion ‘nasty, inflexible bigot’ would have worked better.”

Nice try. You don’t get to use the word “Nazi” three times in one sentence and then say you were “ad-libbing.” Mr. Ailes knew exactly what he was doing going into the interview with Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast; I’m pretty sure he already had the letter to the ADL drafted and ready to go out. (And as Steve M. at NMMNB wonders, will Roger Ailes demand an apology from Roger Ailes for going “over the line” by calling someone a Nazi?)

Mr. Ailes seems to be a tad jealous of NPR; after all, it’s a highly-respected news organization while Fox News is neither highly-respected or a news organization. The amount of money NPR gets from the government each wouldn’t keep Glenn Beck in chalk and antiperspirant, and besides, even as the right wing tries — and fails — to defund NPR, all that means is that they won’t do yet another fawning profile of John Boehner.