How Ohio's Roger Ailes Came to Run Fox News and the World


Esquire's issue this month has a terrific and enlightening profile of Fox News head Roger Ailes. No matter your political affiliation, what TV channels you watch, or how you digest the news, you've been at the mercy of Ailes to a large extent, the man who has revolutionized how America watches TV, how political campaigns are run, and how the national dialogue is shaped.

Ailes is from Warren, OH, which is discussed a lot in the piece largely because Ailes likes talking about that fact a lot — that he's just a hard-working kid from Ohio. Here's just a snippet of a tale he likes to tell about when he almost died from biting his tongue (he was a hemophiliac), but make sure to read the whole piece. It's well worth your time to learn more about one of the most powerful guys in the media world.

The closest he came to dying was when he was seven or eight. He bit his tongue when he jumped off the roof of the garage. His mouth filled with blood and the blood would not stop, the blood soaked the sheets of his bed, and he heard the doctor tell his father that there was nothing he could do. Roger Ailes was going to bleed out through his tongue. But his father was a fighter; that is, he got into fights, and Roger admired him for it. Now he fought for his son's life. He picked Roger up, swaddled in bloody bedclothes, and drove him to the Cleveland Clinic with a police escort. At the factory where he worked, the old man tracked down everybody who had type-O-positive blood, and now he called upon all of them to come to Cleveland for his son. They did, and Roger can still remember their names, Dirtyneck Watson and the rest, men filthy from work who lined up one after another to give Roger their blood, arm to arm. " 'Well, son, you have a lot of blue-collar blood in you, never forget that,' my father said after I got through it, and I never have. A lot of what we do at Fox is blue-collar stuff."

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