Biographer on Roger Ailes - Part II

07/03/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

The Fox News channel made news yesterday for airing photos of two New York Times staffers that appear to have been doctored to portray the reporters in an unflattering light.

The liberal media watch dog group Media Matters said the photos depicted New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg with yellowed teeth, "his nose and chin widened, and his ears made to protrude further." The other image, of Times television editor Steven Reddicliffe, had similar yellow teeth as well as "dark circles ... under his eyes, and his hairline has been moved back." The photos appear to have been flattened or extended using photoshop tools. The photos were shown during yesterday’s edition of the Fox morning show Fox & Friends, while the hosts discussed a recent story in the Times that reported that competitors at CNN and MSNBC were gaining on them.

Times Culture Editor Sam Sifton called the doctored photos "disgusting," and the criticism of the paper's reporting "a specious and meritless claim." Speaking to Editor and Publisher via its website, Sifton called it a hit piece by Fox News.

The incident will confirm to many that Fox is a partisan, conservative based network. But that’s not how Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes describes his programming. For him, it’s “fair and balanced.”

Kerwin Swint is the author of a new biography about Roger Ailes, called, “Dark Genius: The Influential Career of Legendary Political Operative and Fox News Founder Roger Ailes.” In the second part of our interview, WMNF asked Kerwin Swint about Fox’s political bent

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