Roger Ailes was driven away from Fox News after Gretchen Carlson came forward with accusations of sexual harassment. Those accusations quickly snowballed, as more and more women had horrible stories about Ailes, some with details we will never forget. But now, he’s loose in the world and it looks like he’s gravitated towards helping Donald Trump prep for debate.
Bee dedicated a segment on her show Monday night to the many times Ailes polished “turds into presidents,” including Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Whatever his disgusting amoral flaws are, Ailes is very good at manipulating the public. Bee quickly runs through the many strategies Ailes counseled candidates in to deflect the public, from their lack telegenic appeal to the fact that they were the oldest president ever elected, yet running a second term.
She also reminds us that Ailes invented the Town Hall format, in which any candidate can avoid the press, yet give the appearance of facing scrutiny as they’re glad handed by a panel of pre-selected (mostly) white people. Bee mentions that Ailes had said of reporters desire to have access to these events, “Fuck ‘em...It’s not a press conference. It’s a television show. It’s our television show,” which she adds would be a good tagline for Fox News in general.
One of Samantha Bee’s scariest points is that Roger Ailes is good with a zinger. She shows a clip of Reagan deflecting a question about his age with a joke, supposedly written by Ailes, which easily shook off the moderator. She says, “Stop letting candidates off the hook because they get a laugh,” and warns that Ailes has “already written the killer line that will take Hillary down, if Trump remembers to say it.”