Sean Hannity has message for Roger Ailes' enemies
- Author: Carolyn Briggs May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 6:17
While Ailes was forced out past year in a blaze of sexual harassment allegations, which he denied, Fox News today is the most watched cable news network in America, a powerhouse of the right and the bete noire of Democratic coastal elites.
"He wasn't ideal, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him", the 41st president tweeted Thursday.
Under Mr Ailes' leadership, Fox became US' most widely watched cable news channel, home to key conservative political commentators, and drew an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC.
Neither Mr Ailes nor Fox released any details on the circumstances of his death.
The architect of Fox News was also close to President Trump, to whom he gave a weekly slot on Fox & Friends - a show that the president has regularly touted in his tweets from the White House. In corporate filings submitted by parent 21st Century Fox in May, the price tag stood at $45 million.
Roger Ailes was defiant on his way out the door at Fox News 10 months ago, insisting that multiple sexual harassment allegations against him were "baseless", even as the network indicated otherwise.
Roger Ailes was a 1958 graduate of Warren G. Harding High School. In an independent investigation, Kelly told investigators that Ailes sexually harassed her in the past.
One longtime friend, evangelical Christian leader Ralph Reed, affectionately called Ailes "master of the universe" on Thursday, while former President George H.W. Bush tweeted that he might not have been elected without the Fox chief.
"He will be remembered by the many people on both sides of the camera that he discovered, nurtured and promoted", Murdoch said. "In addition, Roger was a great patriot who never ceased fighting for his beliefs".
O'Reilly left Fox News in April following his own sexual harassment scandal that had led to more than 50 advertisers pulling commercials from his program, "The O'Reilly Factor".
In 1996 he helped launch Fox News, which would dramatically change the media landscape.
Ailes acted as a consultant to Bush during his 1988 presidential bid, as well as helping former Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and son Zachary.