Seventy-seven years ago, in the wee hours of the morning, the universal force that connects us all looked upon the earth and noticed that the group we would later call “the Greatest Generation” had a startling lack of vile, evil liars, so that all-powerful higher power descended an escalator to the gates of hell and commissioned Satan to fashion a squalid shit stain to test the mettle of humans all over the world. Satan looked at the omnipotent one, hawked up a loogie from the back of his bacteria-filled, evil throat, spat it on Hades’ floor and said, “I’ll do it.”
And that’s how Donald Trump was created. But that is not what we are here to talk about today.
That thick, puss-laden, phlegm-filled loogie born in the back of Beelzebub’s throat eventually evolved into human form, and someone named it Roger Ailes.
Old women and people with kind hearts caution us never to speak evil of the dead, but that would force us into silence about Roger Ailes—the mayonnaise dollop who spread hatred and untruth so far and wide that the disgustingly sticky film of “fair and balanced” will forever cover us all.
There will be some who sing the praises of Ailes, because he absolutely deserves some bittersweet accolades. After all, evil geniuses are still geniuses. But only a fool laments the arrest of Lex Luthor or bemoans the demise of Joseph Goebbels.
Ailes was a perpetual-motion machine that churned out repugnant propaganda chock-full of lies and bigotry. He was a misogynist of the highest order. He was the rotund, Boss Hog chess master who spent his life using black people, minorities and women as pawns to clear the way for white kings. Roger Ailes was evil.
Until this country undergoes a true political revolution, Ailes will be responsible for the escalation of hate-filled politics. As Richard Nixon’s consultant in charge of television, Ailes teamed up with Lee Atwater to revive the Southern strategy—a way of convincing people to vote for conservatives by creating a race-based straw man. Atwater explained it perfectly:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say, “Nigger.” That hurts you. It backfires. So you say stuff like “forced busing,” “states’ rights” and all that stuff, and you get so abstract. Now you talk about cutting taxes, and these things you’re talking about are totally economic things, and a by-product of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously, maybe that’s part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract and that coded, we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. Obviously, sitting around saying we want to cut taxes and we want this is a lot more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Not content with either his bank account, power or political influence, Ailes used his divisive political ingenuity to re-elect Reagan, but he really hit his virulent stride when he masterminded the infamous Willie Horton ad for the George H.W. Bush presidential campaign. The ad featured the story of a black man who raped and killed a white family after he was released from prison. Ailes is quoted as saying, “The only question is whether we depict Willie Horton with a knife in his hand or without it.”
As the chief architect of Fox News, Ailes was the progenitor of “alternative facts.” He fooled middle America into accepting right-wing propaganda as “fair and balanced.” He plucked a fuckboy blowhard named Bill O’Reilly out of Inside Edition and gave him a platform to spread hate to the masses. He found Sean Hannity, a right-wing radio host who supported white nationalism and made him a star. He let Geraldo Rivera call 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who committed no crime, a “thug” who deserved to “die like one.” He gave a microphone to the Birthers. He pointed cameras at the people who hated Black Lives Matter. Ailes knew what white Americans wanted, and he gave it to them, regardless of actual truth or the hate he engendered.
And during the entire time, as he steered a failed actor into the presidency, created racist ads, and built a network on fear of Muslims, immigrants, black people, terrorism and intelligence; as he forged an empire out of hate and slander, Ailes preyed on women. He was such a predator vulture that the piles of money, the gobs of power and the throne as the most influential man in the most influential medium on earth couldn’t stop him from trying to strong-arm sex from any woman within reach of his chubby paws or his sphere of influence.
So whenever you think about how the neo-Nazis who call themselves the “alt-right” found a national platform, know that it is only because someone figured out that there is money in divisiveness. Roger Ailes did that. When you try to figure out why we live in a post-truth society in which reality is subjective and facts have become partisan, remember that Roger Ailes did that.
If you ever wonder how the greatest country in the world managed to select a pussy-grabbing, lie-spewing, caution-sign-colored, racist bag of bluster, bullshit and bravado, look no further than Roger Ailes.
It is not gracious to wish death upon anyone, but if death must come and remove one of the living from this dimension, do not cry when it subtracts evil from our universe. If only for this one time, we should applaud the Grim Reaper for tossing Ailes’ rotund corpse across his shoulder and exiting this world. May his return to the devil’s larynx be as tumultuous as the world he left us with. God rest the hole where his soul should be. He will not be missed.