Roger Ailes, the founder and former chief executive of Fox News, has passed away at the age of 77.
Ailes’ wife, Elizabeth Tilson, announced news of his death Thursday morning.
“I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning,” Tilson said in a statement. “Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise — and to give back.”
A number of Ailes’ fans expressed their condolences, with some calling him a “true American original” and saying that “he saved this country by starting the Fox News channel.” Foes, however, were more critical of Ailes, with this notable tweet from Marc Lamont Hill making the rounds.
Roger Ailes has died. Wow. Sending deep and heartfelt condolences to everyone who was abused, harassed, exploited, and unjustly fired by him
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) May 18, 2017
Ailes was despicable. This was a man who fronted a news network that led to America electing Donald Trump. This was a man who fronted a news network that continues to mistreat its employees that are women and people of color. This was a man who fronted a news network that is built on anger, fear, and ignorance.
Ailes fed off people’s vulnerabilities to take advantage of them and subject them to his bidding, and anyone that attempted to hold him accountable became his biggest enemy, using everything in his power to discredit and intimidate them. It is no surprise that Ailes contributed greatly to Trump’s presidential candidacy and win, considering how similar they both are.
The former considered the latter a longtime friend and established a platform for Trump, and not only allowed him to have a weekly call-in segment on Fox & Friends to discuss political issues but let him use Fox News to spread his birther conspiracy theory against Barack Obama.
There is an irony in Fox News’ slogan being “fair and balanced,” led by a man who was anything but, and in his passing has left a legacy that changed America for the worse.
No more words need to be said on Ailes except this — good riddance.