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Roger Ailes speaks out

March 6, 2013, at 12:05 PM

Vanity Fair runs a fascinating excerpt of Zev Chafets' biography of Roger Ailes, Roger Ailes: Off Camera, featuring amazingly frank comments from the Fox News chief on key political players and how God will judge him and his career.

On President Obama: "Obama's the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn't public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He's lazy, but the media won't report that... I didn't come up with that. Obama said that, to Barbara Walters."

On Joe Biden: "I have a soft spot for Joe Biden... I like him. But he's dumb as an ashtray."

On Newt Gingrich: "Newt's a prick... He's a sore loser and if he had won he would have been a sore winner."

On his boss, Rupert Murdoch: "Does Rupert like me? I think so, but it doesn't matter. When I go up to the magic room in the sky every three months, if my numbers are right, I get to live. If not, I'm killed. Our relationship isn't about love, it's about arithmetic. Survival means hitting your numbers. I've met or exceeded mine in 56 straight quarters. The reason is, I treat Rupert's money like it is mine."
 
On God's political leanings: "Well, hell, if God's a liberal, that's his business... But I doubt very much that he is. He's got a good heart."

On whether he'll go to Heaven: "I'm pretty sure that God's got a sense of humor... I think he gets a laugh out of me from time to time, so I suppose things will be all right."

Howard Kurtz notes the book "is being published ahead of another biography, by New York magazine's Gabe Sherman, that is expected to be more critical. Ailes and Fox cooperated with Chafets, who wrote a book about Rush Limbaugh, but have given Sherman no access."

It is nonetheless a fascinating insight into the man who changed the television news industry and how politics is practiced.

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