Mediaite's Rothman Eviscerates MSNBC Host Hayes' Simplistic, Fact-deficient Attack On FNC's Roger Ailes

"A little perspective would inform [Chris] Hayes’ inflated sense of self-worth, particularly when he attempts to demean the notable careers of others." 

That's how Mediaite editor Noah Rothman concluded a scathing piece written to address a misleading charge made by the MSNBC host in a recent Talking Points Memo (TPM) interview. Fox News is captained by Roger Ailes, who is "a lifetime, hard-right, conservative ideologue Republican partisan," as opposed to MSNBC's president Phil Griffin who is simply an apolitical "someone who worked in TV," insisted Hayes. Rebutting that charge, Rothman offered a review of Ailes's storied history in the television industry that dates back to the early 1960s, some 20 years before Griffin got his start in TV (emphasis mine)


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... Ailes has served as a Republican political consultant – working with such high profile figures as Presidents Richard M. Nixon and George H. W. Bush. That kind of high-profile political consulting invites scorn from only partisan political operatives or those who do not know and could not be bothered to care about what is required of a consultant to secure such powerful clients.

But Ailes career is only punctuated by years of political consultancy. The vast majority of his career has been spent working in television.

Ailes began his career producing entertainment and talk programming on television in the early 1960s. He produced, and later executive produced, The Mike Douglas Show – a variety-talk program which ran for 30 years. He was nominated for a daytime Emmy for his work.

In the 1970s and 1980s, amid jobs consulting for GOP politicians and presidents, Ailes produced a number of television specials before he went back to work in television full time in the 1990s – for NBC.

Ailes became president of CNBC in 1993 and even hosted an hour-long talk program on NBC’s short-lived cable news network “America’s Talking” in 1994.

In 1996, when Microsoft and NBC News announced a partnership to start a 24-hour cable news network, Ailes left NBC to start his own cable news outlet – he took over 80 NBC employees with him for that endeavor.

Chris L. Hayes was born in 1979. Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC and described by Hayes as his network’s television aficionado, started his television career with NBC’s Today Show in 1983 as a sports producer.

A slight correction for Rothman: Griffin did work for CNN for a few years, "working primarily as a writer-producer-editor in the sports department," before joining NBC's Today show, the New York Observer reported in October 2008.

Related item: My colleague Tim Graham wrote a lengthy piece here that tore into Hayes's ludicrous claims in that TPM interview.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters