Jill Lepore at The New Yorker magazine took on the new book on Roger Ailes by comparing Ailes to William Randolph Hearst. This is odd, since Hearst’s actual tycoon character at Fox would be Rupert Murdoch, not Ailes.
In one classic paragraph, Lepore explained that urbane liberals shouldn’t be so lazy as to despise Ailes (as they did Hearst) when they should really loathe “the vulgarity and the prejudices” of the lower-class Fox News audience that Ailes attracts:
It was easy to despise Hearst. It was also lazy. Hating some crazy old loudmouth who is a vindictive bully and lives in a castle is far less of a strain than thinking about the vulgarity and the prejudices of his audience. In 1935, the distinguished war correspondent and radio broadcaster Raymond Gram Swing observed, “People who are not capable of disliking the lower middle class in toto, since it is a formidable tax on their emotions, can detest Hearst instead.” Ailes haters, take note.