Bill Clinton’s Liberalness Isn’t Why Roger Ailes Didn’t Offer Him a Show on Fox News

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Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

According to a just-published transcript of Tom Junod's Esquire profile of Roger Ailes, the Fox News mastermind flirted with the idea of giving former president Bill Clinton his own show. They even talked about it! But Ailes decided against it, in the end. And not because Bubba's such a liberal:

The problem with Bill is he won't be as good on a talk show as you'd think. Because, first of all, he never shuts up. I mean he cannot hit time cues. But I went up to Harlem, I met with him for an hour, an hour and a half, I asked him to do a special, which he's still thinking about. I'd like to have it; I'd like to have him do a special for us. The problem with him in a talk-show mode is not that he's not charming, good, smart, and glib. He is. But he loves to talk about policy. He's actually a policy wonk. So if you really want eighteen minutes on ethanol, he'll give it to you. But it won't get ratings. ... If he would stick with current affairs and stick with the clock, he'd be one of the great talk-show people in the world.

Left unsaid was the fact that, when you run a network whose female on-air talent roster consists almost exclusively of young, beautiful women, finding correspondents or co-hosts for an anchor like Bill Clinton becomes something of an image problem.

Roger Ailes on Roger Ailes: The Interview Transcripts [Esquire]