In Esquire's puzzlingly overwritten profile of Roger Ailes, there are several theories as to why the man — the Midas-touch megaboss of Fox News — is the way he is: a fighter. (Maybe fat, maybe paranoid, maybe right wing ... Definitely a winner.) Is it because he just understands television so well? Is it because he thinks he is above using a BlackBerry? Because he understand that viewers want authenticity in their anchors? (And also bald sex appeal?) Because he knows what everyone else's weaknesses are, and therefore can build a better robot? Or is it something deeper, something more internal?
Esquire reminds us that in his childhood, Ailes suffered from complications due to his hemophilia. And this may have been the root of it all:
The disease he had was the Royal Disease, the disease of Queen Victoria's progeny, a disease considered effete, a mortal taint. He used to have to sit on a pillow at school. He wasn't able to go out at recess. And so one day he asked his parents to let him walk to school, like the other kids, and they let him. "And some guys beat me up. I went home a little beat up and my dad, I saw tears in his eyes for the first time. I'd never seen it. And he said, 'That's never going to happen to you again.' He taught me how to fight. And he told me to stay away from any fight that I could. 'But if you have no options, then remember, son, for them it's a fight. For you, it's life and death.' "
Everybody bleeds. We bleed all the time. We bleed when we move, we bleed when we bump into things. But for many years — there wasn't much that could be done for hemophilia until the sixties — Roger kept on bleeding. That's why he has such bad arthritis: because blood collects in the joints and ruins them. And that's why he labors under the judgment of his bulk and finds it so deeply unfair when people call him fat. Because he can't move. And that's why he found a way to fight so many of his life-and-death battles through the television screen: It was his way of fighting the kids he saw playing outside through the window. And that's why he's so sensitive and so instinctively alert to other people's stuff ... why one day, when he was talking about the need for his anchors to have warmth, and the subject of President Obama's warmth problem came up, he responded quickly, instantly, "Well, maybe if your father left you when you were two, your stepfather left you when you were four, and your mother was out of your life when you were ten, you wouldn't be warm, either."
So what kind of man has to win all the time? The kind of man whose wounds are always fresh.
Well. It's hard to tell whether this is an actual theory or just more of ASME-winning writer Tom Junod's lengthy rhetorical flourishes. But at a time when the left loves to make light of their bogeyman Dick Cheney's literal lack of a pulse, what to say about the idea of a foe whose heart might actually bleed too much?
Why Does Roger Ailes Hate America? [Esquire]