cable-stained wretches

Take a Peek at Roger Ailes’s Burn Book

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 21: Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX Television Stations attends the 18th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria on October 21, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Kohen/WireImage)
Photo: Joe Kohen/2008 Joe Kohen

At least two books on Fox News president Roger Ailes are due out this year, one by New York’s Gabriel Sherman and another by Rush Limbaugh biographer Zev Chafets, with whom Ailes cooperated. Politico’s Dylan Byers, calling the difference between the two tomes a “battle for Roger Ailes’s Legacy,” suggested that Ailes was using Chafets’s work “to counteract” Sherman’s, tentatively titled The Loudest Voice in the Room: Fox News and the Making of America. Early Wednesday, an excerpt from Chafets’s book dropped on Vanity Fair, and it is pretty complimentary, portraying Ailes as a doting father and a hard-nosed media executive. Thanks to Ailes’s cooperation, there are lots of quotes from him — many of them insults or at least sharp-tongued assessments of those in his orbit. The highlights, below.

On MSNBC:M.S. is a damn disease,”

On Soledad O’Brien: A CNN anchor “named after a prison.”

On Newt Gingrich: “He’s a sore loser and if he had won he would have been a sore winner.” And then, “Newt’s a prick.”

On Barack Obama: (in the context of Hilary Rosen’s quip that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life): “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.”

On Joe Biden: “I like him. But he’s dumb as an ashtray.”

On his nephew accidentally hitting a baseball through the window of a Prius: “Damn it, though, I was kind of glad that it was a Prius.”

On his own mortality: “The actuaries say I have six to eight years. The best tables give me 10. Three thousand days, more or less.”

On god and liberals: “Well, hell, if God’s a liberal, that’s his business.” And then: “But I doubt very much that he is. He’s got a good heart.”

Roger Ailes’s Burn Book