The hype for Gabriel Sherman's impending biography of Fox News head honcho Roger Ailes has reached a fever pitch this week, and given some of the details in a new preview, the network has reason to be worried.
Over the course of the three years it took to write his exhaustively researched book The Loudest Voice In The Room, author Gabriel Sherman interviewed more than 600 people, though—as Fox's PR department is quick to point out—none of those people were Ailes himself.
Among the questionable behavior mentioned so far:
- Describing host Bill O'Reilly as “a book salesman with a TV show”
- Describing host Brian Kilmeade as “a soccer coach from Long Island”
- Tell executives "I want to elect the next president"
- During his time at NBC in the '80s, referring to another employee with a phrase that used the words "little" and "Jew"
- Also at NBC, offering an executive an extra $100 a week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”
And those are just a handful of anecdotes from a book containing more than 100 pages of source notes and bibliography. It makes sense that Ailes—who resembles a 65-35 split between Alfred Hitchcock and Oswald Cobblepot—would want to protect himself. When Fox News exec Brian Lewis was fired over the summer, he was reportedly paid $8 million in hush money.
The book's publisher, Random House, has set up a website to promote the book, as well as rebut the impending wave of criticism sure to come out against it.
Fox News has already gone on the offensive against the book, arguing that the veracity of its account cannot be confirmed because it was not fact-checked by Fox News itself, that shining beacon of truth. Hosts like Sean Hannity have already called Sherman's reporting into question on-air.
Penguin's conservative imprint, Sentinel, has also resumed promotion of its own Roger Ailes biography, Zev Chafets's Roger Ailes: Off Camera, which Ailes was actually interviewed for. New ads for the book have begun appearing in The New York Times (in honor of the paperback version, Penguin claims), though it is unclear who is paying for that promotion.