Fox News Watch Covers Ailes Bio By Re-Running Friendly Author Interview
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Fox News' media criticism program continued the network's promotion of Zev Chafets' biography of Fox News president Roger Ailes, Roger Ailes: Off Camera, with a segment that did not examine or discuss the book's substance. Instead, Fox News Watch re-ran a friendly interview with Chafets and attacked critics of Ailes.
On the March 23 edition of Fox News Watch, anchor Jon Scott remarked that the book was getting "lots of media attention." Scott then defended Ailes' claim that President Obama described himself as "lazy," a misrepresentation of Obama's remarks.
The bulk of the segment re-ran a friendly interview Chafets had with Fox & Friends earlier in the week, and unlike most other segments on the program, it failed to include a roundtable discussion.
Neither Ailes' past controversial remarks nor Fox's role in promoting this book while attacking more skeptical reporting on Ailes and the network were discussed. Scott ended the segment by noting that Ailes built "Fox News Channel into number one" and that it's "tough being on top, everyone's always aiming at you trying to bring you down."
In contrast to the kid-gloved treatment Chafets received from Fox News Watch, Howard Kurtz interviewed Chafets on his CNN program and challenged the author's claims to objectivity. "To me it seems like you defend Roger Ailes on almost every issue in this book," Kurtz said to Chafets on the March 24 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources. "One critical thing. Give me one critical thing. One thing that troubles you about Roger Ailes." Chafets declined to answer: "One thing that troubles me about Roger? Nothing troubles me about any of the news organizations. I don't tend to be troubled by things like that."