Random House has begun rolling out New York reporter Gabriel Sherman's unauthorized biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for its January 21 release. For more than a year, Fox News has attempted to discredit the book by attacking Sherman with vitriolic online attacks ("stalker," "embarrassment," "PHONEY JOURNALIST") and by reportedly helping with a counterbiography and firing a top Fox executive.
Sherman's The Loudest Voice in the Room states it draws on "more than 600 interviews with people who've known Ailes over his remarkable five-decade career as well as a rich variety of other sources" and "documents Ailes's tactical acuity as he battles with the press, business rivals, and countless real and perceived enemies inside and outside Fox."
Fox News reportedly attempted to counterbalance Sherman's book by working with Zev Chafets on an Ailes-friendly biography. Politico reported that Ailes agreed to cooperate with Chafets' biography "because he was eager to preempt Sherman's version with a more favorable and hopefully sympathetic account of his legacy." Fox News was clearly happy with Chafets' final work, as numerous Fox News personalities praised the book, and Chafets was afforded ample airtime on Fox properties.
Fear over Sherman's book was also reportedly a factor in Ailes' firing of Fox News vice president Brian Lewis. Gawker reported that "Lewis was paid approximately $8 million in hush money" and quoted an unnamed Fox News executive stating of the separation: "Everything was about Gabe Sherman." The source "further explained that, up until the day of Lewis's dismissal, the channel's public relations division, which Lewis oversaw, had suffered from heated internal disagreements about how to properly handle Sherman's book." The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "rumors have swirled that Lewis also was suspected of helping Gabe Sherman."
Fox News personalities have regularly attacked Sherman and his work for more than a year:
Patrick Caddell (contributor): "Frankly, Mr. Sherman, you are an embarrassment to the journalistic trade, and if your book is in the same vein, it will be an embarrassment to your publisher and a disservice to the reading public." [FoxNews.com, 3/29/13]
Steve Doocy (host): "#Woops! @gabrielsherman WRONG AGAIN about Ailes & Trump tweet! And he's writing a book on Roger, that's supposed to be accurate? #Hilarious." [Twitter, 8/22/13]
Fox Nation: "Gabriel Sherman Travels to London to Collude with Anti-Ailes Forces?" [Fox Nation, 5/6/13]
"Gawker, Huffington Post, Politico, Soros Slime Fox News Boss Ailes with Coordinated Attack." [Fox Nation, 12/10/13]
". @gabrielsherman continues to willfully disregard the facts. when confronted with his erroneous writings, he fails to correct them." [Twitter, 12/27/12]
Greg Gutfeld (host): "Oh what a surprise: mag writer finds canned bitter ex-employee to be canned and bitter. Stellar journalism!" [Twitter, 8/21/13]
Sean Hannity (host): "More Gabe Sherman fiction today. Liberal lies about Fox News are never ending." [Twitter, 8/21/13]
Brit Hume (senior political analyst): "Gabe, your story was implausible on its face & contradicted by numerous examples. I'm sorry for your sake you stand by it." [Twitter, 12/18/12, via Politico]
Bill O'Reilly (host): "Saw New York mag piece on Roger, trust me, he is not alone.-- O'R." [Twitter, 8/21/13]
Rick Sanchez (contributor): "Annoys me to see BS published about my friend (& boss) Roger Ailes." [Twitter, 8/21/13]
Andrea Tantaros (host): "Fox News CEO is one thing, his family - private citizens- is another But not to the harasser @gabrielsherman, aka stalker media #waronwomen ... The 'harasser' @gabrielsherman of NY Mag stoops 2 new low going after Roger Ailes' wife. What do u expect from a Soros puppet?" [Twitter, 6/5/12]
Greta Van Susteren (host): "Where do they get this silly stuff? Roger Ailes is isolated and Brian Lewis is #2?" [Twitter, 8/21/13]