Roger Ailes Says He Told Fox News Anchors To “Tone It Down”

The man responsible for making Fox News the biggest cable news network in the country says he thinks everyone needs to calm down in the wake of the Arizona shootings:

Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, on Monday embraced the idea of a more civil public discourse in the wake of the shootings in Arizona.

In an interview with the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, which was posted on his Web site, Mr. Ailes said that his network would try to cool the heated rhetoric.

“I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Mr. Ailes said. “You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

We’ll see if it actually happens, or how long it lasts if does. After all, it was bombast that put Fox News Channel at the top.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Andyman says:

    “Other side”? I thought they were fair and balanced.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    Interesting how there was no point discussing overheated rhetoric or suggesting it was a primarily right-wing phenomenon and yet here’s Ailes telling his most profitable professional liars and loudmouths to take it down a notch.

    It’s almost as if he agrees with people like me who think if you talk like a crazy person it’s entirely likely you’ll be blamed (rightly or wrongly) for the acts of crazy people.

  3. Jack says:

    An old saying from one of my farmer relatives, expurgated for the more tender sensibilities:

    If you lay with pigs, don’t be surprised if you end up covered in feces.

  4. Tano says:

    As Andyman noted above, this phrase “I hope the other side does that.” – is the buried lede here. Ailes is publicly admitting that FoxNews is on one side of the partisan divide.

    Of course, every sentient being knows that, but it seems to be the first time they actually admit it.

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    You are wrong once again Doug as to why Fox News is where it is. But you will never know what this is. Here is a hint. Where is the Juan Williams on MSNBC or CNN? They do not have someone who holds an opinion opposite of what you think Fox’s new bias is. Fact is, Fox news is not bias. Some of the opinion people are. After all, it was not anyone at MSNBC who questioned the Pima County Sheriff about his opinions as opposed to the facts, it was Megyn Kelly who quietly dismantled the shill for the left. You get left out in ths sun to long as a child, Doug?

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Tano, is that what you got out of what Roger had to say? That Fox is bias? Can you read and understand the meaning of words? Do you just make up your own shit?