Entertainment » Movies

Divide & Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Thursday Mar 14, 2019
Divide & Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes used to tell a story about his father, a tough and rather terrifying man who taught his son to be strong. The conservative factory worker encouraged little Roger to leap from atop his bunk bed and into his daddy's arms. The impressionable child enthusiastically did so, and his father stepped away, letting the boy crash to the floor. "That will teach you to trust no one," the man said as he walked away.

Ailes, who went on to become one of the most divisive men in America — the chief media consultant (a role he first created for himself) for the Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, an advisor to the Donald Trump campaign, and most influentially, the founder, chairman and CEO of Fox News — was a brilliant and bombastic blowhard who knew how to sway public opinion and laid the foundations for one on the world's most influential propaganda machines, the 24-hour news cycle.

Ironically, journalism in the ideal sense of the word was never his goal. To illustrate this, Ailes' treasured story about his abusive father, when fact-checked, looks to be complete balderdash.

What appears to be true, however, is something Ailes and his council fervently denied: Multiple accounts of sexual harassment and coercion over the course of this paranoid and powerful man's career.

"Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes" uses a testimonial from several of Ailes' associates, including one of Fox News network's most authoritative commentators, Glenn Beck. In the process, it weaves one hell of a story.

This is an account of a scintillatingly smarmy character whose overblown self-importance, suspicion, and sexual addiction made him into what appears to have been an undiagnosed sociopath. And this anti-hero's victims, the multiple women who have made allegations, are so sympathetic you can't help root for Ailes' takedown.

Roger Ailes has been called a bulldog, a kingmaker, and the Hemingway of campaign advisors, but the overall message of this movie seems to be that, though we will let charismatic bullies lead us, we won't let them destroy us. We can take these people down in the end.

"Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes"


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