On Monday, New York Times book critic Janet Maslin issued an inexplicably hostile takedown of Gabriel Sherman’s new biography of Fox News boss Roger Ailes, declaring the book “tepid” and “disingenuous” while suggesting its author is a liar. The paper’s coverage, which had until that point been quite positive, immediately earned fresh attention from conservative figures like Lou Dobbs and Matt Drudge. Omitted from Maslin’s review, however, was an important disclosure: The critic has maintained a 30-year friendship with Fox News’s editor-at-large, Peter J. Boyer, who plays a prominent role in one of the book’s chapters, and who was personally recruited to the channel in 2012 by Ailes.
Fox News president Roger Ailes casts a reality distortion field so immense that even simple childhood stories stand no chance of escaping it. Reviewers (and readers) of Gabriel Sherman’s new Ailes biography have quickly latched onto an anecdote, conveyed to Sherman by a former Ailes associate, regarding how Ailes’s father, Robert Sr., intentionally let him fall from his bunk bed in order to teach him a lesson. It’s almost certainly a lie.
Women might want to think twice before working for Bill O’Reilly. According to Gabriel Sherman’s new book, The Loudest Voice in the Room, the top Fox News anchor grew so enraged at a female producer after a botched segment in 2003 that, in order to defuse the situation, “a senior Fox executive” intervened and escorted the crying producer out of News Corp’s Midtown headquarters.
New York magazine has (finally) published a long excerpt of Gabriel Sherman’s Roger Ailes biography, The Loudest Voice in the Room. It’s from one of the more recent chapters—the book spans the Fox father’s entire career—and collects, among other stories, our 2011 report revealing that Ailes spied on several reporters at the Putnam County News & Recorder, the upstate New York newspaper he purchased in 2008. But it’s not just disgruntled newspaper employees (or gay activists) that Ailes irrationally fears.
Today Random House revealed a dedicated website for journalist Gabriel Sherman’s new book about Fox News president Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room. In an unusual move, according to Capital New York, Random House will use the site to rebut attacks from Fox News and its milieu of defenders, like Breitbart.com and National Review, about the book’s veracity. Indeed, Roger Ailes is beginning to feel the heat already.
Vindictive troll Roger Ailes, who—when he's not busy using corporate security to tail his employees, calling local cops to fish his keys out of his locked car, or overseeing the production of political attack ads disguised as news programming—owns a pair of small-town newspapers in rural Putnam County, N.Y., is an absolute master at real-time reflexive paranoid hysteria. For instance, if you write things about those small-town papers that he doesn't like, he will go through the subscriber rolls, find your name, and cancel your subscription. Attention to detail!
Paranoid, vindictive, and possibly insane Fox News boss Roger Ailes has been sitting for interview with every elitist pinko rag in America lately. Now, the bizarre, crowning achievement: New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman is writing an entire book on Fox News, centering on Roger Ailes. The "insidery" media "story behind the story" here is, Gabriel Sherman is not the type one would naturally consider to be a friend of Fox News. Given Ailes' insatiable desire to shoot his mouth off with self-justificatory diatribes, this should be interesting.
• Looking to buy a struggling business magazine that's losing advertisers right and left? You're in luck. McGraw-Hill has put BusinessWeek up for sale. [BN]
• The hottest interview in TV-land right now? Bernie Madoff, naturally. [B&C]
• Not such great news for the television biz: Most networks are experiencing a double-digit drop in summer ratings compared to last year. [USAT]
• MySpace is no longer a "place for friends." (That's what Facebook is for.) It's a Web site "for accessing entertainment and related information." [WSJ]
• Former Observer reporter Gabriel Sherman takes a look at Observer owner Jared Kushner in this week's issue of New York. Among other things, Kushner says he found the paper "unbearable" until he bought it. [NYM]
• Brüno's $30 million gross made it No. 1 at the box office this weekend. [THR]
This week's New York contains a brief story on the "sudden-onset poverty" — poverty, huh? — of an anonymous Lehman Brothers trader. There are million dollar mortgages and million dollar options packages gone to shit and wives who "can't" work and a sobbing nanny and mostly, lots and lots of blistering infinite anger in search of a target other than the indefensible practices and corrupted culture of an industry he bought into willingly. It's like, "Oh I'm so happy these guys get to stay home and spend time thinking about what's really important while instilling their own unique values systems in their kids!" Except the opposite:
Let us begin with the cover of Portfolio. It's a gilded city image, a metropolis of lit-up office windows in earth tones, oddly, as it is supposed to be an homage to Berenice Abbott. (A funny reference, as she was told that New York City was too toxic for her to live in and so she left.) Publisher David Carey and Editor in Chief Joanne Lipman are shown in the Times this morning comparing their cover favorably to a recent Fortune cover, with Carey saying, "We're not giving you peas and carrots. We want to capture that glamour." By that measure things are certainly already a success; the magazine certainly weighs as much as Glamour.
Congratulations to Michael Calderone, New York Observer real estate reporter, who has taken the media slot at the paper recently vacated by Gabe Sherman. Calderone's promotion (if you can call working for Tom Scocca a promotion) was reported in the pages of Jossip, and the site's personal relationship with Calderone may have had something to do with its unusual accuracy. Except, you know, for this part: "Rumor has it that many an outside media member was vying for the position (we're guessing Hudson Morgan was somehow on that list?) but the always insider-y pub chose to promote from, well, within."
Squeezed in at the bottom of his column, Keith Kelly reports that after 3 1/2 years at the Observer, marathon media reporter Gabriel Sherman is leaving the poor pink paper for the gilded gates of Conde Nast. Specifically, he'll be a staff writer for their forthcoming business glossy, Portfolio, where he'll never get his face-time with Robert De Niro. On the switch from media whore to regular whore, Sherman tells Gawker: