Fox News reacts to Roger Ailes’ death
Fox News revealed that its former CEO Roger Ailes had died on Thursday during a somber breaking news segment on its morning show.
"Fox & Friends" co-hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy read a statement from Ailes’ wife Elizabeth in which she said Roger was "a loving husband" and "a patriot."
Ailes, who died at 77, transformed cable news and American politics by building Fox News into a ratings powerhouse, but he was fired from the network last summer amid several sexual harassment allegations against him, which he denied. In its coverage of his death Thursday morning, Fox referred only obliquely to the scandal, and did not mention the federal investigation of the network that has come out of it.
During the morning show, Earhardt, who appeared choked up, said Ailes’ wife and "beautiful son" were in their thoughts and prayers and told him to rest in peace.
"He went out in such a sad way, but who doesn’t have sins," Earhardt said. "We all have our sins and cross to bear and Roger, I will love you forever. You gave me an opportunity and I will forever be grateful and know that I would not have this job if it was weren’t for you. You rest in peace Roger and I hope that you are at peace."
Co-host Brian Kilmeade also shared his feelings, saying Ailes considered himself a "lunch pail guy" and that he was a "blue collar guy in a white collar position."
Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean was also on the show when the news broke and seemed very emotional.
"I wouldn’t be here without that man," she said. "When I was diagnosed with MS he got on the phone and said, ‘Whatever we can do for your family because we are a family.’"
The news about Ailes’ death came as "Fox & Friends" was ending but Bill Hemmer and Shannon Bream continued to discuss it during their show, "America’s Newsroom."
Bream said that Ailes created a space for Americans who felt their views weren’t represented by other media outlets and Hemmer said few people realized just how funny Ailes was.
Hemmer said that whenever he visited Ailes at his home, they’d start the evening by saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
He also repeatedly called Ailes’ wife "an angel on Earth" and said any man would be proud to call Ailes’ son their own.
Hemmer then shared a public statement from Fox News host Sean Hannity, who said America had just lost "one of its great patriotic warriors."
"Few people in this life will ever reach the profound level of impact that Roger Ailes had on the country every single day," Hannity said. "As his opponents played checkers in life, Roger was always the strategist, playing Chess, 5 steps ahead at a whole other level."
Hannity also said Ailes was like a second father to him after his father died shortly after he joined Fox News.