Resurrecting a sleepy small-town newspaper is a tough job. But it's even tougher when Fox News chairman Roger Ailes uses the News Corp. security detail to spy on you. According to Gawker's John Cook and Hamilton Nolan, Ailes has been doing just that to his staffers at the Putnam County News and Recorder, one of two small Hudson Valley-area newspapers owned by Ailes and his wife Elizabeth, near where they planned to retire. Cook and Nolan write "more than 10 full-time and freelance staffers have left the Ailes' Putnam County papers in the last 10 months," including former News and Recorder staffer Joe Lindsey, a former Weekly Standard editorial assistant brought in personally by Ailes to turn the paper around. After Lindsey quit in January, he was driving to get lunch when he noticed a black Navigator following him. Suspicious, he eventually "got a look at the driver, who was a News Corporation security staffer that Lindsley happened to know socially. Lindsley continued on his way and later called the driver to ask if he was following him. The answer was yes, at Ailes' direction."
In addition to the car incident, there were other indications the Aileses were tracking the movements of their staffers. In March, Roger Ailes "confronted the three staffers and accused them of badmouthing him and Elizabeth during their lunch breaks" and multiple staffers told Gawker they had "reason to suspect that their e-mail was being read and that rooms in the News and Recorder offices were bugged."
As if that wasn't weird enough, try this on for size: per Cook and Nolan's piece, the Aileses' redesigned layout of the "single unisex bathroom in the papers' headquarters features portraits of Elizabeth and Roger on the walls, watching you, while you poop."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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