Inside the Mind of Roger Ailes

The Fox News chief has been unusually chatty as of late

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Fox News chairman Roger Ailes is a famously guarded if paranoid man. He lives on remote compound in upstate New York where he owns the local newspaper and has become known for pulling at the puppet strings of American politics behind closed doors. The channel has been celebrating it 15th anniversary just in time for Advertising Week in New York, when networks do their best to woo advertisers into big deals.  This has led to a flurry of Ailes interviews in which he's shared all sorts of thoughts and even feelings about Fox News, Sarah Palin and his family. There have been so many recent articles that we thought we'd give you a recap.

Why did Ailes hire Sarah Palin?  "I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings." (AP)

How does Ailes feel about all the attacks on Fox News? "Every once in a while you want to get up and punch somebody's lights out. If you're a grownup, it comes with the territory." (New York Daily News)

Why does Ailes think other networks attack in the first place? "Everybody who's getting their ass beat vilifies the opponent. This is the first rule of fighting." (AP)

How does Ailes really feel about all of the trash-talking take? "It's very hard on my family. How many times can you be called a fat, right-wing kook who's destroying the world?" (New York Daily News)

How about Americans? "Listen, one out of every 25 people in America is a psychopath." (The Daily Beast)

How about Glenn Beck's comments about President Obama being racist? "[It] became a bit of a branding issue for us." (The Daily Beast)

How about his job? "I've always gone in with 10 or 15 ideas every day. I do get a jolt out of the creative process. The biggest problem is I spend a lot of time in logistical meetings, strategy meetings, and not left alone" (New York Daily News)

How about CNN? "Wolf Blitzer is an excellent reporter, but he's not a star. … He spends half of his time with his back to the camera. I like Wolf. I think he's a good journalist. But I get offended that his back is to the camera." (AP)

How about CNBC? "They have shows about hookers and stuff, don't they?" (The Daily Beast)

How about his unfulfilled dreams? "I always wanted to raise the money to go back and buy the Cleveland Indians and be sure they won one more World Series. But I got sidetracked. [Chuckles] The politically correct crowd would go after me to change the team's name. They'd be all over my ass because I bought the Indians!" (AP)

And what happens when his contract at Fox News expires? "The bad news is, I just went to my doctor and he said, 'Other than arthritis, your chart reads like a 40-year-old's. You're old, you're fat and you're ugly, but you're not going to die from any of those things immediately.' So if I still feel like this and somebody [at Fox News] offers me a job in June of '13, I may just take it." (AP)

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.