Bill Clinton could've had his very own Fox News talk show. Imagine! If only he was able to stick to time-cues, stop talking about ethanol so much and just be his "charming," "smart," and "glib" self. Then Roger Ailes would've happily green-lighted a program somewhere alongside the Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck time slots. This we learn courtesy of Esquire's interview transcripts (which turned into a widely-debated profile of the Fox News chief).
Here's what Ailes told the magazine about a Bill Clinton show on Fox:
Well, I talked to him. The problem with Bill is he won't be as good on a talk show as you'd think. Because, first of all, he never shuts up. I mean he cannot hit time cues. But I went up to Harlem, I met with him for an hour, an hour and a half, I asked him to do a special, which he's still thinking about. I'd like to have it; I'd like to have him do a special for us. The problem with him in a talk-show mode is not that he's not charming, good, smart, and glib. He is. But he loves to talk about policy. He's actually a policy wonk. So if you really want eighteen minutes on ethanol, he'll give it to you. But it won't get ratings. So you have to be able to produce him and say, "Most people are not that interested in ethanol, Mr. President. What we'd like you to talk about is this." And if he would stick with current affairs and stick with the clock, he'd be one of the great talk-show people in the world.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.