Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Ailes versus Arianna: Who won?

It's rare in politics when two media gladiators go at it publicly. Usually, they stay in their own fiefdoms, secure in the knowledge that they are ruler of a vast and important empire.

But Sunday, the gloves came off when Arianna Huffington, the onetime gubernatorial candidate who has carved out a niche as a titan of the liberal blogosphere, faced Roger Ailes, the Republican operative who has built Fox News in his own conservative image on ABC's "This Week."

When Huffington challenged Ailes for putting former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on his airwaves, Ailes suggested that Fox was just showing its "fair and balanced" side by giving a platform to Palin as it had for Geraldine Ferraro, the Democrats' first female candidate for vice president.

“I'm not in politics," Ailes explained, "I'm in ratings.”

When Huffington complained that Fox commentator Glenn Beck was inciting paranoia among Americans about politics with comments like his accusation that President Obama was a racist, Ailes replied that Beck was "talking about Hitler and Stalin slaughtering people. So I think he was probably accurate."

Here's the full exchange and the video.

HUFFINGTON: Aren't you concerned about the language that Glenn Beck is using, which is, after all, inciting the American people? There is a lot of suffering out there, as you know, and when he talks about people being slaughtered, about who is going to be the next in the killing spree...

AILES: Well, he was talking about Hitler and Stalin slaughtering people. So I think he was probably accurate. Also, I'm a little....

HUFFINGTON: No, no, he was talking about this administration.

AILES: I don't -- I think he speaks English. I don't know, but I mean, I don't misinterpret any of his words. He did say one unfortunate thing, which he apologized for, but that happens in live television. So I don't think it's -- I think if we start going around as the word police in this business, it will be...

HUFFINGTON: It's not about the word police. It's about something deeper. It's about the fact that there is a tradition, as the historian Richard Hofstetter said, in American politics, of the paranoid style. And the paranoid style is dangerous when there is real pain out there. I mean, with...

AILES: I agree with you. I read something on your blog that said I looked like J. Edgar Hoover, I had a face like a fist, and I was essentially a malignant tumor...

HUFFINGTON: Well, that's...

AILES: And I thought -- and then it got nasty after that...

HUFFINGTON: ... that was never by anybody that we had...

AILES: Then it really went nasty, and I thought, gee, maybe Arianna ought to cut this out, but...

Ever since the show, liberal bloggers have been trying to figure out what Ailes meant when he said Beck apologized for some "unfortunate" utterance. Anyone know what it is?

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Getty Images

Click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item all day every day. Or follow us @latimestot. You can also go to our new Facebook fan page here.

Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Since when Fox is most trust network. HAHAHAHHAHA
Fox does not go along well with such words like credibility, trust worthy, serious news etc...
It is so funny that they just keep making up news and called it the "facts"

The winner was whoever you wanted to be the winner. Although it's interesting no one seemed to think Pelosi's comment about Tea Baggers was paranoid. No one does hate speech better than an indignant liberal.

I think Glenn made some form of 'apologetic' reference to his comments about Scott Brown. Maybe Roger was referring to that. . . .

Why is it that anytime someone airs important information about our country to the public and especially if it's against the Democratic party or it's leaders and facts back up what is being aired then here comes the smear tactics. I wish people would wake up and quit the high school games. If you were honestly elected into office then why don't you spend your time and energy focusing on the countries problems not going around smearing people to what you hopefully think will help you. I am ashamed of this countries leaders who act more like a spoiled rich kid not getting their way than an elected official to do a job that is not getting done. As for Glenn Beck-if he's reporting truth then why aren't the mainstream reporters reporting the truth or are you bought off like so many dems have been lateley. Do you honestly think these childish ways are not going to catch up to you. What goes around comes around and hits alot harder when it does.

Huffington embarrassed herself once again.

Huffington has a glass jaw . Put her on the clock with Ailes for an extended period of time and it would be over by half time. She is, as was Jimmy Swaggert, a textbook-case example of projection. She rails against inflammatory rhetoric (as Ailes pointed out) unless it serves her purpose and denies advocating censorship while employing a goon squad for an editorial staff that will allow defamatory remarks to be published about her opponents while suppressing contrary opinions about those for whom she advocates.

It's the blogosphere where anything goes. We get the rules. She doesn't have the courage or integrity to admit she plays by them.

the fights are so common when you are in political discussions, that nothing really surprises me. but good for many it is entertaining to watch these programs, besides that are drawn to each other much important information for all of us watching.

I think Roger was a class act, Huffington a sniping harpy.

Great post.I wish you continued success.

Yes, thats the question...


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: