Ailes: The Selling of Toughness

In The Selling of the President 1968, Joe McGinnis sketched a scene of Richard Nixon backstage at the Mike Douglas Show in 1967. "It's a shame a man has to use gimmicks like this to get elected," Nixon said to Roger Ailes, the program's producer. Ailes, then 28, shot back, "Television is not a gimmick." The following year, Ailes was hired to help create the "new" Nixon. In 1984 he helped prepare Ronald Reagan for his second debate with Walter Mondale, giving him the effective quip "I'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience."

Ailes has...

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