Former White House Green Jobs Czar Van Jones says a controversial new biography of Fox News Chief Roger Ailes contains quotes attributed to Ailes that are tantamount to a “disgusting… racial charge” against President Barack Obama.
On pages 222-223 of Roger Ailes: Off Camera, biographer Zev Chafets quotes Ailes as saying: “Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.”
In a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer, Jones blasted Ailes’s critique of Obama’s work ethic, saying it amounted to racially-coded language.
“This is the kind of stuff that is really disgusting at the end of the day,” said Jones. “First of all, Barack Obama’s hair is white. You know, he looks like the black Santa Claus who shaved his beard off. You don’t go from looking like Tiger Woods to looking like Morgan Freeman in three years if you’re not working hard. There’s a racial charge that some people find offensive.”
Jones added: “Nobody calls [House Speaker John] Boehner lazy… This is the kind of stuff that I think really brings us back into the mud.”
However, as Ailes makes clear in the book, the charge that Obama is lazy originated not from the Fox News chief but from Barack Obama himself.
“I didn’t come up with that,” said Ailes. “Obama said that, to Barbara Walters.”
During a 2011 interview with Obama, Barbara Walters asked the president “What’s the trait you most deplore in yourself, and the trait you most deplore in others?”
“Laziness,” replied Obama.
“You’re lazy?” asked Walters.
“You know, it’s interesting,” said Obama. “There is a deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there’s a laziness in me. It’s probably, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it’s sunny outside, and sitting on the beach.”
The Ailes biography also quotes the Fox News media maestro calling Vice President Joe Biden “dumb as an ashtray” and former Speaker Newt Gingrich “a prick.”
Chafets says Ailes and his inner circle granted the biographer unprecedented access when writing the book.
Roger Ailes: Off Camera has zoomed up the Amazon.com bestseller list to #6.