Liberal journalists reacted with nastiness and glee Thursday to news of the death of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, using his death to make cheap jokes and hot takes to pick up likes and retweets from their left-wing colleagues and followers.
Ailes, a former Republican political consultant, established Fox News, along with News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, in 1996. He revolutionized the media landscape as he guided Fox as CEO for 20 years, until his departure last year amid a number of sexual harassment allegations.
At the news of Ailes’ death, many outlets and commentators hailed Ailes’ monumental achievements, while also noting his controversies and flaws. Even Rev. Al Sharpton — who was in many ways the opposite of everything Ailes stood for — paid tribute to him and said, “his impact on US culture is undeniable.”
Meanwhile, Fox journalists and hosts paid tribute to the man who turned the once-tiny network into a media powerhouse.
Roger Ailes died this morning, our deepest sympathies to Beth and his son Zach. Roger was a media genius, good friend and great American.
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) May 18, 2017
RIP Roger Ailes, who 20 yrs ago gave me a chance to thrive @ the fledgling Fox News Channel. Thoughts & prayers for Elizabeth & Zachary.
— RickLeventhalFoxNews (@RickLeventhal) May 18, 2017
But among some left-wing journalists, the story was very different. In a Twitter climate where all that matters is impressing other beltway journalists, and picking up likes and retweets through cheap jokes and hot takes, the atmosphere quickly became toxic.
Alexandra Petri, a writer for The Washington Post, jumped on the allegations of sexual harassment to mock both Ailes and those at Fox grieving his death.
skirts at Fox News today will be lowered to half-mast
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) May 18, 2017
Other writers focused on those allegations.
Roger Ailes dedicated his life to spreading hateful lies, but at least he was also a disgusting monster in his personal life #consistency
— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) May 18, 2017
Roger Ailes, notorious sex creep and tormenter of women, is also a good descriptor or clause. https://t.co/mEACAF0nHX
— Heather Mallick (@HeatherMallick) May 18, 2017
Yes, Roger Ailes was a TV genius. He also had an apparently monstrous personal life and nasty, dangerous editorial instincts.
— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) May 18, 2017
Sweetie, if Roger Ailes wanted nice things said in death, he shouldn't been a racist fuckwad who sexually-harassed women all his life. https://t.co/YGyE0Ib2Gm
— Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) May 18, 2017
Meanwhile, Business Insider’s Josh Barro accused Ailes of changing America’s culture for the worse and “making people dumber and angrier.”
Roger Ailes behaved egregiously toward women in his organization and changed our culture for the worse, making people dumber and angrier.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) May 18, 2017
Other blue check marks followed this line of attack, while some just enjoyed their moment.
Roger Ailes did irreparable harm to America's political psyche.
— Matt Saccaro (@MattSaccaro) May 18, 2017
There are going to be a lot of people chiding you for dancing on Roger Ailes' grave, but, trust me buddy, it won't be me.
— Harrison Jacobs (@Harrisonxjacobs) May 18, 2017
Racist, fearmonger, and serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes has died. pic.twitter.com/8ACtcVKe4t
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) May 18, 2017
Somewhere in heaven…people are just hearing about how Roger Ailes is in hell now
— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) May 18, 2017
It seems that a journalism degree can give you a lot of things — but class may not be one of them.
Adam Shaw is a political reporter for Breitbart News. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY