With so much being said on the left and the right about the hostility between Fox News and the White House, it is perhaps only natural that some on the right are pushing for Fox News architect and Fox Studios boss Roger Ailes to run for president. Nor would the notion of a corporate CEO heading up the GOP ticket be entirely at odds with the neoconservative movement's 'government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations' philosophy of economics and policy.
Leaving Fox News, and Ailes himself, aside for the moment it is still an item of trivia emblematic of our times. This year has seen corporate entities collude to block major labor reform, judges plead guilty to criminal charges related to judicial misconduct on behalf of private prison corporations, and military contractors bring massive pressure to bear on legislators to prevent the government from ceasing to grant contracts to corporations that cover up incidences of alleged rape. These are just three incidents of the most egregious corporate encroachment upon the public sphere. It doesn't take the little things that happen every day into account. When corporations have a such a deeply entitled sense of their ownership of the United States of America, the idea that a corporate CEO should run for president as the standard bearer of the corporate party is almost obvious.
Then throw Fox News back into the picture. The network has a documented history of misrepresenting the news in order to beat a neoconservative political drum. They have been conducting a non-stop offensive against Barack Obama since before he was even the official Democratic nominee. It has only intensified since he was actually elected. Combine this with the culture of corporate entitlement choking the oxygen from the collective brain of the Republican Party and the neoconservative establishment and the notion that the CEO of Fox would be an obvious presidential candidate becomes even more obvious.
Finally, there is Ailes himself. Before going into the media business during the Clinton presidency, Ailes was a political gunslinger for the Republican Party. He worked the 1984 and 1988 election campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. So he is not stranger to Republican presidential politics.
Ailes is a logical 'anti-Obama' candidate. The conditions are as primed for such an outside-the-box nomination now as they were when Wendell Wilkie captured the Republican nomination to campaign on behalf of corporations against 'socialism' during the Depression and New Deal. Ailes might not have Wilkie's corporate baggage in the way a bank CEO might; Wilkie was immediately tagged by many Americans as the kind of 'practical' businessman who had let the crash of 1929 happen. Ailes, a professional political propagandist, is likely free of that taint.
Despite the tone of some of the sources for the Politico article linked in the first paragraph, I'm not so sure this is a done thing. Professional propagandists don't always like to take the stage and make targets of themselves. Fox has a laundry list of dishonesties and bad associations with which Ailes could be tagged and I'm not sure he wants to expose himself to that. It might be interesting to see him run, however, just to see whether any of the other potential nominees would be interested in taking Fox on in hopes of winning.
That is probably the reason Ailes won't run. As long as Fox remains the media arm of the Republican Party, the GOP's presidential hopefuls will court it for their benefit. If it looks like Fox wants to take control of the Republican Party, all those who might want that control for themselves might suddenly become crusaders for ethical journalism. This could not only threaten Ailes' candidacy, but also threaten the monolithic power of Fox to make opinion and influence other conservative media and the larger conservative message.
Then we might wish to take the toxic corporate culture of our era into mind: A man like Roger Ailes almost certainly feels that, as a CEO, he is more powerful than any president and the job would only be a demotion.
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