Friday, July 08, 2011

The Long Game

Before he hooked up with Murdoch's money, Roger Ailes was a GOP dirty trickster and propagandist. Many of the top Republican ops learned how it was done while working for Nixon.

The "Southern Strategy" for scooping up the angry white South angry about civil rights was conceived under Nixon. The South that never forgave Lincoln for freeing the slaves had voted Democratic for a hundred years but Nixon saw an opportunity to appeal to the region's racism (and juice it a bit) and the South has been solid Republican ever since.

Papers recently discovered in the Nixon Library show that Roger Ailes came up with the concept for FoxNews while working for Nixon. Eisenhower Republicanism died during the Nixon years and was replaced with something nastier, something that appealed to hatreds and fears rather than hopes and dreams. If news organizations delivered inconvenient truths, Ailes had the idea of controlling the news by owning it. Cynical? Yes. Successful? That too.

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