The son of ex-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes says he’s coming after those whom he believes betrayed his father.
The elder Ailes died last Thursday from complications from a head injury after a fall about a week prior. He also suffered from the blood disorder hemophilia. Ailes was also overweight.
Roger Ailes exited the Fox News Channel in July 2016 amidst sexual harassment allegations, which he denied.
His private funeral was held at St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday, with about 65 guests in attendance.
Delivering a eulogy for his dad, Zachary Ailes, 17, seemingly put his the Roger Ailes accusers on notice that he intends to clear the media industry exec’s name, LifeZette.com reported.
“I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I’m coming after them, and hell is coming with me.”
According to BizPacReview, Ailes borrowed that line from the movie Tombstone. “Others in attendance had kind words and memories of the media and political giant.”
About his father, Zach Ailes added that “I loved my father. He considered how much certain people hated him as a measure of success.”
Luminaries attending the funeral included Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Bill Hemmer, radio host Rush Limbaugh, and LifeZette editor-in-chief Laura Ingraham. JFK brother Robert Kennedy’s widow Ethel Kennedy also attended with her son, Fox News employee Douglas Kennedy, as did ex-Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Roger Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 and turned it into a ratings powerhouse.
“It is not clear who the teen is threatening — the women, or the Murdochs who are believed to have ousted Ailes from Fox News and did not appear to attend his funeral, or both,” the Daily Mail observed in reacting to the younger Ailes’ funeral speech.
The priest who officiated at the funeral may have implied that the media mogul suffered from the sexual harassment accusations in the context of his health, the New York Post noted, which former O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly seemed to concur with in a USA Today Op-Ed.
“We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective. The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters. Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him. That is the truth. But he would not want to be remembered that way. He did both good and bad in his life and in that, he has something in common with every human being.”
Parenthetically, it is unclear how Roger Ailes passing will affect the pending legal cases against him and the news network, given that he will obviously no longer be able to testify in any of them that make it to trial.
Bill O’Reilly was one of Ailes’ first hires when FNC launched. O’Reilly, the network’s top star, left FNC last month under a similar cloud as Ailes compounded by an advertiser boycott. The Murdoch family announced his separation while O’Reilly was in Rome on vacation.
O’Reilly is still active with a “no-spin news” podcast as well as a weekly phone interview with Glenn Beck. O’Reilly has previously argued that his departure was orchestrated by a left-wing cabal and that he would be bringing forth more information in corroboration of same.
In the USA Today essay and in his conversation with Glenn Beck, O’Reilly underscored how Ailes would stand by loyal employees in tough times, unlike most media executives.
In an exchange with Beck, O’Reilly also asserted — perhaps alluding to both his own situation and that of his former boss Roger Ailes — that the media industry is all about money, and that anybody who gets in the way of that income stream will quickly find themselves on the outside looking in.
Beck mentioned that MSNBC recently beat Fox News in the ratings for the first time that anyone can remember.
O’Reilly responded that the network seems to be improvising its primetime schedule by lacking a plan for dealing with the departure of key people, something that is necessary in any highly competitive industry. “Tucker Carlson is very talented, he’s very good, but I don’t see a plan,” Bill O’Reilly told Beck about his successor in the coveted 8 p.m. Eastern time platform.
Like him or not, Roger Ailes was considered a master programmer who had his finger on the pulse of middle America.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]