In between his firing and his death, Roger Ailes confided in his close friend, Michael Wolff about what things were going on behind the scenes. It explains a lot. Fox news noticeably moved to the left this last year during the election. Ailes claimed that Murdoch begged him to abandon Trump and to support Hillary, which he refused to do. That could explain why Ailes was fired on the very same day that President Trump accepted the republican nomination for president.
Wolff writes that he began speaking with Ailes soon after he left Fox News, with the men meeting in person initially at his home in New Jersey and later speaking by phone when Ailes and his wife Elizabeth moved down to Palm Beach, where they purchased a $36 million mansion.
‘This was, of course, a window into the fleetingness of power,’ writes Wolff.
‘The single most influential person in conservative politics one day, and the next, waiting for the phone to ring.’
Wolff also confirms the much widely-held belief that in the end it was a battle between Ailes and Murdoch’s two sons, Lachlan and James.
Ailes had the upper-hand in their dealings for years according to Wolff, and once said of the Murdoch’s two heirs: ‘I make the money; they spend it.’
That all changed however after Gretchen Carlson filed her sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes and the network.
Murdoch came from his honeymoon with Hall and, when Lachlan and James voiced their belief that Ailes had to go, he ‘had to side with his sons.’
This later caused a bit of difficulty however for Murdoch when Trump did win the race, and he had to quickly make amends with the man he had been less than kind about during the campaign.
‘After the election, a confounded Murdoch had to call on his ex-wife Wendi’s friends, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, to broker a rapprochement with the disreputable Donald,’ writes Wolff.
He then adds: ‘Now, to Trump’s great satisfaction, a humbled Murdoch is a constant caller.’
Prior to his termination, Ailes dismissed Murdoch’s demands and criticisms according to Wolff, who wrote:’ Ailes, for his part, characterized Murdoch’s periodic efforts at interference as similar to Nixon’s instructions to bomb this or that country — best ignored.’