Roger Ailes Spent Millions Of Fox News Profits To Take Down His Enemies

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Drip, drip, drip.

With each day comes a new leak of information concerning the illicit activities of former Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes.

The brainchild behind the conservative TV network, Ailes was ousted last month as CEO for several sexual harassment allegations. Now he’s facing accusations of spending millions of Rupert Murdoch’s money to set up a “Black Ops” fund to take down his enemies, personal and political.

Talk about keeping your enemies close!

If it sounds a bit “Nixonian,” it should. Ailes was a key aide to Richard M. Nixon during his White House years.

According to New York Magazine, Fox News executives discovered that Ailes used the network’s $1 billion budget to create a “Black Room” fund in order to target journalists who reported negative stories about him.

What set off the alarms? According to NYM writer Gabriel Sherman, it was an investigation looking into how Ailes spent millions of dollars to settle previous sexual harassment lawsuits with virtually no oversight.

The “Black Room” was set up on the 14th floor of Murdoch’s News Corp headquarters building in Manhattan. In addition to tracking his foes, it developed smear campaigns against them with the help of private detectives, including a company owned by Fox News regular Bo Dietl, consultants and political operatives who reported only to Ailes. His private detectives were in charge of building files on the journalists and leaking info to blogs in the hope of damaging their reputations.

Can you imagine what Fox would do if they found out another network was doing this to them?!?

Network sources said Ailes had free rein to spend part of Fox’s $1 billion in profits on whatever he wanted with no questions asked. The network’s $1 billion profits were also used to settle lawsuits brought by his employees.

“It was the culture. You didn’t ask questions, and Roger wouldn’t entertain questions,” one Fox executive explained, with another saying the money used for investigations and settlements were dismissed as a “rounding error.”

The thing is — budget expenditures needed approval by other Fox News bosses. So if millions of dollars were being used for the “Black Room,” who else at Fox higher up, including Rupert Murdoch, knew about the money?

Network executives have said they weren’t aware of the expenditures and have denied any knowledge. But CFO Mark Kranz approved budget expenditures, and that general counsel Dianne Brandi approved contracts.

Who’s investigating what and whom? A Blue Chip law firm is investigating the sexual harassment lawsuits, but investigators for the “Black Room” aren’t talking. They are, however, looking into how Ailes was able to spend the money without any oversight

Last week, Fox News reportedly dismissed five consultants whom Ailes had hired to work on his personal behalf.

Ailes’ lawyers have denied the allegations, but everyone knows that denial isn’t a river in Egypt.

Among Ailes’ targets were Gawker editors John Cook and Hamilton Nolan — who were subjected to private surveillance — as well a former Fox employee Andrea Mackris who filed a highly publicized sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox star Bill O’Reilly in 2004 that was reportedly settled for $10 million.

Susan Estrich, a spokesperson for the now deposed media executive has denied the allegations, saying they “are totally false.” Of course she does.

Never before was calling this network “Fix News” ever more true. Roger Ailes was “the fixer”; he put the fix in on all his enemies, just like his former boss Nixon.

As the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. And he is huge.

Roger Ailes is the Nixon of media.

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