I hope Roger Ailes died screaming. I hope he felt every sensation of pain from the subdural hematoma he suffered; I hope that the shocks wracked his worn-out sack of a body. I hope that, in the throes of that pain, he realized he was dying and he cried out that he wanted to come back, that he didn’t want his last act on earth to have been his dismissal as a lecher and a rapist. I hope he died screaming.
Roger Ailes was a rabid swine, barreling through the fertile cornfields of America and devouring everything in his path, animal, mineral, or vegetable, and then shitting it out as a foamy diarrhea that was lapped up by the rats and roaches that followed his destructive path. Nearly every phase of his too-long life was one betrayal of truth and rationality after another, each one crueler and more harmful than the last. From inflicting upon us Nixon and Reagan and a pair of Bushes and Trump to his creation of Fox News, as insidious a propaganda wing as has ever been devised, each time Ailes one-upped himself in action, staying true to his view of power as being only for the powerful and that power needed to be forced upon the powerless like a fat male executive telling a female employee that the only way to get ahead was to fuck him. And Ailes did that repeatedly to the women who encountered him.
Every chance that Ailes had, he took embers and blew them into infernos with his stinking, wheezing breath. He worked for Nixon and took Tricky Dick’s hatred of the media and made it flesh. He worked for Reagan and taught the Gipper that facts were the enemy. He worked for Bush, Sr. and conspired with Lee Atwater to bury Michael Dukakis in the the mud and shit. Fox News came along shortly before the Bill Clinton impeachment nightmare, and Ailes made sure that the United States had to be dragged through it because it was ratings gold, pushing any crazed conspiracy that could take a blow job and turn it into a national crisis. After that, Fox News under Ailes essentially set the nation’s agenda, along with his fellow bloated garbage bag, Rush Limbaugh. And a good chunk of the nation went gone along, drinking his Kool-Aid like it was piss from Jesus, finding comfort in the madness that Fox and its children like Breitbart present. The rest of the media began to take its cues from Fox because they allowed Fox to call the tunes.
Ailes wanted to debase anyone who didn’t bow down to him and his corrupt, materialistic ideology, and the odious Rupert Murdoch gave Ailes Fox as his vehicle for vengeance. Ask Hillary Clinton, who has been Ailes’s victim for the longest period. Ask the family of George Tiller, the doctor who performed abortions and was gunned down by someone deluded by Fox’s stars, the depraved O’Reilly, the revolting Hannity. Ask Gary Condit, the Democratic congressman whose non-involvement in the death of an intern was the focus of Fox’s monomania before 9/11 blew that off the front page. Ask the families of the soldiers who died in Iraq, a war that Fox demanded be fought lest politicians want to be tarred as unAmerican. Ask John Kerry, a war hero who was demeaned by the ludicrous and false allegations of the Swift Boat Vets, lies pushed endlessly by Fox, until he lost the presidential race.
And Ailes would make sure that the conservative version of any issue was given prominence. So science and authority had to be derided, as with Fox’s support for climate change denialism. So protesters marching against police or war had to be demonized and the Tea Party fucknuts had to be lionized because they were valiant patriots standing up to the authoritarian Barack Obama. The lies that Ailes spun formed a cocoon around the minds of millions.
From the right and even from the left, you’re hearing about what a good guy Ailes could be, how he was a great party guest and “raconteur.” Goddamn, I’m sick of hearing how terrible human beings can be great hangs. It’s a despicable way to judge a person with power. You judge them by how they use their power. So who the fuck cares if George W. Bush is a fun guy? Who the fuck cares if Donald Trump can be charming?
Roger Ailes was a sentient dumpster filled with heaps of lies and an enormous appetite for control. We shouldn’t give a single mouse shit about how he could tell a funny story about Mike Douglas. The guy bought his hometown newspaper, warped it to suit his beliefs, and then had the employees spied on because he thought they might be saying mean things about him. He was a racist, sexist, xenophobic slug who sexually assaulted multiple women. Fuck that Jabba the Hutt-looking motherfucker. We should all be thrilled that he doesn’t infect the earth he helped ruin anymore.
Down in Hell, Ailes thought he might be able to make a deal with Satan. “Listen, Lucifer, buddy, you’ve got some PR problems. Lemme make one or two ghost visits to Steve Doocy. I promise you that we’ll get you some solid Q ratings,” he told the Devil. Satan didn’t care because, well, he’s Satan. So he locked Ailes in a red room surrounded by windows. On the other side of the windows were women. At least he thought they were women but he couldn’t be entirely sure because their backs were to him. He tried to talk to them, to charm them, to threaten them, anything to get them to turn around, to look at him, to listen to him. They did not. Then, above him, a drip started, just a drop at a time. He didn’t even see it until it had formed a tiny puddle on the floor. Ailes realized it was shit.
And he realized there was no drain.
And he realized that he could only watch as it slowly, agonizingly, began to pool.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on May 19, 2017, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.