Roger Ailes: 'I Hired Sarah Palin Because She Was Hot'

Fox News chief says he was concerned about ratings, not politics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2011 1:08 PM CDT
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.   (AP Photo/2MK Studio/Fox News)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – In an interview with the AP about the 15th anniversary of Fox News, Roger Ailes has set off a mini-tizzy with this line about Sarah Palin: "I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings." He was deflecting criticism that the channel is politically biased—as in, he hired her for ratings, not her politics. Samples of how it's playing:

  • "The "quote is stunning in its own right, but it’s worth noting that were it coming from a progressive figure, he would likely be immediately tarred and feathered by conservatives as a sexist," writes Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress.

  • Oh come on, writes Jon Bershad at Mediaite. "Even if Ailes really meant 'hot' as in physically attractive, is it really groundbreaking news that a television president sees a benefit in putting pretty women in front of the camera?"
  • Ailes seems to be "positioning himself as News Corp.'s crazy uncle, letting loose some blunt lines clearly designed to raise eyebrows," writes John Cook at Gawker. As for the Palin line: "Brilliant! Question dodged, blogs lit up."

My Take on This Story