While no official cause of death was given for Roger Ailes, who died Thursday at the age of 77, the AP reports the Fox News founder had a serious accident at home in Florida just eight days ago. Palm Beach police say Ailes fell in the bathroom and hit his head. He was rushed to the hospital with heavy bleeding. No other details about the incident were given. Here's more on Ailes' death:
- In an excerpt from his biography run by Vanity Fair, Ailes talked about being diagnosed with hemophilia as a child, saying he used to think "about the fact that any accident could be dangerous or even fatal."
- Here's the moment Fox News broke into its regularly scheduled programming to report the news of its founder's death.
- In his previous career as a GOP political operative, Ailes helped Richard Nixon get elected by making him a better TV presence, the Washington Post reports. He would later use Fox News to do that for all Republican candidates by "providing conservatives with coverage so friendly they might well have produced it themselves."
- Ailes also helped George HW Bush get elected with what Business Insider calls "one of the most infamous political ads of all time," which showed a revolving door letting men in and out of prison while accusing Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis of being soft on crime.
- The New York Daily News reports Ailes' death will make it harder for Fox News to defend itself against more than two dozen lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and racial and gender discrimination because its former head won't be able to testify on behalf of the network or himself.
- Despite his ouster at Fox following sexual harassment claims, US News & World Report argues Ailes' legacy is one of "triumph": "There [is] no space between the Republican Party and right-wing media" and "Washington [is] under united Republican control, with a former Fox News commentator sitting in the Oval Office."
- But Slate counters Ailes died a year too late for that to be the case: "History will remember Ailes not as a brilliant manipulator of mistruths, but as a sad, insecure predator who built a business on the subjugation of women’s bodies."
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