One Nation Under Fox

There's something "incredibly creepy" about Fox TV mogul Roger Ailes, writes Michael Wolff: "He looks the way you imagine the man behind the curtain looking: That is, he doesn't care about how he looks (which is, as it happens, gray and corpulent). He understands it's all manipulation." Wolff examines the techniques that Ailes has used to turn his right-wing network into a ratings phenomenon: "Fox is not really about politics (CNN, with its antiseptic beltway p.o.v., is arguably more about politics than Fox). It certainly isn't arguing a consistent right-wing case. Rather, it's about having a chip on your shoulder; it's about us versus them, insiders versus outsiders, phonies versus non-phonies, and, in a clever piece of postmodernism, established media against insurgent media. ... In the conventional-wisdom swamp of television, this passes for serious counter-programming. "