Don't let this one slip away: The Nation has run a very good piece
on the very real likelihood that FOX News chieftain Roger Ailes has countenanced -- even encouraged -- phone hacking in the United States.
The allegation is a bit complex, but if you can follow this paragraph, you'll have the guts of the thing:
Dan Cooper was one of the people who helped create the Fox News channel with Roger Ailes, and was fired in 1996. In 2008, Cooper wrote on his website that David Brock (now head of Media Matters) had used him as an anonymous, on-background-only source for an Ailes profile he was writing for New York magazine. Before the piece was published, on November 17, 1997, Cooper claims that his talent agent, Richard Leibner, told him he had received a call from Ailes, who identified Cooper as a source, and insisted that Leibner drop him as a client--or any client reels Leibner sent Fox would pile up in a corner and gather dust.
A quote from Cooper:
“I made the connections. Ailes knew I had given Brock the interview. Certainly Brock didn’t tell him. Of course. Fox News had gotten Brock’s telephone records from the phone company, and my phone number was on the list. Deep in the bowels of 1211 Avenue of the Americas, News Corporation’s New York headquarters, was what Roger called the Brain Room. Most people thought it was simply the research department of Fox News. But unlike virtually everybody else, because I had to design and build the Brain Room, I knew it also housed a counterintelligence and black ops office. So accessing phone records was easy pie.”
Weirdly enough, Brock refused to talk to The Nation
about all of this. Brock also refused to talk to me about the "Whitey tape" rumor, in which his name came up. (Yes, I'm very small potatoes compared to The Nation
, but the "Whitey" thing was a fairly sizable controversy at one time.)Here's Cooper's post
. It's written in an overwrought style reminiscent of film noir, but I still find it credible. Cooper claims that Roger Ailes once admitted that he (Ailes) was a diagnosed paranoid.
To demonstrate that claim, Cooper tells a story about the time Roger Ailes asked for bomb-proof windows to be installed in his (Ailes') offices.
So I asked Roger. “Roger, do you mind if I ask why the glass should be bomb-proof?”
Roger said “Because as soon as we’re on the air, homosexual activists are going to be down there every day protesting". He chuckled "And who knows what the hell they’ll do”. Roger was worried that gays might bomb him.