Roger Ailes



Roger Ailes, the man who crafted Fox News and reshaped the way cable news is presented, died Thursday at the age of 77.

There’s been a lot of comments about the genius of Ailes and how he tarnished his legacy with allegations of sexual harassment, which eventually ousted him from Fox. I disagree. His legacy was already tarnished.

A friend took the opportunity of Ailes’ death to post a comment on Facebook criticizing liberals who were rejoicing over the death of Ailes. He’s right that many on the left were downright gleeful, but he’s always strangely silent when conservatives are guilty of the same crime, celebrating at the death or illness of a Democrat.

Here’s the real irony my conservative “friend” will never catch: That is Roger Ailes’ legacy.

Conservatives love to play the victim card. They wail and whine how the media has a liberal bias. But they’re not advocating for an unbiased news outlet. Their answer to a supposed left-wing biased media is more biased media…except one that feeds their confirmation bias. Ailes fed that. Fox News is the media and it’s the largest in viewership, yet conservatives still play victim to the press. Snowflakes claim their voices aren’t heard.

Roger Ailes started as a political operative and he never stopped after he jumped into the news business. Many journalists credit Ailes for their careers, but so do Republican politicians. He’s had his finger in the election of every Republican president since Nixon. Even while leading “fair and balanced” Fox he was consulting with Republican presidents and candidates.

Ailes gave us Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck. While there are agenda driven left-wing sites such as Occupy Democrats and Daily Kos, Fox News inspired the Daily Caller, TownHall, and Breitbart, and they’re all pissed off. Here’s the thing, Chuckles: If it’s a right-wing or left-wing news site, it’s not news. It’s propaganda. It’s divisive.

That is Roger Ailes’ legacy.

Enough with speaking ill of the dead. Let’s recognize the passing of a true artist. Let’s talk about…

Chris Cornell.

I’m a huge fan of music that comes from Seattle. It’s not a bias for the city or I’m carrying a love for flannel and frosty, wet weather that’ll depress the hell out of you. It’s that the artists who come from that corner of the Northwest were kinda isolated from what radio and MTV told us what was supposed to be popular and what we should listen to. While Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana, are all classified as “grunge,” those four bands don’t sound much alike, and they didn’t sound anything like the music radio was telling us to absorb in the late 80s and early 90s. They ignored that and followed their own rules.

Cornell was a brilliant songwriter with a voice that soared above others. You can argue he was the best pure singer to come from the entire “grunge” scene with only Layne Staley from AIC being able to challenge him. That would be a good argument.

Cornell was a rock’n’roll bad ass. Years ago I was hanging with fellow musicians at an after party and the front man (who is a brilliant vocalist and songwriter in his own right) for another band, She Bites Dogs, was drunk and threw out a silly question. “If you’re not gay but had to sleep with a famous dude, who would it be?” He may have also been high. While every guy in the room was stumbling for an answer, he threw out an answer in a millisecond after his own question. He chose Chris Cornell. While we didn’t have time to think about it, it seemed it had been on his mind for a while. But it made sense. Cornell wasn’t just a really good-looking dude. He was cool. He was talented. He’s the kind of guy girls want and yes, guys would want to be. He didn’t even get too much shit when he cut off his long hair in the mid-90s, He was that cool. When you’re that cool, you can do whatever the hell you want.

Cornell has a legacy. Imagine the vocal abilities of Elvis in a format with a hard rocking band with songs that did not suck. Cornell’s vocal cords had balls. Soundgarden was pure fury with an intense depth musically and lyrically. Soundgarden is the band that Nickelback wishes they could be, but to be fair, every band probably wants to be Soundgarden. The first Soundgarden song that will come to mind for the casual listener is probably “Black Hole Sun,”  but there’s so much more they should check out. Check out the anger, screaming vocals, profanity, pure adrenaline rush, and banjo (yes. Banjo!), in Ty Cobb.

“Loud Love” is a great description for Soundgarden, yet there was more to Cornell than loud music. While still in Soundgarden and before they made it big, he put together Temple of the Dog, which was a collaboration between him and the future members of Pearl Jam that was a one-shot tribute to his roommate and friend Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone who died from a heroin overdose. Check out Chris dueting with a very young and inexperienced Eddie Vedder on “Hunger Strike.” After Soundgarden he had a solo career that a lot of his fans weren’t very fond of, as the music was a lot softer and, because he was cool and could do whatever he wanted, he covered Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. He also delivered an amazing version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” Cornell formed Audioslave (he apparently likes hearing terms in band names) with the former members of Rage Against The Machine. It rocked but it didn’t come close to the innovation, brilliance, and pure hunger of Soundgarden. Soundgarden kicks ass.

Cornell died in Detroit Thursday from an apparent suicide while on a solo tour. He joins other Seattle music tragedies such as Staley, Cobain, and Hendrix. He wrote about death often such as in “Say Hello To Heaven” from Temple Of The Dog, “Like A Stone”, from Audioslave, and “Jesus Christ Pose”  from Soundgarden.

I’m sure Heaven is enthusiastic to say hello to Chris Cornell.

Creative note: This blog took a while because I wasn’t able to find all those links without listening to each song. I have to draw a cartoon today for The Seattle Times and The Costa Rica Star and I’ll be jamming to Chris’ music while I do so.

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Debate That Badonkadonk


I don’t believe the word “badonkadonk” is one I would ever use in a conversation. “Bow chicka bow wow” however… Naturally I had to look up how to spell both words. Did you know there’s a country song titled “Badonkadonk?” Do yourself a favor and do not look it up. I don’t want to be blamed if you listen to it.

Donald Trump continues to be tone deaf and unrealistic. He campaigns in states he doesn’t stand a chance of winning, like Wisconsin, Maine, and Connecticut. He complains that the polls are turning against him yet he’s not actually campaigning. He gives a speech about how the Democrats are exploiting African Americans, to an entirely white audience.

Trump has called women “dogs,” “fat pigs,” “slobs,” and “bimbos.” He accused Megyn Kelly of having “blood coming out of her whatever.” He kicked a mother and her baby out of one of his hate rallies. He said if his daughter was sexually harassed at work that he’d expect her to just find a new job.

Trump is losing the women vote to Hillary Clinton by double-digit margins in seven key battleground states.

So what’s his next move in this area? Recruit his buddy and recently ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes to prep him for his debates against a woman. Ailes was kicked out of the right wing news organization after allegations of sexual harassment from former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. Now he’s facing the same accusation from at least 19 more women.

Trump has denied Ailes is helping him prepare for the debate and states he doesn’t need coaching and isn’t preparing at all. He’s probably just planing to talk about his and Bill Clinton’s penises.

Ailes has a lot of history of helping Republican presidential candidates prepare for debates from making Nixon look cuddly, Reagan look awake, and George H.W. Bush appear in touch with reality. Maybe he can make Trump look like something other than a dumbass.

Trump is not doing well with Millennials, Hispanics, Blacks, the educated, people who know stuff, or women. I’m not sure that Trump, a serial philanderer, can boost those numbers by having a serial sexual harasser coach him to beat up a woman.

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Roger Ailes Sugar Butt


Oh my stars! A tawdry political cartoon right before my Jesus-loving eyes! Here come the night sweats! Cover the children’s eyes or they’ll never be right again!  Cancel my subscription! Fire the scalawag who produced such a horrid abomination! 

Feel free to cut and paste the above paragraph and send it to any of my clients who actually run this cartoon. It’ll save you some work. I wanted to use a different term that included the word “sugar,” but it will be hard enough for my editors to convince themselves to run this.

I took a little creative license with this as I doubt many people who frequent strip clubs would read a newspaper during their visit. I’m assuming. I wouldn’t know from experience. I’m a good boy. Every time I ever visited New Orleans I stood outside the clubs and prayed for all those inside.

So Roger Ailes it out at Fox News after 20 years of changing, innovating, and ruining cable news. It’s his fault we have all these news talk shows.

It is true that he changed the business that CNN started. His network also became the ratings leader after 9/11 and hasn’t dropped it since. He didn’t move cable news into a direction of improving coverage. CNN and NBC (shared with MSNBC) actually puts more focus into coverage. CNN has 33 international bureaus, NBC has 11, and Fox News…..four. They have less interest in gathering news than they have on spinning it.

Ailes started up Fox News for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation with the slogan “Fair And Balanced.” That was their wink wink nudge nudge to “we’re going to say stuff conservatives want to hear.” From a political scorecard judged by PunditFact in 2014 of statements they chose to study (which means it’s not covering every little thing said on the networks), CNN is at 22% with statements that aren’t true. NBC/MSNBC is at 45%, which is “Wow! That’s a heavy dose of BS!”. Fox News, the “Fair And Balanced” network, comes in at 58%.

It’s also hard to say you’re “fair and balanced” with a straight face when your CEO, this being Roger Ailes, was a Republican strategist, who kept advising Republicans, and even had Fox News donate money to Republicans. When they were selling the Iraq War to Americans during the buildup, Roger Ailes was in the White House telling George W. Bush and Dick Cheney how they should spin it together. That’s not news. That’s activism.

Fox News released their pundit Gretchen Carlson who then sued Ailes for sexual harassment. Fox News said the accusations were lies, thus increasing their falsehoods from 58% to a healthy 98% (I made that number up). Then a bunch of other women (I’m assuming they’re women) made the same claim.

Then there are reports that Fox News biggest name also made a claim that Ailes had sexually harassed the star. Seriously, I just don’t buy that Bill O’Reilly is that attractive, but whatever turns Roger on….no wait. It was Fox News’ second biggest name, Chris Wallace. Again, I’m lying. It was Bret Baier. I’m blaming it on the clothes he chose to wore so it’s not Roger’s fault. I’ll stop. It was Megyn Kelly. Greta Van Susteren said “what’s sexual harassment?”.

Fox News was doing an internal probe (get your minds out of the gutter, you bunch of Beavises) but after Kelly’s confession that probably sealed Ailes’ fate. Megyn’s a star and one of the Fox News pundits/anchors who actually gets respect from the rest of the media. Plus, you’d rather have her around the office than Roger Ailes, especially on sleeveless-shirt Fridays at the NYC Fox News HQ.

I think Fox News could have prevented this entire thing if they had just put as much focus into Ailes as they did North Carolina bathrooms.


Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!