And I'm not referring to his sordid personal conduct.
Fox News was where Ailes fully came into his powers as the architect of the television age in politics. He had a strong conservative viewpoint, but retained his eye for drama, honed by his years of experience as a TV producer. His channel excelled at mining scandals for ratings, starting with the Monica Lewinsky affair, which crowned early stars like Bill O’Reilly and Brit Hume, and later evolved to sustain itself with scandals of its own making. Ailes’s news judgment was indistinguishable from his instinct for spectacle. He accepted that the news was whatever people wanted to watch, even if his audience craved conspiracy theories and thinly sourced rumors.