On Tuesday evening, the Huffington Post ran portions of Jonathan Alter‘s new book The Center Holds: Obama And His Enemies, focusing solely on 12 “fun facts” about Obama’s “enemy” in Fox News chief Roger Ailes.
Among the claims were that Ailes believes his detractors hate him for his weight, that he fears a terrorist attack on his office, and that the Fox head allegedly threatened to quit when News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch asked for the news outlet to “ease up” on President Obama.
It’s not clear where Alter got his stories but, to many, the anecdotes might not pass the smell test without proper sourcing. We reached out to a Fox News spokesperson for their take, and they gave us this exclusive comment:
“Jonathan Alter is living in an altered universe. His fantasies about a man to whom he once applied for a job and was rejected, seem to carry an enormous amount of personal malice. Nearly 100% of the items he lists in his book are factually inaccurate and are in fact complete, outright fiction. This is a desperate attempt to smear Fox News and a few of the items have already been disproved in other books. He appears to have no legitimate sources for his screed.
Ailes playfully said the only thing he’ll cop to is ‘being fat.’ As he told Zev Chafets in his recent book, Off Camera, ‘My doctor told me that I’m old, fat and ugly, but none of those things is going to kill me immediately.’ Ailes added recently, ‘I told my doctor I’m seeking a second opinion.’ Needless to say, we’re surprised that Simon & Schuster allowed this book to survive with no fact checking whatsoever. It’s sad — Jonathan Alter used to be a journalist.”
The Fox spokesperson also blasted the Huffington Post for being a “willing accomplice” in spreading Alter’s “lies”:
“Alter’s book has absolutely no buzz and he’s having trouble getting interviewed by legitimate news outlets. By posting Alter’s lies and utter drivel, The Huffington Post is attempting to resuscitate a corpse.”
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