Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

This is a rather extraordinary speech that Roger Ailes gave last night. He's clearly very frustrated with the organizing against Fox News.  But let's start out with his jokes.

A man in France was arrested today for using his car to run down a pedestrian. He said he thought it was Osama bin Laden. Ok, it was a mistake, but it still ranks as France's biggest military victory ever....

[Laughter]

It is true that I said Britney Spears looked great at the Academy Awards. and I later found out it was Jack Nicholson.

[Laughter/ooohs]

It is true that just in the last two weeks Hillary Clinton has had over 200 phone calls telling her in order to win the presidency she must stay on the road for the next two years. It is not true they were all from Bill.

[Laughter]

And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'

Bill Clinton cheats on his wife, France is weak, and Obama is a terrorist.  Ha ha ha.  Ailes is clearly upset that his brand is being ruined and Democrats are catching on.

I feel compelled, however -- on a serious note -- to say a few words. We're headed into covering a tough political season and all of us will be called upon to do our best and be fair. Recently pressure groups are forcing candidates to conclude that the best strategy for journalists is divide and conquer, to only appear on those networks and venues that give them favorable coverage.

There's a long tradition of news organizations, national and local, sometimes together, sponsoring presidential and other candidate debates. The organizations and the panelists have been the objects of a lot of advice and even pressure as to how these debates should be conducted and what questions should be asked. This pressure has been successfully resisted, but it's being tried again this year with the added wrinkle that candidates are being asked to boycott debates because certain groups wants to approve the sponsoring organizations. This pressure must be resisted as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists. And any candidate of either party who cannot answer direct, simple, even tough questions from any journalist runs a real risk of losing the voters.

As the Hotline writes:

John Edwards is skipping a debate -- one of more than a dozen -- arguably a little less fundamental to our deliberate democracy. And the threat here is that Fox News will somehow treat Edwards differently if he refuses to appear at their debate. Doesn't that reinforce the reasons why Edwards (spurred by Nevada grassroots Dems, MoveOn and Kos) is dubious?

I hope Barack Obama and Senator Clinton drop out of the Nevada debate.  I mean, if the head of a news network is openly making jokes about a candidate being a terrorist or bringing up catty and frivolously painful gossip meant to damage the last successful Democratic President and his wife, and then obliquely threatens a candidate who refuses to show at that same debate, that it's not in fact a news network.

Tags: 2008, Debate, Fox News, netroots, presidential debate, Roger Ailes (all tags)

Comments

53 Comments

Wow - good catch

Thanks much.  The bias on Faux is just so obvious, pervasive and gratuitous that it just makes you wonder how they think that they can continue to get away with it.

Speaking of that, why is Juan Williams still on Faux?  What do they have on him?

by dataguy 2007-03-09 07:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

why is Juan Williams still on Faux?

Because he fits right in and gives al Foxeera 'racial diversity'.

Better question: Why is this tendentious (and whiny and obnoxious) apologist for the GOP still on NPR?

by BlueinColorado 2007-03-09 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

That IS a better question.

Juan apparently has put his manhood in an undisclosed location.  He's a pussy, and rolls over for the conservaboobs on that wretched panel.

by dataguy 2007-03-09 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

Like the French.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

These would be the same French who are fighting in Afganistan with NATO, and advised against starting a war by invading Iraq when the inspections were working? hmmm

by MonsterSound 2007-03-09 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

Go sit in the corner and eat your freedom fries. ;-)

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

maybe you need to suit up and help the french in afghanistan?

by BentLiberal 2007-03-09 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Wow - good catch

All five of them?

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

All Dem candidates need to boycott Fox.

John Edwards stepped up.

Where are the others?

by littafi 2007-03-09 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I have to admit I laughed at the France joke, Jack Nicholson comment, and the Hillary joke, but the Obama joke didn't make so much sense to me and really wasn't funny.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 07:53AM | 0 recs
Your level of humor

is really quite low.

The France joke is simply not funny.

by dataguy 2007-03-09 08:04AM | 0 recs
Or at all close to being accurate

Charlemagne, Napoleon, need I go on?

by jallen 2007-03-09 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Or at all close to being accurate

Francophile.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Or at all close to being accurate

So was Thomas Jefferson.

by jallen 2007-03-09 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Or at all close to being accurate

He was also a slave-raper.  What's your point?

by Vox Populi 2007-03-09 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Or at all close to being accurate

WWI, WWII, Vietnam, any other conflict in the 20th or 21st century they avoided or how the USA came in and saved their buttocks'. Enough said eh!!

by mick 2007-03-12 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Ailes is of course scum, but really that joke sounds more like a "Bush is an idiot" joke than an "Obama is a terrorist" joke.

by KCinDC 2007-03-09 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Agreed, on paper it reads like more of a slight at Bush.

by JoeFelice 2007-03-09 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I thought the same, that he was making fun of Bush, but thinking about it, I doubt Ailes would ever poke fun at the shrub...

by ShelW 2007-03-09 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

The Obama joke was one of the worst things anyone can say. It's wrong on so many levels. Ailes cannot get away with comparing an American politician to a terrorist!

by Sarah Lane 2007-03-09 03:04PM | 0 recs
Kenyan Sends a Message To Obama Name Bashers

"I am a Kenyan from the Luo community. Luos are very smart people and belong to a very honorable tribe in Kenya. I am therefore not happy to see honorable Americans trying to defame an honorable Luo name like Obama. The name has NOTHING to do with Osama!! Obama is a very respectful name from Alego (Kogelo) in the Siaya District of Kenya. Any comparison of that name with Osama is like contaminating the entire Luo community who have never had anything to do with bin Laden or his horrendous movement.

The Luos are some of the greatest friends of America. We have greatly benefited from this nation's generosity and we cannot turn our backs on it now. On the same note, I would like to remind you that very many Luos died during the al-Qaeda bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi. Any association of Barack Obama's name with the likes of Osama is therefore not doing any service to the tribe, or to the tribe's descendants like Barack. Let us find better ways to play smear politics if we like to, but let us stop mocking a whole TRIBE from another nation. "

http://my.barackobama.com/page/community /blog/deeannaroberts

by FreedomOFSpeechFromTheDNC 2007-03-09 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Kenyan Sends a Message To Obama Name Bashers

and he further offers a business opportunity to help transfer funds from the estate of a dead local official who might be related to you, if you can only come up with $10,000 seed money!

by skippy 2007-03-09 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I have seen news articles that seem to suggest that Edwards is motivated to avoid Fox since they host Coulter.

It seems like a logical conclusion and looks bad for Fox not Edwards.  "Why should I work with a news organization that pays the woman who called me a f***t?"

by aiko 2007-03-09 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Roger Ailes is like the hit-and-run drunk driver who complains when the bartender won't serve him another drink.

"Don't you know who I am? ... I'm a journalist ... I could shut down this lousy joint with a single story on health code violations ... You're making a terrible mistake ..."

by billybob 2007-03-09 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

If Faux Views had any real  "journalists" perhaps the more intelligent candidates would agree to participate. As it stands now the "debate" will be spun in the usual distorted and factually challenged {or, in this case, unchallenged} way that has made Faux Views the choice of knuckledraggers throughout the Red Nation.  You can also probably look forward to cutaways for biased commentary even as the debate is occurring if the past is any indication.  Please report after the debate if this is true as I have something more important to do rather than watch--change my cat's litter box.  More truth there than in a whole decade of Faux Views.  

by woodguy 2007-03-09 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

This is why none of them have any business going to the Fox debate.

by rikyrah 2007-03-09 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

The Dems dont need to distance them selves. They just need to learn how to debate the white supremist that run Fox News.  Everytime I hear Hannity I want to punch him in the face.  The so called Dem strategist that are on the show are so lame and timid that they allow those pigs to talk to them any kind of way.  That would not go down in my book because I would get just as beligerant as they are while still maintaining my reasoning and wits.  the Dem leaders are just too meek.  The high road has been washed out.  It is time that liberals play just as dirty as they do because their arrongance and incompetence is never going to end as long as they can stand in the mirror and say to themselves that white is right.  Please get a clue. No mean yes and yes means no to those morons.  We actually treat them like they are so smart and mature when actually they are a bunch of stupid immature little boys who are scared to death of girls.  Treat them that way!  J-E-S-U-S.  I challenge O'Slimmey and Hannity to debate me anyday!  They will walk away embarrassed, trust.

by My Eye 2007-03-09 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I agree that Dems can be wimpy in those situations, but really, agreeing to go on in the first place is the mistake. It's not a level playing field when your enemy is the one controlling the camera and the microphone and the promotion and the questions and the editing. Maybe O'Reilly and the others are such idiots that you can beat them with one hand tied behind your back, but it still becomes a problem when it's both hands.

by KCinDC 2007-03-09 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Hey dude since you're the man or woman why don't you call in their radio shows and debate the issues or write letters/e-mails to them.

by mick 2007-03-12 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

What a scam Ailes is running. He craps all over journalism for power and profit, and then he tries to use the label of "journalist" when it suits his purposes.

I'm glad years of activism (thank you, Robert Greenwald!) are starting to win out against that con man's creation.

by BriVT 2007-03-09 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

They get away with it because their viewers are either willfully ignorant or only want to hear "news" that is slanted toward their redneck world view.  The fatal flaw in our democracy is that ignorance is pervasive and WILLFULL, and probably the majority.

by gregrocker 2007-03-09 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I think his joke sound more like an insult to Bush than Obama (i.e. Bush too stupid to know the difference).

It would be alot more fun to spin this as 'Roger Ailes call Bush a moron.'.

by JimS 2007-03-09 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Ailes does not run a news network so he hasn't any right to explain anything except how entertaining his shows can be.

by Archie1954 2007-03-09 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'

i'm no fan of roger ailes, but the joke could be interpreted as making fun of bush, not obama. it suggests that bush doesn't know the difference between osama and obama

given who ailes is, i realize i may be too charitable to him here.  but if i read the above quote without knowing who said it, that's probably how i would interpret it

by upyernoz 2007-03-09 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I agree with those that say it was a "Bush is an idiot" joke, rather than a real poke at Obama.

We should not do unto others as we would not have them do to us; e.g., purposely ratchet up the outrage.  Ask Bill Maher.

by LCA 2007-03-09 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist
Ailes speech was given before the RTNDA which is the RADIO AND TELEVISION NEWS DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION. Thegroup is made up of your local
radio and television News Directors. That this organization would give Ailes any kind of award boggles the mind. Here is what it says in it's own code of ethics: "TRUTH: Professional electronic journalists should pursue truth aggressively and present the news accurately, in context, and as completely as possible." If you would like to register your opinion about this
award you may do so here: President Barbara Cochran RTNDA Washington barbarac@rtnda.org
by Jano 2007-03-09 11:37AM | 0 recs
Murdoch threw a fundraiser for Sen. Clinton,

hence I do not think Clinton will ever back away from Fox.

by saguaro 2007-03-09 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Man, Ailes should start writing for the Half-Hour News Hour. His weak-sauce is still way better than the schlock on that show.

by rmgustaf 2007-03-09 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist
Only Roger Ailes could give a speech in which he clearly comes out AGAINST free speech at a ceremony in which free speech is honored.
But he did just that as he tried to silence the free speech of millions of Americans.
by OxyCon 2007-03-09 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'

Read. Think. THEN write. (Please!) It's a joke against Bush-the-Idiot, not Obama. Jeez... and here I thought we liberals were supposed to be the ones who got humor.

by IncandenzaH 2007-03-09 02:37PM | 0 recs
Making a terrible mistake about journalists.

The things Roger Alies said about journalists would have some credibility if he and his cohorts at FOX were true journalists.

They are anything but fair and balanced at FOX - lacing their presentations with right wing positions and views - so they are not true journalists at all - and should not be treated so.

It is wonderful that the Nevada DEM party decided to drop the debate with FOX. They have shown a respect for true journalism by rejecting the false!

You can tell it really ticked Ailes off, and rightfully so.  Maybe FOX will start to be serious about being fair and balanced, but I doubt it.  

FOX is more likely to do even more inflamatory "reporting" of in an attempt to lure candidates to come on their network to answer FOX's false charges.

I hope that no candidate takes their bait. If FOX keeps up the right-wing smear tactics, those things can be answered in interviews on other networks.

Boycott FOX!

by keenekarl 2007-03-09 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

The Rise of the BloggerSphere.  After I heard Dan Manatt CEO of PoliticsTV.com give his refusal to participate in Fox News Democratic Party debate and the subseqent back down by Richardson and others I finally realized the power of the bloggersphere.  Bravo.  And more victories will come.

by stephennnn 2007-03-09 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I think this comment could just as easily be interpreted as a "Bush is stupid" joke. In the "joke" - it is Bush would is confused about who is who.

by alain 2007-03-09 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist
Of course it's about Bush and his indifference to Bin Laden at this time. I believe it's a huge mistake to cancel the debate or cut out FOX news.
Here's a chance to put FOX in it's proper place, but instead of confronting/challenging the    issue(s) and prove their point(s) about FOX, the Democrats ran and took their ball with them. sniff,sniff
by mick 2007-03-12 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

Riger Ailes is the head of what? Did you say a "news network"?

Please don't ever say that in front of me ever again.

by jurassicpork 2007-03-09 06:39PM | 0 recs
Roger Ailes is mad as hell

about his new diet.

As a previous poster so eloquently put it: thank you Robert Greenwald.  Let Faux News' ratings slide begin.  (Never mind, it already has.)  http://www.cbc.ca/cp/media/061002/X10022 8U.html

by jc jones 2007-03-09 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I am neither democrat nor republican but I think both parties take things too seriously.  This comment sounds like more of a slam on Pres. Bush.  Calling for a boycott of the debates is a weak attempt to avoid addressing the issues.  

by cuddrob 2007-03-14 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

If the Democrats can't take the heat of close inspection, they should, as the NV chickens are doing, pick up their ball and go home. After all, it is so much easier to play the game with everyone pitching the same pitch right?

When I first read this, I thought you were all talking about the New York Times for a minute there! I guess all the Conservative politicians should take their ball and not allow a single interview with that biased publication. Not to mention the big 3 mainstream television media army of NBC, CBS and ABC (seen The View lately) and the Commie News Network!

By the way, I too read the transcript of the speech and get that it was a joke about Bush not Obama. Or, is that too much to believe, for those who want to force feed us that Fox is so right wing, that Ailes would knock Bush!

As O'Reilly says, have more KOOL-AID guys!

by irishgrl 2007-03-15 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

If you think Ailes' joke about Obama and Osama was comparing the two as terrorits, you can't understand plain English.  Maybe that's why your having such a problem with it.  Are you all a bunch of illegal aliens who don't understand English well enough to make sense out it, but instead rely on hacks like Robert Greenwald to interpret for you?  Ailes was obviosuly making a joke at what an idiot Bush is about not knowing the difference between the two names.  Obama being a terrorist and Osama being the honorable senator from Illinois, just in case you need clairification on it. Running from Fox News because they don't pander to your agenda like the rest of the news agencies is typical of what the Democratic party does.  The going gets tough so the Democratic party runs away.

by TJJones 2007-04-27 08:45AM | 0 recs
by hp 2007-05-03 04:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Roger Ailes Jokes About Obama as Terrorist

I can't believe that none of the people that are posting here understand this Obama joke. I guess its because they are looking for something to be outraged over.  I will translate what this joke means.  Read slowly so you can undestand it.  I'll try not to use big words. "and it is true that Barack Obama is on the move"- This is a comment on Obama's presidential campaign taking off.  "I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?".- This is called the punchline.  It is not comparing Obama to osama.  It is something that Bush said b/c Osama is causing trouble for the US.  Now Obama is causing trouble for republicans b/c he may win the next presidential election so that's the joke.  Also, Obama and Osama sound the same so it was a poke at Bush's word blunders.  If Jay Leno had said it everyone here would have thought it was funny.  Of course democrats are going to use this as an excuse to avoid answering questions from a news organization that demands answers rather than throwing the candidates a bone.  Democrats don't like being questioned about what they are doing, what they have done, or what they plan to do.  they do not want people to know they are just milking the system for their own financial gain.  Everyone likes to make republicans look like a bunch of greedy businessmen out to control the world, and maybe they are.  But show me a democratic politician that is not rich.  Al Gore seems to be doing well.  John Edwards can afford $400 haircuts.  Bill Clinton makes a couple hundred thousand dollars for giving speeches at Universities. Maybe he can give a speech about why college tuition is so expensive.  We are getting screwed from every angle. Both parties try to point out how the other is screwing us. We can only make decisions based on which party will screw us the least.

by translator 2007-05-15 04:46AM | 0 recs
by 3gmobile 2008-04-10 10:32PM | 0 recs
by daiqianwen 2008-04-21 01:12AM | 0 recs

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