Sean Hannity, Shepard Smith, John Scott, and more expressed their deep sadness at the passing of Ailes.
Fox News founder Roger Ailes passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 77. Despite the controversy that swirled around Ailes’ tenure and resignation, many of the network’s personalities had positive reflections on Ailes on Thursday.
Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch said the Fox family was “shocked and grieved” by the passing of Ailes.
Sean Hannity tweeted, “Today America lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes. For Decades RA’s has impacted American politics and media.”
“Few people in this life will ever reach the profound level of impact that Roger Ailes had on the country every single day. As his opponents played checkers in life, Roger was always the strategist, playing chess, [five] steps ahead at a whole other level,” Hannity continued.
Hannity concluded by saying how he viewed Ailes as a second father:
“On a personal note, were it not for Roger Ailes, I would not be the person I am today. In 1996 he took a huge risk on an inexperienced, young, local radio talk show host in Atlanta. To this day I have no earthly idea why I was hired and not fired early on, as I had little television experience when I was hired by FNC, as old tapes humbly remind me. He saw something in me and many others he hired that we never saw in ourselves, and he forever changed the trajectory of thousands of peoples lives. In many ways he was like a second father after I lost my father 6 months after I started at FNC in 3/97. I am forever grateful. His endless enthusiasm, energy, wit, humor and raw instinctive intelligence will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers now turn to him, his wife Beth, his son Zachary, his brother and his family. He will be deeply missed.”
Shepard Smith opened his show on Thursday by spending 13 minutes remarking on the Ailes he knew.
“When a blackmailer entered my life and the lives of my family, he held my hand and saw me to the other side. When details of my personal life became public, he supported me,” Smith told his audience.
Ailes was a controversial figure, resigning from Fox News last year after multiple women accused him of sexual harrassment.
But more conservative media personalities had stories about Ailes on Thursday. John Scott talked about how Ailes had helped him through the “darkest period” in his life, saying without Ailes he wouldn’t have made it through.
“If you enjoy Fox News, you have Roger Ailes to thank for that,” Scott told his audience.
Rush Limbaugh opened his show on Thursday by saying:
“One of my closest and dearest friends and colleagues passed away at six minutes after eight o’clock this morning here in South Florida: Roger Ailes, 77 years old. Roger and I were passengers in history. I met Roger in around 1990 one night at dinner at the 21 Club in New York, and my life was never the same thereafter.”
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