The Buzz

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The news headline, such as it was, from Roger Ailes' interview with The New Yorker's Ken Auletta last week at Manhattan's ne-plus-ultra-blue-state Bryant Park Grill, is that he sounds a lot wobblier than Rupert Murdoch regarding a Fox Business Channel. "We are committed until we are not committed," Ailes said. "I keep telling Rupert, `Quit saying the channel will launch."' Of course, Ailes could just be playing crazy. Like a Fox; like his boss. Ailes recalled telling Murdoch after the press conference announcing the Fox News Channel "the reporters from The New York Times were laughing at us." Murdoch told him not to worry: "They always laugh at me in the beginning," he said.

After the laughter comes the fear, we presume. At breakfast Ailes came off much like a man who long ago learned to season his cut-and-thrust with plenty of ha-ha-ha. On when an NBC exec challenged him as to what the then-nascent Fox News slogan "The Most Powerful Brand In News" was based on: "It's a marketing slogan, you idiot! I made it up!" On journalists: "Despite public perceptions, they're not empty-headed fools." Did he give an inch when Auletta tried to pin him down about news bias? Ah, no. (Surprise.) Quite a performance. But news is performance these days. And who's most responsible for that fact? Exactly. Read more: AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq45e

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