Ailes: Fox News Is Pro-America

To say that Fox News Channel is right-wing isn’t right, according to chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.

The 24-hour news channel is, if anything, pro-America, which annoys the competition and Fox News bashers in the establishment media who ridicule the channel’s “Fair and Balanced” slogan as false advertising, he added.

“They suspect that we like America,” Ailes said in a C-SPAN interview that will air Dec. 19 at 8 p.m.

Not that his media foes hate America: “They are just telling you what’s wrong. There’s never a good story about this country,” Ailes said.

As an example of news bias, he noted that 95% of the U.S. labor market is employed, but the media harp on the 5% who are jobless.

“Everything is negative,” Ailes said, partly blaming the training that journalists receive in graduate schools for the absence of news balance. “I always tell journalists: Reach out to a point of view you don’t agree with and make sure it’s in that story. It’s simple stuff, but you have to do it.”

Ailes taped an hour-long interview with C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb for a new C-SPAN series called Q&A. Topics covered Ailes’ early career in radio and TV, as well as his political-consulting jobs with Presidents Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush before turning Fox News into a cable-news powerhouse that he and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch built from scratch.

Multichannel News obtained a transcript of the interview.

Fox News, Ailes said, lived by its Fair and Balanced credo despite attempts by critics to paint the network as a public-relations arm for the Republican Party.

“What they are trying to do is say that Fox News is mixing opinion and fact. That’s simply not true,” Ailes said, telling Lamb that he doesn’t hire reporters based on their political beliefs.

Ailes told one story about an unnamed university that solicited a financial contribution. After teaching at the school and talking with some students, Ailes didn’t write a check because he came away disappointed with his findings.

“I said, ‘I’m not going to give you any money until you can graduate somebody who likes America.’ And I said, ‘As soon as you get me someone like that, I’ll give you some money,’” he said.