The media mogul who was shaped by media and in turn is shaping media and the perception of political influence. Ignore the facts – it's showbiz.
From the article:
You respected certain codes of gravitas. You practiced professional dispassion. You might chase ratings, but you recognised an interest in appearing like something other than entertainment.
Politics and media of the mid-century, pre-cable TV era were shaped by norms of tone and content.
On Fox, the news was something to get pumped about, the mood always agitated.
Ailes' downfall comes as the Fox ethos has its apotheosis in the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, a being made of pure television. Fox News didn't make Trump single-handedly. But it made the conditions that made him.
Today Trump is at peace with Fox, because he won. And with Ailes gone, the populist political-media spirit we've come to associate with Fox News may pass to Trump. (Completing the circle-of-life motif, Trump's campaign is reported to be overtly modelling itself on the very 1968 “law-and-order” campaign that Ailes helped win for Nixon.)
Fox News after Ailes may remain a conservative destination. If nothing else, it still has a big audience. But Murdoch's children don't seem politically driven like Ailes, so the channel may never again be the same kind of singular, personally driven force.
Of course, someone else's media entity might be. There has been speculation, should Trump lose in November, that he might start his own media organisation.
And if he wins, he'll be a media conglomerate in himself.
The Fox News boss built a power machine that outlasted presidents and set the ground for the success of the Republican candidates' firebrand conservatism.