Two MSM heavyweights go at each other. Alter, of Newsweek, wrote an article suggesting that Fox boss Roger Ailes would have banned the word "Watergate" on air, choosing instead the pro-Nixon "Assault on the Presidency." Apparently, Ailes responded privately in a letter to Alter. Alter then went public in Huffington's blog, saying, "Mr. Dish It Out apparently can't take it." He also claimed that Ailes, when writing op-ed articless about Republicans, routinely fails to note that he once worked for President Nixon. That pissed off Ailes, who had apparently been trying to keep this fracas just between the two of them.
So Fox released the Ailes letter to Alter. Here is the letter:
June 7, 2005SMACK! BAM! WHACK!
251 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
I was disappointed by your recent cheap shot about me in Newsweek. First, you didn't disclose that you have been paid by MSNBC, our competitor. Second, you have no basis in fact for what you said. In nine years of the Fox News Channel, I've never banned any word, phrase or story, and in fact have often said the inclusion of everybody's point of view is necessary to avoid bias. I did work for Richard Nixon's campaign over 37 years ago for about five months as a TV producer. I had no editorial control. I was 28 years old.
You've done some good work in your career. I wish you'd get back to that. The Fox News Channel didn't report something that just got people killed nor have we fired our executive editor, our top producers, our anchors and we don't have a former attorney general investigating our journalism. I thought you were a better man and a better journalist.
Chairman & CEO
FOX News Channel
UPDATE: Jonathon Alter responds to Mark in Mexico by email:
To correct the record:I cannot verify that this response was indeed from Jonathon Alter. Attempting to verify that, now.
Ailes did not respond privately, he sent his flack out to peddle the story to US. News. That was why I responded.
# posted by Jonathan Alter : 8:57 AM