‘I treat Rupert’s money like it is mine.’

Don Surber

ROGER Ailes is an American success story and regardless of what one may think of the Fox News operation he heads, he offered some good advice to his biographer, Zev Chafet.

Vanity Fair magazine excerpted some of that book, including a section where the biographer asked Ailes about his relationship with Sir Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. owns Fox News.

“Does Rupert like me?” Ailes responded. “I think so, but it doesn’t matter. When I go up to the magic room in the sky every three months, if my numbers are right, I get to live. If not, I’m killed. Our relationship isn’t about love — it’s about arithmetic. Survival means hitting your numbers. I’ve met or exceeded mine in 56 straight quarters. The reason is: I treat Rupert’s money like it is mine.”

To put that in context, 56 straight quarters is 14 consecutive years. As they once said on the original Mary Tyler Moore show, five years is eternity in television. That’s nearly three eternities of meeting or beating profit goals.

In eight words, Ailes has described a business model that every executive both in government and in business should adhere to: “I treat Rupert’s money like it is mine.”

Sadly, in government, such men and women are rare. Most public officials never are as careful with the public’s money as they are with their own. I seriously doubt that President Obama would hire a calligrapher in the computer age where one click changes a font.

But since taxpayers are paying the bills, Obama has three on the White House payroll. That’s a sin and I mean that literally.

Pete Thaw, the president of the Kanawha County Board of Education, once said we should treat public money as if it were church money.


The best way to protect welfare programs from sequestration is to avoid a sequestration.

Instead Obama blew nearly a billion dollars on a stimulus that actually led to higher unemployment and more economic hardship than we would have had if we had done nothing.

So here we are with all this melodrama about cutting a lousy two cents out of every buck Obama wants to spend.

Money isn’t everything and Ailes seems to know this firsthand.

“Because of my hemophilia, I’ve been prepared to face death all of my life,” said Ailes, 72. “As a boy I spent a lot of time in hospitals. My parents had to leave at the end of visiting hours, and I spent a lot of time just lying there in the dark, thinking about the fact that any accident could be dangerous or even fatal. So I’m ready. Everybody fears the unknown. But I have a strong feeling there’s something bigger than us. I don’t think all this exists because some rocks happened to collide. I’m at peace. When it comes, I’ll be fine, calm. I’ll miss life, though. Especially my family.”

Our life on Earth is short. Instead of running up the credit card, how about we spend our children’s money like it was our own?


CAJ note: This morning we obtained Don Surber’s permission to reproduce this post in full.


Update:  Weekly Ratings: Fox News Humiliates Competition

In all of cable — all 94 ad-supported cable channels measured by Nielsen, Fox News placed fourth in primetime. By comparison, MSNBC placed 24th, HLN was 29th, and CNN hit 33rd.

Current TV was dead last.


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