Mike Huckabee calls Roger Ailes a 'genius'

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a conservative media empire and was a consultant for several Republican presidents before being ousted in a sexual harassment scandal previous year, died today at the age of 77.

FOLKENFLIK: He - his wife Elizabeth put out a statement interestingly enough through Matt Drudge and the Drudge Report this morning saying he had died overnight and thanking people for their support of him in recent months.

"He wasn't flawless, but Roger Ailes was my friend & I loved him", the 41st president said in a tweet shortly after news broke Thursday about Ailes' death.

But according to the Palm Beach (Florida) Police Department, a caller contacted 911 dispatchers on May 10, saying Ailes had fallen in his bathroom, hit his head and was bleeding profusely.

Ailes became CEO of Fox News since it was founded in1996, where he was a pivotal character in building up the media powerhouse. He added that "Roger and I shared a big idea which he executed in a way no one else could have".

Former President George H.W. Bush, for example, wrote that he owed a debt of gratitude to the former political consultant for helping to get him elected to the nation's highest office.

FILE - In this January 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News.

Democrats had an 82-seat House majority when Fox News was launched in October 1996.

Few of the reactions on the right acknowledged the accusations levied against Ailes that led to his resignation at Fox News, and those that did chose to minimize them in a "nobody's perfect" fashion.

Under Ailes' leadership, Fox became America's most watched cable news channel, home to key conservative political commentators and drawing an audience distinct from rivals CNN and MSNBC.

With the news of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes' passing this morning, a number of Fox News employees took to the air today to discuss their feelings about the man. Our role as an independent, fact-based news organization has never been clearer.

Ailes' was also an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign in 2016, where he assisted him with debate preparation. He had a profound influence on American politics and the news media, which he transformed.

Some will mourn, some will cheer, but there is no doubt that Roger Ailes left his imprint on the Media establishment in America.

The cofounder of Fox News resigned from the network in July, his legacy marred by accusations of serial sexual harassment by multiple women at the company.

Since Ailes sudden departure, Fox News has experienced even more upheaval. More women came forward with their stories, which left Murdoch no choice but to fire Ailes during the scandal. And it was a pugnacious, bombastic approach that increasingly fit the nature of its leader, Roger Ailes.

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