The Loudest Voice in the Room: How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics by Gabriel Sherman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I respect authors who seek out and deliver stories that people actively try to prevent them from telling. In facing down Roger Ailes at the peak of his power, Gabriel Sherman fought the good fight, put his professional and personal life at risk, and managed to wring out the definitive biography of one of the most imposing media moguls of our time.
What emerges isn't anything close to a hit piece, but a rather sympathetic portrait of a complicated figure. You get a sense of grudging respect for Ailes' moxie and stubbornness in Sherman's prose.
While the author doesn't shy away from exposing the more embarrassing skeletons in Ailes' closet, "The Loudest Voice in the Room" reads like a fair, vibrant portrait of a man determined to succeed and push his agenda through at any cost.
Of course, it's impossible to tell Ailes' story without discussing his sadism, rage and monstrous tendency to exploit women. Sherman nails the facts that juxtapose the fall of Bill O'Reilly with Ailes' ability to sweep his indiscretions under the rug while retaining his power for years. A precursor to the "me too" movement, the postscript to the book is as intriguing as the work itself. The world may never see another Ailes, and that is no doubt for the best.
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