Jewish Group Honors Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes

Published June 17, 2005, issue of June 17, 2005.

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of Fox News, was the guest of honor last week at a gala dinner of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, held at The Plaza Hotel. The council is an umbrella body that coordinates some 60 local New York Jewish organizations and represents them to the government, and the feting of the combatively conservative media chief, a media adviser to presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr., raised some eyebrows. One council member group, The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, protested the choice of Ailes as “very divisive.” But a host of luminaries from the left as well as the right turned out to applaud, including Miramax Films founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who bought a full-page ad in the dinner journal, and former president Bill Clinton, who prepared a video greeting that saluted “red-state Roger” for his concern for “security for the State of Israel and peace in the Middle East.” Ailes, in his own comments, defended his controversial network. “I sometimes get angry when the media doesn’t defend democracy,” he said. “We will represent the truth, but we don’t get up each morning assuming our country” is guilty. The event raised $1 million, a new record, according to JCRC executive vice president Michael Miller.

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