In 2008, Roger Ailes purchased the Putnam County News and Recorder in rustic Putnam County, New York to start feathering his retirement nest. The idea was that he and Elizabeth would retire to their 9,000-square-foot redoubt in nearby Garrison, N.Y., and Roger would live out his days as the gentleman publisher of a sleepy small-town newspaper. (He bought another paper, the Putnam County Courier, a year later.)
But it was not to be. Ailes—who installed Elizabeth as the day-to-day manager of the papers while he finishes his tenure at Fox News Channel—has run the papers with the singularly paranoid and abusive management style he brings to all his projects, resulting in the defection of his hand-picked editor and two top reporters earlier this month after Ailes told them he'd had them followed, and their private conversations surveilled, to catch them saying mean things about him. The spying followed years of intense weirdness between the editor and the Aileses, who once asked him to personally stop a break-in at their home and who implied that, after Roger's death, he'd be expected to replace him in their marriage.
Go read the whole piece because, believe it or not, it gets weirder.
Though Ailes’ alleged surveillance is bizarre, it’s worth noting that NewsCorp is in trouble in the U.K. over a phone hacking scandal. Not quite the same as the Ailes story -- these were NewsCorp’s News Of The World editors hacking the voicemail of celebrities so they could gather tabloid dirt. Ailes appears to have been indulging in a private sociopathy. But still, what is with the conservative jones for playing spy?