Dickens was intrigued by the ways in which the past is never past but continues to haunt our dreams and waking hours. Scrooge’s penalty late in life was the apparition of ghosts of the people that he’d wronged over the years, who recited these injustices.
Today, another hoary dotard, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, is reportedly haunted by specters of a similar kind: the ghosts of all the people that Fox has demonized and lied about under his watch. Ailes’ growing paranoia is documented by Jonathan Alter of NBC News in his new book, The Center Holds: Obama And His Enemies. Ailes’ enemies include Muslims, homosexuals, and the U.S. government, all of which are suspected to have agents out there intent on doing him harm. Thus, for example, he was “convinced that the whole News Corp. building was bugged,” so he worked out of a supply closet one day. He’s been known to have “Arab-looking” workers thrown out of the building. And he once “tried to order bombproof glass for his office because he thought homosexuals outside News Corp. headquarters on Sixth Avenue might shoot at him.”
Now there’s a guy with a guilty conscience. But at least it’s an honest conscience. Ailes knows very well whom he’s harmed over the years, and these are the people whose ghosts are now stalking him night and day.
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