Ailes, who died on Thursday, left Fox News last summer after multiple women came forward with sexual harassment allegations. O’Reilly was fired last month because of similar allegations. Both men have denied all claims.
“The list of legendary Americans whom Roger helped is long and impressive. From Ronald Reagan to George Bush, the elder, to Rush Limbaugh, Ailes gave them all blunt advice that led them to success,” O’Reilly wrote. “And it was that bluntness that made his life difficult, as enemies accumulated — some armed with a brutal hatred.”
O’Reilly detailed the early days of Fox News — a network that eventually emerged as the most-watched in cable news.
“Not once in almost 20 years did Roger Ailes order me to say anything on the air. I had total independence. In private, I sometimes challenged his orthodoxy. I wish I had taped that,” the former “O’Reilly Factor” host wrote.
O’Reilly said that “the vast majority of Fox employees were sad” when Ailes left the network amid sexual harassment allegations.
“It’s easy to make judgments from afar — but fair people know that seeking the truth is a complicated and demanding process. In my opinion, few sought the comprehensive truth about Roger Ailes,” O’Reilly wrote. “Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him. That is the truth.”
O’Reilly continued: “He did both good and bad in his life and in that, he has something in common with every human being.”