Fox News host Tucker Carlson offered effusive praise for late Fox News chief Roger Ailes on a show celebrating Carlson’s 10-year anniversary at the network and his own upcoming 50th birthday.
“He was really a great and wise man,” Carlson said on the set of his Wednesday night broadcast describing the polarizing ex-CEO who was forced out of the company in July 2016 amid a wave lawsuits surrounding multiple sexual harassment scandals.
Carlson was joined on set by a team of Fox News stalwarts including Ed Henry (fresh off his feting at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner) and Brit Hume. Carlson’s primetime colleague Laura Ingraham was also on hand.
“Tucker and I — we do the primetime thing — so we hit hard and we’re also targets,” Ingraham said, alluding to the dozens of advertisers who have left both their shows over various remarks the hosts have said on air. “There are few people that I’d rather be in a Fox hole with taking the shots than Tucker Carlson.”
In his 20 years at Fox News, Ailes famously ruled the network with an iron fist, and while his tenure turned the channel from an upstart into a ratings juggernaut, he was ultimately forced out over a series of personal scandals. After a brief interim, he was eventually replaced by Suzanne Scott, a longtime channel executive.
In July 2016, former “Fox & Friends” host Gretchen Carlson (no relations to Tucker) filed suit against Ailes and Fox News over what Carlson said was years of sexual harassment. The network ultimate settled with Carlson for $20 million. More lawsuits followed and an internal investigation launched by Ailes’ boss Rupert Murdoch ultimately led to his ouster — and a $40 million payout to the departing executive.
After briefly consulting for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, Ailes retired to his home in Palm Beach, Florida, where he died in May 2017 at age 77.
Still, Ailes remains an object of fascination almost two years after his death. A miniseries starring Russell Crowe in the lead role titled “The Loudest Voice” will air on Showtime June 30.