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The Loudest Voice: Review of Showtime’s seven-part miniseries about the late Fox News exec.

The Loudest Voice

By Joanna Langfield

There’s nothing subtle about this look at Roger Ailes. But, really, should there be?

Drawn from Gabriel Sherman’s well researched book, one which led to the dethroning of the Fox king, there’s very little argument of the facts shown. Having been tossed from CNBC/America’s Talking cable networks, amongst whispers of inappropriate behavior, Ailes works his way onto Rupert Murdoch’s incubating baby, a news network that wants to be something different. Under Ailes’ auspices, a direction is taken. And, after 9/11 and Obama’s victory, the loudest voice in the room grabs autonomy, digs in to make his network an attention grabbing voice that doesn’t tell people what to think, but, more potently, he believes, what to feel.

There’s no denying the success he led in creating. There’s also, as we see here, no denying the power. What we also see is how that power was used, both politically and personally. Shifting sharply from benevolent to brutish, Ailes ruled with an agenda. He was a true believer, hungry for control and not at all uncomfortable abusing or manipulating women. Don’t @ at me about that part. I know. I was there.

So, yes, I know the sexist behavior and attitude that hung in the air. Even the nicest, most professional people I worked with knew there was a line, even if it was something as seemingly benign as making sure women’s legs were shown on camera, always in short skirts. Of course, things for some were much, much worse.

Did I squirm watching a rather remarkable Russell Crowe tear into this furious legend? Yes. Did I shudder when, in the four episodes I was provided, he treated women as anything from a convenience to a sex slave? You bet. But I also trembled watching the dogma develop to a cry to make America great again. So, I felt. And that, according to Roger, is what really matters.

 

 

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