Donald Trump praises Roger Ailes for building a ‘miracle’ at Fox News in a new, glowing documentary about the late, disgraced CEO who died in 2017 after leaving the network amid a flurry of sexual harassment claims.
The documentary, Man in the Arena, was released on Amazon Prime on Friday and features favorable commentary from President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Mitch McConnell, Newt Gingrich and Ailes’ widow, Elizabeth.
It is narrated by Jon Voight and offers a far more complimentary view of Ailes than any of the films, series or documentaries that have previously been made about his life.
In it, Elizabeth Ailes – who was affectionately known as Beth to her late husband – defends him against the sexual harassment claim which led to his demise at Fox.
Trump is among the political figures who praises Ailes for creating Fox in the 1980s and developing it into the conservative media giant that it is today.
Trump praised Roger Ailes and credited him for putting him in the White House in a new documentary about the disgraced late Fox CEO
Trump with Ailes in July 2016, the month the allegations that he’s sexually harassed women at Fox, first emerged
‘What Roger Ailes did was create somewhat of a miracle and it’s called Fox News.
‘Roger really opened up a world that nobody else was able to capture.
‘I’m not sure that I ever would have been standing at this very powerful, important, even sacred spot: the Rose Garden in front of the Oval Office at the White House if it wasn’t for Roger.
‘I didn’t always agree with what he was saying about me,’ he said.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani says Ailes ‘saved the First Amendment in America’.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says his decision to launch Fox was ‘genius’.
‘The tilt was pretty obvious and 50 percent of the American people knew the tilt was there and Roger had the genius to think that there as another 50 percent out there who felt like they were being hoodwinked and would recognize something different,’ he said.
Rudy Giuliani said ‘Roger saved the First Amendment’ in America whereas Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called him a ‘genius’
Disgraced former Fox host Bill O’Reilly, (left) who was also accused of widespread sexual harassment, was also interviewed as was conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh (right)
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (left) and former Vice President Dan Quayle (right) heap praise on Ailes
There is also glowing testimony from Reverend Jacques DeGraff who says Ailes was a friend to the black community
Only two female former Fox News hosts are interviewed; they are Lara Logan (L) and Kiran Chetry (R) who said they ‘never’ experienced harassment from him
Ailes’ son, Zachary, and his wife, Elizbeth or ‘Beth’ as he called her, are also in the documentary
Voight, narrating, called the millions who were not being served by the then left-leaning wing media were being taken ‘for granted’.
There is also glowing testimony from Reverend Jacques DeGraff who says Ailes was a friend to the black community.
‘Roger always took diversity seriously. He had been opening doors and creating opportunities that really was not known.
‘There is an unknown connection between Roger Ailes and the black community.
On 125th Street uptown, we say Roger Ailes is the real deal.This apprenticeship program was the gold standard of the industry, it was unsolicited and it created real and lasting opportunities at Fox,’ he said.
Beth also praised her late husband’s ability to have ‘uncomfortable’ conversations, and throughout the documentary he is credited with electing presidents Nixon, Bush and Trump.
The documentary did not highlight any of the sexual harassment claims against Ailes aside from Megyn Kelly’s. It showed this message
The filmmakers say they are legally restricted from discussing the many claims of sexual harassment against Ailes, apart from one: that of Megyn Kelly.
Megyn Kelly accused Ailes of sexually harassing her when she was a reporter
Beth – who still stands by her husband’s claims that Kelly’s accusations are untrue – says Kelly turned on him after a decades-long friendship because he told her off for trying to negotiate her salary in the press and threatened to fire her.
At the time, Kelly had done an interview with Vanity Fair in January 2016 when she was in the middle of salary negotiations.
In the interview, she said: ‘I think that there’s a spiritual component to my personality that is completely unutilized in my current job.’
The Vanity Fair journalist added: ‘Note to television executives everywhere.’
Ailes, Beth said, took her comments as her trying to negotiate her salary and contract in the press.
‘Megyn Kelly was on the cover of a magazine and in the story she negotiated her contract in the press.
‘Roger called her into her office and he told me that night what happened – he said to her, “you shouldn’t negotiate your contract in the press and you’re forgetting Megyn, you’re not the only one who gets to decide if you stay at Fox.”
Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly and John Lithgow as Roger Ailes in the 2019 movie Bombshell which tells the story from the perspective of Ailes’ accusers
‘When he told her that, Roger said her face changed. She turned on him in that very moment and he suspected she was leap frogging him and going directly to the Murdochs to talk directly about her contract.’
It was another six months before the sexual harassment claims against Ailes became public when Gretchen Carlson, another of the network’s hosts, sued the company.
After that, an investigation was launched by a law firm at the behest of Fox to try to weed out other misconduct.
That is when Kelly, and other women at Fox, aired their allegations.
Others, including Laurie Luhn – a former staffer – made their claims earlier.
In total, Ailes was accused of misconduct by at least eight women.
Beth says that when the lawfirm conducted their investigation, he was never asked to tell his side of the story.
Ailes and his wife in October 2015, two years before he died
In Bombshell, Connie Britton plays Beth Ailes. She appears infrequently in the film and is presented as blindly defending her husband
She also speaks about how her late husband helped Kelly’s career.
‘Roger went to bat for Megyn when Megyn and Donald Trump got into a Tweet war.
‘Donald as you might recall was not happy with her questions at the debate and Roger said, famously, the US is at war with various countries but Donald Trump is at war with Megyn Kelly.
‘He stood up for her,’ she said.
Sienna Miller as Beth Ailes in The Loudest Voice
It also features commentary from Ailes’ only son, Zachary, and an emotional interview with Beth about when she learned he’d been unfaithful to her with an old girlfriend.
The filmmakers say they were legally restricted from discussing any of the other allegations against Ailes, including those of Gretchen Carlson.
It does feature interviews with former Fox hosts like Lara Logan and Kiran Chetry who said they ‘never’ experienced harassment from him.
No other on-air talent is interviewed but former star Bill O’Reilly, who was ousted from Fox after being accused of sexual harassment himself, speaks up for Ailes.
Beth complains in the documentary about Roger never being given a chance to tell ‘his side of the story’ after Kelly told a law firm that had been tasked with carrying out an investigation into the culture at the company that Ailes harassed her when she was a reporter a decade earlier.
She also talks of how he built up her career and defended her publicly when she and then candidate Trump got into a Twitter spat.
Gretchen Carlson sued Fox in 2016. She is shown, left, and Nicole Kidman playing her in Bombshell
‘Roger went to bat for Megyn when Megyn and Donald Trump got into a Tweet war.
‘Donald as you might recall was not happy with her questions at the debate and Roger said, famously, the US is at war with various countries but Donald Trump is at war with Megyn Kelly. He stood up for her.’
Beth suggests in the documentary that the turning point in their friendship was when Kelly appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair.
‘Megyn Kelly was on the cover of a magazine an din the story she negotiated her contract in the press.
‘Roger called her into her office and he told me that night what happened – he said to her you shouldn’t negotiate your contract in the press and you’re forgetting Megyn, you’re not the only one who gets to decide if you stay at Fox.
‘When he told her that, Roger said her face changed.
‘She turned on him in that very moment and he suspected she was leap frogging him and going directly to the Murdochs to talk directly about her contract,’ she said.
Representatives for Kelly could not be reached.
At least seven other women accused Ailes of misconduct; Julia Roginsky, Gretchen Carlson, Kellie Boyle, Rudi Bakhtiar , Andrea Tantaros, Laurie Dhue and Laurie Luhn.