November 18th, 2010
09:41 PM ET
12 years ago

Ailes apologizes for 'Nazi' comment

Washington (CNN) - Fox News chief Roger Ailes apologized to a Jewish group Thursday after he called National Public Radio (NPR) executives "Nazis" in an interview with "The Daily Beast."

In a letter addressed to Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman, Ailes said he should "not have used that word" to describe the executives.

Full letter (pdf)

"I was of course ad-libbing and should not have chosen that word, but I was angry at the time because of NPR's willingness to censor Juan Williams for not being liberal enough," Ailes wrote.

Williams, who serves as a Fox News analyst, was fired from NPR in October after he said he becomes "worried" and "nervous" when he sees someone in "Muslim garb" on an airplane.

In Wednesday's interview with Howard Kurtz, who also anchors CNN's "Reliable Sources," Ailes had some choice words for NPR.

"They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude," Ailes said. "They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don't want any other point of view. They don't even feel guilty using tax dollars to sprout their propaganda."

But in the letter Thursday, Ailes defended his views toward Israel and the Jewish people.

"Many IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) warriors know me as someone who is consistently strong in the defense of the Jewish people and the state of Israel," Ailes wrote. "Even if I'm occasionally politically incorrect I never leave any doubts about my loyalty."

–CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: Juan Williams
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    If there was ever a news organization that comes close to pushing National Socialist policies it is FOX. Heil!

    November 19, 2010 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Roger Ailes, you're Hitler reborn. Every employee of Fox(Fixed) News is your SS brigade with the exception of one person.

    November 19, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. Tom

    Fox is the Anti-Nazi network. Everyone who fails to agree with their positions are labeled Nazis. I think it says someting about the age of the people driving the corporation. What does the under 30 group think of the Nazi party, and what do they think a Nazi is? I'm no youngster and I know Im getting confused. Beck, Oreilly and "Lumpy" Limbaugh use it so often to describe so many different things! Seems to me we're trying to replace Communist with Nazi. I guess that's better than George Bush's "Evil Doers".

    November 19, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  4. stephen

    Ailes comments are true. Many many times when I have listened (or stumbled across NPR) they are hosting the Nation's editor who is in fact a confident Socialist.

    November 19, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. mike

    this idiot is just another reason why americans are so divide saying your sorry after you said it seams to be the norm with these cum bags it start with rush and no one has done anything about it and now fox feels it has the right too what amazes me is that all these so call bible thumpers that run around and say they are christians don't say a word but say they love Jesus that is why I stop being a catholic and I have save a boat load of money

    November 19, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. Let's Be Civil

    If Mr. Ailes thinks he should be excused for his totally inappropriate comments, then he needs to look at his own network. His talking heads regularly take comments and images out of context, exaggerate peoples' comments, and stoke the fears and prejudices of their listeners. Mr. Ailes is after one thing – ratings. "News" should not be included in the name of the network he heads.

    November 19, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. Jay

    Maybe you should apologize for everything else your "news" station spews to create anger and fear.

    November 19, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. Michael

    The left wing of Nazism? That's like the right wing of communism.
    There is no one so ignorant as a knee-jerk conservative.

    November 19, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
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