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. kyle

    Everyone's a nazi, communist, socialist, according to Faux news, and the right wing nuts. That's if you don't agree with them.

    November 18, 2010 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Brian

    "I never leave any doubts about my loyalty" or his brain size.

    November 18, 2010 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. T'sah from Virginia

    You know what? I have a CURE for this – Why don't we WAIT a day BEFORE we report a story?! That way, we can have the INSULT and the APOLOGIZE at the same time!!!!

    I guess this little PIGGY cried Wee, Wee, Wee – all the way HOME!!! Too LATE!!! A DRUNK lip would sink a SHIP!! Oh, you weren't DRUNK – then the first thing out of your mouth when you are making a point is what you believe!!!

    This is how the RIGHT thinks!! They think they are God's gift on earth and what they believe, everyone should wear!!!! OH NO WE WON'T!!!

    But we will continue to Move America Forward with our current leader, President Obama!

    November 18, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. George of the jungle

    This guy is a real piece of work . How did he manage to run a news department. Scary what we have working over at the faux news. And millions of people depend on these people for news no wonder half the counrty hasent got a clue with people like him making up stories as if it where fact. Is he a citizen or may be he should go back ti Australia where he came from. I bet he can't say half the stuff there he says here.

    November 18, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. independent

    This man is a joke.

    November 18, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. rude

    The nazi word is flung around so much it is losing its meaning.

    I don't think Nazis fired anyone for racist remarks, however, they did spread propaganda like??? Hmmm, which network???

    November 18, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. L

    Can we all stop tossing around the Nazi tag!

    Even a cursory examination of history shows that the Nazi's were far far worse than any of the current people. It more demonstrates the ignorance of the accuser .

    As for NPR and PBS, they provide an important function that is NOT covered by commercial media. Just look at any Nova broadcast and compare it with the Discover channel or any other channel and you'll see the dramatic quality difference. Similarly, Sesame Street makes commercial television's educational programming look pathetic!

    As for NPR, both All Things Considered and Morning Edition offer a breadth of news reporting that is refreshing. Each day, they offer interesting stories that are rarely heard on commercial media.

    November 18, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. RobertSC

    "...the left wing of Nazism"? Only a moron from Fox Noise would suggest that the Nazis have ANY left leanings at all. Nazism is fascism, pure and simple. I don't know why anybody listens or watches Fox, the "make it up as you go along" channel

    November 18, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. John

    Fox news is all about racist, that why they have Saran Palin , Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

    November 18, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. buckup

    Ailes is senile. If he does not back it, it is communist, socialist, foolish, conspiratorial, or Nazi. He should go visit Senator Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon in their subterfuge; he is first rate and could teach them something.

    November 18, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  11. John

    He should have apologized to NPR while he was at it. Uh, maybe he just forgot.

    November 18, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. Peter s

    The Nazi commander is sorry?

    November 18, 2010 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  13. Aaron

    He should try censoring his news people for not telling the truth. This sorry piece of crap is an unbelievable hypocrite.

    November 18, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This man has no clue as to what the Nazis actually represented. NPR does a much better job of reporting and being true than Fox does... Then again, most news outlets actually report news without the bias.

    November 18, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Carmelita M Rollins

    You don't need to watch the fox news channel to get their message. Just consider who roger ails employs: beck, limbaugh, gingrich and hannity for example. And he accuses the NPR of being Nazis? PLEASE!!! I think his channel is the reason this country is in trouble. That and Bush's spending.

    November 18, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. PAUL W!

    Ohh, that's rich. The GOP's own version of Joseph Goebbels calling NPR execs Nazi's. If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black.

    November 18, 2010 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. Dave

    Talk about the Pot calling the Kettle black...

    November 18, 2010 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  18. H Sede

    That's an apology? Sounds more like a justification, with a little cliche of regret thrown in.

    November 18, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. Dean

    Nazis believed in demonizing a people in such a way as to get people to consider them 'sub-human' enough to eliminate. Who does this – liberals or conservatives? Nazis believed that Nationalism is more important than individual freedoms. Who does this – liberals or conservatives? Nazis believed that one race is superior over all others and should rule them. Who dies this – liberals or conservatives? Nazis believed in banning books and educating the young with Nationalist ideals over individuals. Who does this – liberals or conservatives? Nazis believed that propaganda is more important than giving people the truth. Who believes this – liberals or conservatives? Nazis believed it was their destiny to rule over all other races and cultures. Who believes this – liberals or conservatives? Just wondering how most people view things...

    November 18, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. mfhpr

    blah blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah...yes, roger, that's what sane people here from you on all fronts...

    November 18, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. Michael

    The problem with this slime and his ilk is that they say these outrageous things and then say, "Oh, I'm sorry....gee, didn't mean anything by it," but by that time the damage is done and what was said can't be unsaid. The only people more pathetic than these guys are those who follow them and hang on their every word.

    November 18, 2010 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  22. Marco Budgyk

    Ailes is one of life's losers.

    November 18, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  23. Lenny Pincus

    Ailes is in a uniquely apt position to recognize nazi-like behavior. He has created a propaganda machine that Goebbels would love. Considering that every Republican Presidential candidate except for the heathen Mitt Romney is working for Ailes and his Australian puppet master, I'd guess surviving Nazis everywhere are actually a bit jealous.

    November 18, 2010 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  24. Alex

    Roger Ailes represents the absolute worst of what journalism is becoming. His apology isn't worth the digibytes utilized to report it.

    November 18, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. Al

    This is getting old with Faux News. They loosely throw slanders out there, then apologize. Ever heard of the expression, "The cat's out of the bag?" This is their goal.

    November 18, 2010 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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