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. Pete

    I loathe this man. He calls NPR "Nazis" for upholding journalistic integrity by firing an employee that on several occasions BROKE HIS CONTRACT by going onto shows and opining as a pundit.

    Then, Ailes comes out of left field and makes this claim when he unabashedly murders the very concept of journalistic integrity by pushing an OPINION partisan agenda and calling it news. OPINION IS NOT NEWS.

    But I'll leave it to the ignorant masses on the right and the left to pretend that Fox News and MSNBC are new sources. NPR is a news source, specifically because they are willing to fire their employees when those employees publicly show that they are not neutral.

    News is not a bunch of talking heads that agree with you. News is journalists who report facts and let the audience come to the conclusions. NPR fired Williams because he broke that trust by going on to shows and making speculations based on his opinion. THAT is why Williams was fired.

    November 19, 2010 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  2. DanteX


    A bloated prune-faced Fascist whose own foreign-owned propaganda machine bank-rolls and supports Conservatives in general and the Republican Party and their bigoted and racist right-wing agenda specifically here in the United States of America calling some other media outlet "Nazi's" while his own employer -the patently FAKE and known to be FRAUDULENT Fox News Network- ceaselessly attempts to subvert democracy and distort the TRUTH under the guise of "news" here in this Nation.


    November 19, 2010 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Is there ever a comment form the right thta does not include name calling?
    Mr. Ailes- Your apology is too little, too late. I know you and your ilk can't control yourselves and will say the first thing that comes out of your mouths, but at least have the guts to stand by your slurs.

    November 19, 2010 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  4. Edwin

    So... firing a media analyst for off-the-cuff remarks is similar to exterminating 6 million people? Or was he simply referring to the earlier actions, such as kristallnacht or the book burnings?

    The thing I really can't figure out is why Fox would be upset at all with an organization they claim doesn't "want any other point of view." Isn't that THEIR mode of operation?

    November 19, 2010 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  5. socal frank

    Why do corporate fascists like Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh use the word "Nazi" as a derogatory term???? All their friends, their boss Rupert Murdoch, and their sponsors – are all fascists – so why would the word "Nazi" be a negative term to them??? Maybe Ailes was actually complimenting PBS when he called them Nazis. Roger Ailes has modeled his career on the example set by Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's minister of Propaganda. The entire Fox News network is a tribute to Joseph Goebbels. The Nazis attacked the labor unions, and the Jews. Anyone they disagreed with was a pacifist and a socialist. Same for Fox News – except that instead of attacking Jews, they attack gays, liberals, immigrants, and environmentalists. Fox News Uber Alies !!!

    November 19, 2010 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  6. Dan

    What???? Since when is it bad to use the word "Nazi"??? What a ridiculous apology!!! I would of told the ADL to go f**k itself if they were "offended"....

    November 19, 2010 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  7. Squigman

    This story, and the one preceeding it, concerning the same subject, are prime examples of why I blocked FOX from my receivers. I will not allow this kind of rhetoric and hate filled noise into my home, disguised as journalism. The part of the populace that considers FOX stations fair and balanced, have agendas that have little to do with democracy.

    November 19, 2010 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  8. PAUL

    This right wing HOG, should be fired by Murdock as this also is a slap at Murdock himself who is half Jewish.

    November 19, 2010 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  9. Marry

    The tone of Roger Ailes just shows very clearly the underlying state of mind. All courtesy and respect has disappeared when communicating with people of a different political stand and conviction.
    Bullying, slander, and stupidity take all the energy these people use and that has bought the US to the brink. The “opposition”, formally the administration under Bush, has nationally and internationally lost respect worldwide because of irresponsibility, simplistic approaches and of cause greed. Fox still represents that old state of mind and is very active not presenting solutions and information but keeps hurting America!

    November 19, 2010 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  10. Chris

    what the fvck is happening i our country? conservative white people have gone nuts over electing one black man! they are saying the stupidest things ever recorded in history...

    November 19, 2010 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  11. ss26mar

    don't backtrack you were right they are similiar to nazis next they will do the book burning of any one that doesn't spout their point of view

    November 19, 2010 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  12. Tanbiker2

    Everybody in America knows that the real Nazis here are Republicans in Congress and every single employee of Fox News. When they finally take over our goverment and destroy our democracy, there is no doubt that the new Minister of Propaganda will be an employee of Fox News. Hitler's Germany redux is coming.

    November 19, 2010 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  13. 66Biker

    "These guys don't want any other point of view. They don't even feel guilty using tax dollars to sprout their propaganda."

    He is describing the Republicon Party almost exactly.

    November 19, 2010 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  14. Larry

    To say the least, there is certainly a very DISGUSTING group of individuals in this country that are currently playing a DIRTY game with American politics, including the Republican fake news at FAUX
    One simply can not comprehend, their immoral, self centered, destructive agenda
    Can money really be so important

    November 19, 2010 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  15. Kevin

    When are people going to wake up and realize Faux news is just BS? Fox is to news what pro-wrestling is to sports.

    November 19, 2010 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    A woman in Pakistan has been sentenced to hang for blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed. In the USA we have freedom of speech, but that is disappearing rapidly.
    I see no reason for Mr. Ailes to apologize for use of the word "Nazi."
    It's not the most impressively verbal choice he might have made, but it was fairly descriptive. At least, Ailes doesn't have to use a teleprompter.
    The PC craze has been taken much too far for a land of freedom.

    November 19, 2010 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  17. regertz

    Once a two bit Republican attack dog/thug, always a two bit Republican attack dog/thug. Thanks Roger for exposing the true face of Fox News.

    November 19, 2010 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  18. Dale

    Fair and balanced news, uh huh. Fox News is the propaganda mouthpiece of the GOP, and like the rest of the GOP they suffer from a severe case of xenophobia and delusional extremism.

    November 19, 2010 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  19. Larry

    its funny how we republicans say something out of line all they have to is apologize and this country forgives them but when democrates do the same thing people in this country clinge to it as if its the worst thing thats ever been done and its hung on to like some kind of death grip.

    November 19, 2010 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  20. 2+2=5

    Born with foot in mouth disease just like the rest of them. Every single time they open their mouth they have to apologize, reminds you of children.

    November 19, 2010 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  21. ficheye

    Flip flopping is all the rage. He's also backpedaling while brown nosing, no simple feat. He's got to keep his financial interests secure. Oddly, I listen to three different stations that have NPR funding. Most of it is info-tainment. For me, it's hard to see what is so liberal about it. It's more like bland radio, with interesting fluff and art articles in between.

    November 19, 2010 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  22. Bill

    Why not? Faux News uses that word to describe pretty much everyone they don't like and/or disagree with. The sad truth is that if any administration of the last century resembles the Nazi's, it would be our previous administration, the same one Faux News helped place in the White House.

    November 19, 2010 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  23. hobart

    The epitome of right wing authoritarianism, Ailes is shameless in his hypocrisy and bald-face lies. He accusing everyone else of his own loathsome behavior, and embodies the very stereotype, Nazi, that he pretends to despise. And he thinks we're too stupid to notice, or too lazy to stand up, call him on his lie and boycott his network.

    November 19, 2010 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  24. Little Tommy

    This man and the network he runs is a joke!

    November 19, 2010 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  25. JJ

    So, the person leading one of the most divisive entities in this country, constantly spewing right wing hate messages, is jewish? And then people wonder why anti-semitism is on the rise around the world...

    November 19, 2010 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
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