Roger Ailes, what "unfortunate thing" did Beck apologize for?

Blog ››› ››› SIMON MALOY

For reasons that still aren't exactly clear, Fox News president Roger Ailes participated in the roundtable discussion on ABC's This Week earlier today, appearing alongside This Week regulars Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, and George Will. When Huffington challenged Ailes on Glenn Beck's inflammatory rhetoric, Ailes defended his ratings wunderkind, saying: "He did say one unfortunate thing which he apologized for, but that happens in live television."

Ailes declined to go into specifics, so we'll just have to guess as to what he was talking about. Of course, the most memorably "unfortunate" thing Glenn Beck has said as a member of the Fox News family was his declaration that President Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people." But here's the thing -- Beck never apologized for calling Obama a "racist." He apologized for the way he "phrased" the statement, but said that it's a "serious question" that needed to be asked.

So that leaves us with two possible situations:

First, Roger Ailes used his first guest spot on This Week to quite brazenly lie about his network's rising star.

Second, Roger Ailes was talking about one of the many other "unfortunate" things Beck has said on Fox News, to the exclusion of the "racist" smear. That would mean Ailes is in the same camp as his boss, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who said that Beck was "right" to call the president a "racist."

The sad part is that both these situations are equally as likely to be true.

Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes
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