For anyone interested in such things here's an article making the news/blogosphere rounds here in the states on Roger Ailes , the chief architect of the conservative Fox News network. An extremely powerful voice in conservative circles here in the U.S. The article comes from Rolling Stone magazine [a left of center perspective]. Still it's interesting reading--especially on the heels of a New York Magazine article (The Elephant in the Green Room)--on one of the most powerful figures in American politics. How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory By Tim Dickinson Excerpts: At the Fox News holiday party the year the network overtook archrival CNN in the cable ratings, tipsy employees were herded down to the basement of a Midtown bar in New York. As they gathered around a television mounted high on the wall, an image flashed to life, glowing bright in the darkened tavern: the MSNBC logo. A chorus of boos erupted among the Fox faithful. The CNN logo followed, and the catcalls multiplied. Then a third slide appeared, with a telling twist. In place of the logo for Fox News was a beneficent visage: the face of the networks founder. The man known to his fiercest loyalists simply as "the Chairman" Roger Ailes. ... Ailes runs the most profitable and therefore least accountable head of the News Corp. hydra. Fox News reaped an estimated profit of $816 million last year nearly a fifth of Murdochs global haul. The cable channels earnings rivaled those of News Corp.s entire film division, which includes 20th Century Fox, and helped offset a slump at Murdochs beloved newspapers unit, which took a $3 billion write-down after acquiring The Wall Street Journal. With its bare-bones news* gathering operation Fox News has one-third the staff and 30 fewer bureaus than CNN Ailes generates profit margins above 50 percent. Nearly half comes from advertising, and the rest is dues from cable companies. Fox News now reaches 100 million households, attracting more viewers than all other cable-news outlets combined, and Ailes aims for his network to throw off a billion in profits.... To watch even a day of Fox News the anger, the bombast, the virulent paranoid streak, the unending appeals to white resentment, the reporting thats held to the same standard of evidence as a late-*October attack ad is to see a refraction of its founder, one of the most skilled and fearsome operatives in the history of the Republican Party. As a political consultant, Ailes repackaged Richard Nixon for television in 1968, papered over Ronald Reagans budding Alzheimers in 1984, shamelessly stoked racial fears to elect George H.W. Bush in 1988, and waged a secret campaign on behalf of Big Tobacco to derail health care reform in 1993. "He was the premier guy in the business," says former Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins. "He was our Michelangelo." ... The result is one of the most powerful political machines in American history. One that plays a leading role in defining Republican talking points and advancing the agenda of the far right...And by incubating a host of potential GOP contenders on the Fox News payroll including Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum Ailes seems determined to add a fifth presidential notch to his belt in 2012. "Everything Roger wanted to do when he started out in politics, hes now doing 24/7 with his network," says a former News Corp. executive. "Its come full circle." ... Ailes knows exactly who is watching Fox News each day, and he is adept at playing to their darkest fears in the age of Obama. The networks viewers are old, with a median age of 65: Ads cater to the immobile, the infirm and the incontinent, with appeals to join class action hip-replacement lawsuits, spots for products like Colon Flow and testimonials for the services of Liberator Medical (Liberator gave me back the freedom I havent had since I started using catheters). The audience is also almost exclusively white only 1.38 percent of viewers are African-American. Roger understands audiences, says Rollins, the former Reagan consultant. He knew how to target, which is what Fox News is all about. The typical viewer of Hannity, to take the most stark example, is a pro-business (86 percent), Christian conservative (78 percent), Tea Party-backer (75 percent) with no college degree (66 percent), who is over age 50 (65 percent), supports the NRA (73 percent), doesnt back gay rights (78 percent) and thinks government does too much (84 percent). Hes got a niche audience and hes programmed to it beautifully, says a former News Corp. colleague. He feeds them exactly what they want to hear. ... The Obama era has spurred sharp changes in the character and tone of Fox News. Obamas election has driven Fox to be more of a political campaign than it ever was before, says Burns, the networks former media critic.Things shifted, agrees Jane Hall, who fled the network after a decade as a liberal commentator. There seemed suddenly to be less of a need to have a range of opinion. I began to feel uncomfortable.... ... The result of this concerted campaign of disinformation is a viewership that knows almost nothing about whats going on in the world. According to recent polls, Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of all news consumers. They are 12 percentage points more likely to believe the stimulus package caused job losses, 17 points more likely to believe Muslims want to establish Shariah law in America, 30 points more likely to say that scientists dispute global warming, and 31 points more likely to doubt President Obamas citizenship. In fact, a study by the University of Maryland reveals, ignorance of Fox viewers actually increases the longer they watch the network. Thats because Ailes isnt interested in providing people with information, or even a balanced range of perspectives. Like his political mentor, Richard Nixon, Ailes traffics in the emotions of victimization. ... The only thing that remains to be seen is whether Ailes can have it both ways: reaching his goal of $1 billion in annual profits while simultaneously dethroning Obama with one of his candidate-*employees. Either way, he has put the Republican Party on his payroll and forced it to remake itself around his image. Ailes is the Chairman, and the conservative movement now reports to him. "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us," said David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter. "Now were discovering that we work for Fox.