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Ailes' political legacy: GOP control in divided America

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/18/2017 By STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1988 file photo, Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, gets some advice from his media advisor, Roger Ailes, right, as they stand behind the podium at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., prior to the start of the Republican National Convention. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Aug. 17, 1988 file photo, Vice President George H.W. Bush, left, gets some advice from his media advisor, Roger Ailes, right, as they stand behind the podium at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., prior to the start of the Republican National Convention. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

NEW YORK (AP) — Roger Ailes is gone, but the world he created is not.

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Jan. 30, 1996 file photo, Roger Ailes, left, speaks at a news conference as Rupert Murdoch looks on after it was announced that Ailes will be chairman and CEO of Fox News. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

In the wake of the death of the Fox News Channel founder, leaders in both parties say his TV network's influence in shaping American politics cannot be overstated.

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2015, file photo, Roger Ailes attends a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2015, file photo, Roger Ailes attends a special screening of "Kingsman: The Secret Service" in New York. Fox News said on Thursday, May 18, 2017, that Ailes has died. He was 77. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The former Nixon aide played an essential role in shifting the political debate sharply to the right, often employing polarizing and, some say, destructive tactics.

Without him, friends and foes agree, the GOP's current control of Washington may not have been possible.

Yet he also leaves a legacy of deep divisions that critics say will plague the political system for years.

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