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Roger Ailes: Colleagues and Critics React to Fox News Founder’s Death

Variety logo Variety 5/18/2017 Lawrence Yee
© Provided by Variety

Colleagues of Roger Ailes took to social media to pay tribute to the former Fox News chairman and CEO. Ailes died Thursday at the age of 77.

Former President George Bush said he was not sure he’d be president without Ailes “great talent” and “loyal help.”

Sean Hannity heaped praise on Ailes on Twitter, followed by a lengthy statement, and then a phone interview.

He praised his former boss for his “enthusiasm, energy, with, humor and raw instinctive intelligence.”

“Love and prayers to Beth and Zach. R.I.P Roger – you changed television as we know it,” wrote Bret Baier

Geraldo Rivera responded in shock: “OMG #RogerAiles is gone, devastating news, & Erica & I send our condolences to Beth, their son Zack & the entire family. He was a great man,” he wrote.

“Roger Ailes founded one of the most important and successful media outlets in American history. I will miss his friendship dearly. RIP,” wrote Laura Ingraham.

Kim Guilfoyle called him “a mentor.”

Alex Jones tweeted a screenshot of the Drudge Report announcing Ailes’ death, stating, “We stand on his shoulders.”

Stacey Dash weighed in, “My condolences to Roger Ailes’ family. I knew Roger. He was a friend. And, he was a gentleman.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson said they had “mutual respect” for one another.

Former Fox News anchors Megyn Kelly or Gretchen Carlson, who accused Ailes of sexual harassment, were silent on social media as of noon ET on Thursday.

Others sent their sympathies to his alleged victims, including academics Marc Lamont Hill, Rula Jebreal, and screenwriter Randi Mayem Singer.

Jack Antonoff reacted to Ailes’ death, and the death of Chris Cornell, which was also announced Thursday morning. “roger ailes was a sexual predator who ruined many lives. chris cornell was a brilliant artist. world was made better and worse today,” he wrote.

Activist Imrann Siddiqi described Ailes as being “the man responsible for monetizing anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Gabriel Sherman, a New York magazine reporter who wrote an unauthorized biography of Ailes, noted the polarizing reaction to his posting.

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