by Eric Boehlert/Media Matters
Didn't see that one coming did you?
According to the Fox News chairman, that's how the payroll math adds up inside Fox News: The channel has just "one" conservative opinion host on the air, but employs 24 liberal contributors.
Ailes made the head-scratching pronouncement during two recent campus lectures. The first came at the University of North Carolina [emphasis added]:
Well, first, I separate out news from programming. If you're talking about programming, we noticed that all the talk shows on the other networks basically had progressive or liberal talk show hosts. We have one conservative on FOX News, Sean Hannity. Quite open about it, that's what he is, that's what he does, that's his framework, that's where he comes from. Others tend to be libertarians or populists or you can't really tell.
Last week, according to reports from Ailes' lecture at Ohio University, the Fox chairman boasted about the array of progressives he employs:
Ailes defended his network, saying he was not politically biased compared with competitors MSNBC and CNN. Ailes said he employs 24 "liberals," which distinguishes him from those networks who feature fewer dissenting opinions.
You see the point Ailes is pushing? It's that contrary to Fox's carping critics, the cable channel actually is a bastion of liberal opinion makers and viewers have to look hard to find the one conservative host.
For the record then, according to Ailes none of these Fox News opinioin hosts are "conservative":
Eric Bolling (compares Obama to drug dealer)
Steve Doocy (calls Rick Santorum "Mr. Spectacular")
Brian Kilmeade (asks why Obama is "so determined to bring us down")
Gretchen Carlson (announces voters "love love love" Herman Cain's tax plan)
Andrea Tantaros (former Republican aide; says "thank God" Tea Party members in Congress are "driving a lot of the policy in Washington")
Neil Cavuto (says Robert Reich is a "sanctimonious twit" for suggesting the rich should pay more in taxes)
Dana Perino (former Bush White House press secretary; claims Obama administration doesn't "really want any success" on the economy)
Bill O'Reilly (calls Senator Al Franken "a despicable gutter snipe")