2011: “Roger is worried about the future of the country. … He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.”
These three articles tell the story:
Breaking: Sarah Palin Employment at Fox News Conditional on Her Attractiveness, Popularity | Vanity Fair
OCTOBER 5, 2011
Fox News president Roger the-Hutt Ailes experienced a fleeting instance of intellectual honesty in a recent interview with the Associated Press concerning his 15th anniversary as network overlord. “I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings,” he said. New York magazine reported back in May that Ailes thinks the former Alaska governor is “an idiot” and “stupid.”
October 05, 2011
Roger Ailes tells the AP that there was nothing political in his decision to hire Sarah Palin as a Fox News contributor.
“I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings,” he told Frazier Moore, AP’s television writer, in a long and wide-ranging interview.
New York Magazine
MAY 20, 2011
On Monday afternoon, March 28, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes summoned Glenn Beck to a meeting in his office on the second floor of News Corp.’s midtown headquarters to discuss his future at the network. …
“He thinks things are going in a bad direction,” another Republican close to Ailes told me. “Roger is worried about the future of the country. He thinks the election of Obama is a disaster. He thinks Palin is an idiot. He thinks she’s stupid. He helped boost her up. People like Sarah Palin haven’t elevated the conservative movement.” …
Last year, tensions between Palin’s camp and Fox erupted over a prime-time special that the network wanted her to host. Nancy Duffy, a senior Fox producer, wanted Palin to host the show in front of a live studio audience. Duffy wanted to call the program Sarah Palin’s Real American Stories. Palin hated the idea. She complained to her advisers that she didn’t want to be a talk-show host. She wanted to just do voice-overs. More important, she didn’t want Fox to promote her name in the title of the program. Not that it mattered: Palin’s ratings were starting to disappoint Ailes anyway. Fox hasn’t scheduled any additional specials.
Ailes began to doubt Palin’s political instincts. He thought she was getting bad advice from her kitchen cabinet and saw her erratic behavior as a sign that she is a “loose cannon,” as one person close to him put it.