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The Ten Oddest Things in the New Roger Ailes Book

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Some of the quirkiest bits from Zev Chafets's Roger Ailes: Off Camera

  • He's not a bleeding heart, but... Ailes suffered from hemophilia and almost died after he bit his tongue as a pre-schooler. His father rushed him to a hospital sixty miles away. Chafets writes: "Bob Ailes’s coworkers from Packard came to the clinic to donate blood. 'Always remember,' Bob Ailes told his son, 'you’ve got blue collar in your veins.'" (page 9)

  • He dances like a girl (and like Rahm Emanuel). Ailes's mother (Donna Ailes) made him take ballet and tap classes with his sister, "an indignity for which he has yet to forgive her," Chafets writes. She also made him go door-to-door selling her handmade "lace doilies and embroidered hankies." (page 12)

  • He dated Barbara Walters! "'I dated Barbara a couple times, or took her out as an escort, but we never had an affair.' Ailes told me. 'We probably could have at some point, but we were always married or between marriages or talking about marrying someone. We never got beyond that point.'" (page 28)

  • Octogenarian ladies tried to date him! "'I was up in Harlem at a church for Martin Luther King Day,' he told the group. 'There was this cute eighty-five-year-old lady sitting next to me, and when they sang 'We Shall Overcome' she held my hand. ... Overcome, my ass. I think she was trying to hit on me.'" (page 164)

  • He had a sleepover with Rush Limbaugh. At the White House. "When President George H.W. Bush invited [Ailes and Rush Limbaugh] to the White House for a sleepover, it was Ailes who told [Rush] that it was alright to call his mom from the Lincoln Bedroom." (page 63)

  • He is related to a Lithuanian midget. Ailes on on the many requests for charitable help he receives: "'Every month is something else ... I'm waiting for Lithuanian Midget Month. You know what? One of my relatives actually was a Lithuanian midget.'" (page 164)

  • He wants to beat up critics. "When [Ailes] first discovered e-mail he couldn't resist responding to nasty critics with offers to meet him in Manhattan and settle things like men. He offered to pay the airline ticket for one online heckler. 'One way,' he wrote. 'You won't be going back.'" (page 216)

  • He has a tough fist. "[Ailes] punched a hole in the wall of an NBC control room where he was producing The Tomorrow Show. 'It was just a drywall, and luckily I didn't hit any beams. But somebody put a frame around the hole and wrote, "Don't mess with Roger Ailes.'" (page 216)

  • He gave branding advice to MSNBC. "'I told them not to name the cable channel MSNBC. MS is a damn disease.'" (page 222)

  • He practices affirmative action (on behalf of kids who went to state universities). "'If I get a job application from someone who went to Princeton or Harvard, they have a harder time selling me. I'd rather hire state school kids. ... They hustle, they're not entitled, and they have a work ethic, a desire to win, and practical intelligence.'" (page 225)