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Everything You Need To Know About Roger Ailes From 'The Loudest Voice'

Russell Crowe's new character has heads turning.

Almost unrecognisable under layer upon layer of latex and silicone, Russell Crowe’s astounding portrayal of the notorious founding CEO of Fox News Roger Ailes is one of the reasons why The Loudest Voice, which is streaming now on Stan, is essential viewing.

The other reason is the man himself: A reprehensible right-wing bigot who blustered and harassed his way through a career that defined what we now know as (fake) news coverage. Ailes’ life, nevertheless, makes for unmissable television – as long as you can stomach his often disgraceful actions. Here are five of his dizzying low points.

All The President’s Men

Roger Ailes, 1968. Credit: Ed Farrand/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It was back in 1967, while working as producer on the talk-variety show The Mike Douglas Show that Ailes had a conversation that would change everything.

One of the show’s guests, Richard Nixon, was of the opinion that television was a gimmick, a fad that would never have any consequence. After a heated discussion with Ailes, Nixon asked him to serve as his Executive Producer for television.

He made the stiff and unlikeable politician more palatable to voters and went on to prove himself equally indispensable to Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush on their campaigns, and for Rudy Giuliani on his efforts to become the mayor of New York.

Fox

Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, 1996. Credit: Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

It was the departure of Rupert Murdoch from News Corporation that kickstarted a chain of events that changed the way we absorbed the news from television.

As newly appointed Chairman of the Fox Network, one of Roger Ailes’ first acts was cancelling the news institution A Current Affair and replacing it with Geraldo at Large, hosted controversial daytime TV host Geraldo Rivera.

With news rapidly becoming tabloid entertainment, Ailes constantly ruffled feathers, offended, and made provocative comments that shouldn’t be repeated in a public forum.

He left the company in a storm of controversy when former Fox host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him in 2016. Six more women spoke out against Ailes followed her allegations. And some say this was just the tip of the iceberg. Following an internal review into is business practices, Ailes resigned, receiving a $40million golden handshake in the process.

Trump

Donald Trump, 2016. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In 2016, Ailes became an adviser to the Donald Trump campaign, where he assisted the entrepreneur turned reality TV show host turned presidential candidate with debate preparation. The rest, as they say, is the lowest point in US political history.

In fact, it was Roger Ailes who coined the phrase “Make America Great Again” that became the POTUS’s crowd whipping mantra.

This Is The End

Outside the Fox News studios, 2017. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Roger Ailes died on May 18, 2017 at the age of 77 due to a fall in his Florida home causing a subdural hematoma that was aggravated by his haemophilia.

Many, including Real Time host Bill Maher were happy. “When someone dies, you’re supposed to not say bad things about them. So let me just say, when it came to making old white Americans more frightened and more ill-informed, nobody did it better.”

The Goriest TV Shows That Have Us Chucking Our Guts Up And Asking For More

Best grab a bucket...

As Rose McIver’s undead sleuth Liv prepares to lick her lips and chow down on another juicy brain in the finale of iZombie, many a stomach will be churned. It’s deliciously macabre, as you would expect from a series about a zombie who eats brains in a mortuary and absorbs their memories so she can discover the truth about the digested corpse’s demise.

But is it the goriest show on television? That’s a big bloody no.

The zombie sub-genre has always been drenched in claret. Just have a gander at Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker’s gory Dead Set where a series of Big Brother comes to a bloody end when the house is attacked by the undead desperate for their moment in the limelight, and a stomach full of human flesh. Or even the comic carnage of Drew Barrymore’s Santa Clarita Diet that deftly mixes belly laughs with splat-stick humour.

It’s The Walking Dead, however, that will stake its claim as one of the most violent zombie shows ever made. For a show filled with in-your-face gore and splattery mayhem, it pushed the limits of good taste when the survivors try to clear a well by hoisting a bloated walker out so they can attempt to clear the water supply. Their cunning plan comes a cropper, however, when the cadaver bursts into two, spraying blood, guts and innards everywhere. Intestines wriggle as melted oozing body fluids pour out of the saturated rotten corpse. Frankly it’s disgusting and no, they didn’t drink the water.

The Evil Dead spin-off Ash Vs Evil Dead also upped the gore stakes. Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead was at the forefront of the notorious “video nasty” scandal in the 1980s and was proclaimed by author Stephen King as “the most ferociously original horror film of 1982”.

And it’s easy to see why. Limbs are lopped off, heads decapitated, pencils jammed into ankles and blood sprays everywhere. Many feared that a TV version of the film would show restraint when it came to spraying the camera with body fluids but they needn’t have worried. Ash Vs Evil Dead, starring Bruce Campbell as an ageing Ash still fighting the dead, is uncompromising in its use of fake blood.

Unsurprisingly the television pain-off of Thomas Harris’s cannibalistic Hannibal also proved a tasty treat for horror fans as FBI special investigator Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) played mind games with each other and the audience. The crime scenes in particular were a stomach-churning Grand Guignol treat.

It’s not only the horror genre that revels in death and destruction as anyone who witnessed the rage and wrath of The Mountain in all his head-crushing, eye-ball bursting blood soaked glory will know, Game Of Thrones, can easily hold its severed hand up aloft. After all, the showrunners did decapitate a lead character before the first season was out!

If you’re keen to chuck your guts up, iZombie, Hannibal and Ash Vs Evil Dead are all on Stan. BYO bucket to vom in.

The Best Book-To-TV Adaptations For When You Just Can't Be Bothered Reading

Binge-worthy page-turners.

You may not be so keen on reading a classic novel, but how about watching George Clooney act it out?

Clooney has returned to the small screen in Catch-22, the latest adaptation of Joseph Heller’s novel set during World War II, now screening on Stan. It’s worlds away from his breakthrough ER role.

So why is TV the perfect medium for adapting page-busting novels? The biggest plus: TV isn’t restricted by time like cinema (although that didn’t stop Peter Jackson testing audience’s patience and bladders with his bum-numbingly epic Lord Of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies).

With hours available to slowly unfold a multi-character driven storyline peppered with sub-plots, prestige TV, now laden with bigger budgets and less restrictions, has become the modern day page-turner.

Take Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace, now given the mini-series treatment with an eclectic cast including Paul Dano (Escape At Dannemora), Lily James (Yesterday), Aussie Greta Scacchi and The Young Ones star Adrian Edmondson.

They combine to tell the story of five aristocratic families trying to survive Russia’s war with Napoleon. Only takes 6 hours and 19 minutes in total.

The BBC’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice made the career of Colin Firth, forever linking him to Mr Darcy. And it gave viewers “one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history” when Darcy was seen in a wet shirt.

Given that the lastest version integrated the undead and bloody bonnets into the mix in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Firth incarnation of Mr Darcy showed all how it should be done.

It’s not just period dramas – just ask anyone who’s seen director Tobe Hooper’s mini-series adaptation of the classic Stephen King tome Salem’s Lot. The image of a young boy awoken by the sound of his now undead brother scraping on his bedroom window is scorched into their retinas.

It’s unnerving and terrifying in equal measure. Back in the late ’70s, TV may have had to pull punches when it came to graphic imagery but it still had the power to send a shiver down the spine.

That is the power of TV. To bring transgressive imagery into the lounge rooms of unsuspecting audiences.

When Richard Chamberlain starred in the 1980 adaptation of Shogun, it included a graphic and bloody beheading, the first ever shown on network television.

And now, as the goriest TV show in history, Game Of Thrones, has ended, the hunt is on for the next literary adaptation.

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