The Fox News channel has often taken a harsh approach to immigration reform, calling a path to citizenship amnesty and advocating for stricter enforcement. But according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a new biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes unfairly portrays his stance on reform by painting him as being aggressively anti-immigration.
In a recent interview, Graham, who was a member of the “Gang of Eight” senators who helped put together the chamber’s comprehensive immigration reform bill last year, defended Ailes. He says that Ailes is, in fact, in favor of immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Graham defends Ailes on immigration
Graham based his defense of Ailes on meetings the men had together throughout the reform debate. The controversy arose after excerpts from an upcoming biography on Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News and Divided a Country,” by Gabriel Sherman, quoted Ailes as taking a particularly aggressive stance on immigration enforcement.
According to the book, Ailes told an associate that border security should be the utmost priority, even to the extent that he thinks the president should deploy Navy SEALs on the dividing line between Mexico and the United States to stop drug dealers who might try to enter the country. At the same time he talked about how many conservatives’ views on immigration were “reactionary.”
The quote itself reveals that Ailes has a somewhat nuanced view on immigration. However, his overall message is one many immigrants’ rights supporters have understandably been upset about.
Graham, who has previously been critical of Fox News at times, especially when it comes to immigration reform, came to Ailes’ defense because he thought the book was unfair and could have a negative impact on immigration reform going forward.