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Roger Ailes may be remembered for founding Fox News and the sexual harassment allegations that later led to his ouster. But his 50-year career had many other milestones.
USA TODAY

The Drudge Report caught Fox News flat footed Thursday morning on news of Roger Ailes’ death, leaving the network to cite the conservative website while reporting on its own founder.

“Roger Ailes, one of the founders of the Fox News Channel, has died,” Fox News anchor Steve Doocy said during an on-air report. “They have published, Drudge has, a statement from his wife, Elizabeth.”

See the moment below:

Visitors that morning to DrudgeReport.com saw Elizabeth Ailes’ full statement splayed across the very top of its page with an oceanside portrait of her and her late husband. 

“Drudge Report Scoops Fox on Ailes death,” the New York Times’ Jeremy Peters tweeted. “His widow’s statement went straight to Matt.”

Matt Drudge founded the highly watched Drudge Report in 1995. Neither Fox News nor Drudge Report responded immediately to requests for comment.

 

Media industry observers mused aloud on Twitter what it might mean that Ailes’ wife went to the crudely designed Drudge Report with news of her husband’s death over the glossy network he founded.

“The way that Elizabeth Ailes sent her statement to Matt Drudge and not to Fox News speaks volumes about how the world works these days,” said Peter Flax, an editor at the Hollywood Reporter, in a series of tweets

“It means that Drudge is the engine room if you have news to disseminate. It also says something (about) Ailes-Fox relationship in recent months.”

Ailes’ death comes less than a year after he was ousted from his role as CEO at Fox News amid a sexual harassment scandal, the news of which stemmed from a resignation letter obtained and published by — you guessed it — the Drudge Report.

Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner

More: Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes dies at 77, a year after being ousted

 

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