Ronald Reagan

How I survived Roger Ailes' wrath in 1988: 'He wanted to beat you up a little bit'

How I survived Roger Ailes' wrath in 1988: 'He wanted to beat you up a little bit'

Before Roger Ailes made TV history with the launch of Fox News, he was considered the best political media strategist in the business.

I first got to know Ailes in 1988 when I was a writer for the advertising trade magazine Adweek. An all-star lineup of creative ad people earned kudos for the gauzy "Morning in America" commercials made for Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign.

Four years later, Madison Avenue’s involvement in the election became my beat. Ailes was tapped to lead the GOP team handling the presidential campaign of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

Ailes, who died Thursday at the age of 77, already had a reputation for being an outsized...

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