When Roger Ailes has something to say, he usually gets the message out through Howard Kurtz, so I was surprised to see Chris Ariens’s “lengthy interview” with the Fox News chief on TV Newser this morning.
I asked Ariens how it came about. Here’s what he tells Romenesko readers:
One of the publicists called me Tuesday afternoon and invited me to come and cover the Ailes Apprenticeship event. They didn’t ask for me specifically, but I said I’d be happy to cover it and I assumed some other reporters would be there, but I don’t think any were. They said I’d could probably get a few minutes with Ailes afterward.
After the event, I figured he’d come to the back of the studio and I’d get one or two questions and be on my way. Instead we walked to his office where we sat down for just shy of a half hour. I’d never met Ailes or interviewed him, so I was surprised at how much time he was giving me.
I asked Ariens about interview ground rules.
He didn’t decline to discuss anything. I was never told beforehand what he would or wouldn’t discuss. He never said anything was off the record and never gave me a no comment. It was a very casual conversation. So much information and so wide ranging that I’m breaking it up into several posts. I think that’s what TVNewser readers are used to anyway, the short bursts of news rather than a longer piece.