Film Analysis: ‘Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes’

Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes expressed a partition between a man who was a pioneer for television and politics, but the fall of a television hero. We are introduced to Roger Ailes’ childhood and school reputation from a few people. It was surprising to see that there was not a substantial amount of different people to recapture his childhood memories. Some of the people that spoke were also in scenes speaking about his career.

Ailes seemed to not live in the social world with other people his age. He did not focus on socializing about with friends more than concentrating on his career. Mostly among people, there is a “high school” social mentality. This can be classified as possessing the desire to converse with people and talk about careless things. Socialization among people did not help if it was not of the essence for him. If he talked to anyone, then it was to social climb up in the ranks. He carried a presence of making people believe that were close to him while in actuality they was not.


The Fox founder and media mogul followed the expectations of an American citizen. This is seen in him making a huge impact and leaving his mark. He possessed so much power, money, and intelligence. Ailes was lonely at the highest level. We only heard him talk about his commodities and achievements when he was off the job. If you are the breaking barriers in television, then no one around you that is not doing the same will not understand you. Society says work hard to get where you want to be, but what happens when you work harder then what the next? You become socially disconnected to the people around you. You become powerful on the level of getting seen as an intimidation. The rate Ailes was going made him feel invincible. He felt no could touch him and that he could do anything. Now, this deep example of the male ego is what made the television pioneer fall.

Ailes was powerful and was a gold mind at being an innovator. He had power in politics, the media, television, over men, but not women. Women was the last thing that seemed foreign to him regardling control. Ailes represents a person who took the initiative to pick having a career over socializing. So, he did not know how to actually socialize outside of the business rhetoric or discursive language. This was a foreign land to him. He was merely driven and obsessed with the feeling of having control and power. Everything else was submissive to him in a business and regular sense.

Furthermore, everyone has something weird they do in their own privacy. Some people will not ever admit the crazy and weird things they do. These eccentric things can be seen as meeting the social norms or coming out of them. For Ailes, this was having a voyeuristic nature. Also, imposing his scopophilic ways on women, meaning objectifying them as just a mere body part to represent. Did he see his female employers as women or just a pair of boobs and legs? The male he ultimately became outside of his achievement might have been the person he always wanted to become. However, his desire to have power, entrepreneurial competition with other media platforms, and conquer became the dominant goal in his life. Someone adults become a version of themselves that they wanted be while younger. When Ailes’ weird ways came into the spotlight, he became his true identity and self even becoming a part of his fall. This was Roger Ailes. But, this version of Ailes’ was not socially accepted, disgusting, creepy, and not positive.

As a male youth, Ailes might have not been aware of his huge manipulative and persuasive ways. Or was he just around a lot of gullible people? It was interesting to hear that people believed the things Ailes said. This is a talent, but rather a hard skill for people to have innately acquired at a young age. Ailes saw issues in television that pertained visual rhetoric and intended messages to the audience. There was no persuasion. There was no entertainment. The people did not get to see professionals talk about the current and pressing issues occurring in society. There was no real sight of media inside the television industry. Television was just a commodity in which people turn on for a few hours and turned off. Everything was linear and close minded. Ailes’ innate strategic communication skills allowed him to change all of this forever. People before him never thought to move into a new direction. They did not possess the vision, such as Ailes.

When you work so hard, that one thing you are aiming towards becomes your identity. Ailes created Fox and other platforms, and hide behind them. Yes, Ailes was Fox’s Founder, businessman, husband, and more, but we did not know him. We knew and fell in love with his innate talent. Our first true and real introduction to Ailes was when the scandals came out. It is apparent that Ailes never know who he was and used his great career and talents on manipulation to fill his space of who he was.

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Gabrielle Alexandra Smith

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