Brian Lewis Breaks Silence as Fox News Talent Defends Roger Ailes

6:24 PM PST 08/21/2013 by Paul Bond
Brian Lewis, Roger Ailes

Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and others took exception to a "New York" magazine assertion that the chairman is "alone," so they tweeted their responses.

A day after The Hollywood Reporter reported exclusively about the firing of Roger Ailes' senior adviser, Brian Lewis, the former head of public relations for Fox News broke his silence while the network's on-air talent defended their boss.

"There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time," Lewis said in a statement to TVNewser. "I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News."

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Lewis was fired last month and escorted from his office at Fox News headquarters in New York due to, as a Fox News spokesperson put it, "financial irregularities" and "multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract." Insiders had told THR that their close relationship made it difficult for Ailes to cut Lewis loose.

Other reports spotlighted one reason for a rift between the Fox News chief and his senior adviser. Politico reported that "Ailes had suspected Lewis of leaking information to Gabriel Sherman," a contributing editor at New York magazine who has written extensively about Fox News and is writing a book about Ailes.

Matt Drudge, who runs The Drudge Report, alluded to the same in a tweet: "TRUTH: Behind scenes shitstorm around reporter Gabriel Sherman and his anti-Ailes FOXNEWS book. Top source caught. Lawyers swarm scene."

Meanwhile, Sherman authored a piece titled, "Roger Ailes fired his PR chief, and now he’s all alone." The bold-faced names at Fox News Channel took particular exception to that line. 

The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly tweeted: “Saw New York mag piece on Roger, trust me, he is not alone.”

Hosts Greg Gutfeld, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susteren also tweeted support for Ailes, as did contributors Karl Rove, Doug Schoen, Brit Hume and Andrew Napolitano.

“Oh What a surprise: mag writer finds canned bitter ex-employee to be canned and bitter. Stellar journalism!” tweeted Gutfeld, host of Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld and co-host of The Five.

“Talk of Roger Ailes being ‘all alone’ is claptrap. Easiest boss I ever had to get on the phone. That’s true to this day,” tweeted Hume.

“More Gabe Sherman fiction today. Liberal lies about Fox News are never ending,” tweeted the host of Hannity.

That particular tweet apparently warranted a response, so Sherman tweeted back: “Hi Sean, what are you saying is specifically inaccurate about my reporting? Your tweet is vague.”

Paul.Bond@THR.com

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