Don't be pressured, Ailes tells journalists

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Fox News Channel chairman/CEO Roger Ailes called on journalists to resist the pressure from presidential candidates after one Democrat refused to participate in an August debate because it was being co-sponsored by Fox News Channel.

Former Sen. John Edwards said he would skip a Nevada Democratic Party debate Aug. 14 in part, his campaign said, because it was being co-sponsored by the Fox News Channel.

In Washington, D.C., on Thursday night to accept a prestigious First Amendment award from the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, Ailes railes against what he called "blackmail" saying that anyone who resorted to such tactics was "making a terrible mistake about joiurnalists."

Edwards' decision was hailed by bloggers and activists, and has forced a review of whether Fox News should co-sponsor the debate after all. But Ailes said that journalists should resist the pressure wherever it is applied and wondered why it was being done.

"If you're afraid of journalists, how will you face the real dangers of the world," Ailes said.

Ailes was one of four people honored by the RTNDF at its annual award dinner, held Thursday night at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Ailes was honored in part for his tireless behind-the-scenes efforts to free kidnapped Fox News crew Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig after they were taken in Gaza last summer. Centanni was there to present the award to Ailes.

Ailes during his remarks gave a passionate defense of American ideals, saying that its freedoms of press, speech, assembly and religion will be protected as long as there is as an America. He recalled hearing about an Iranian promoting not only the destruction of Israel but also the United States.

"Imagine a world without America," Ailes said. "And then I thought if that were to happen, God help the world."
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