Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Asks Staff to 'Tone It Down' in Wake of Arizona Shooting
The executive also criticizes media rivals for trying to link the shooting with his network.
Fox News head Roger Ailes has asked his staff to "tone it down" and lose the "bombast" in the wake of Saturday's shooting in Arizona, which left six people dead and many more wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
"I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually," Ailes told Russell Simmons in an interview that was published on Simmons' website GlobalGrind.com. "You don't have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that."
Ailes also is upset that rival media outlets apparently have tried to link Fox News or the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement with Jared Lee Loughner, the man charged in the shooting with five federal counts, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress.
"He was attached to nobody," Ailes said. "He was a flag burner. He just was not attached to the Tea Party. It's just a bullshit way to use the death of a little girl to get Fox News in an argument."
A total of 20 people were wounded during Saturday's shooting, which took place at a meet-and-greet for Giffords held outside a supermarket. Giffords remains in critical condition after being shot at point-blank range. Six others were killed, including a 9-year-old girl.