George HW Bush weighs in on Ailes' death

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Nixon would later invite Ailes to travel from Media, Delaware County, where he lived at the time, to NY, where, Ailes told the Inquirer, "Nixon's staff grilled me for three hours".

Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a powerful cable giant that transformed both American television and politics, has died at the age of 77, Agence France-Presse reports, citing an announcement from the network.

At the time he said he was resigning because he had become a "distraction". Yet without him, friends and foes agree, the GOP's current control of Washington and statehouses nationwide may not have been possible.

Anchors of the channel's morning show Fox & Friends were noticeably emotional in announcing Ailes' death.

"Today, America lost one of its great patriotic warriors", Hannity tweeted. She described her husband as a "patriot", a "loving husband" and a "loyal friend".

Former President George H.W. Bush is adding his voice to the many on social media mourning Ailes, saying his election in 1988 was in part due to the media strategist.

Ailes molded the network to run like a political campaign operation, with primetime shows that were unabashedly conservative and hosts who openly espoused Republican talking points. The former Republican operative created a go-to forum for conservative perspective, in addition to straight news, that resonated with viewers who see a liberal slant in the rest of the mainstream media.

He continued by writing that he wished people would leave Ailes' family and legacy in peace, but he doubted that would happen.

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It all started earlier this afternoon when a tornado warning was issued in southwestern Oklahoma near Duke, OK, and Martha, OK. He said every single trailer here is damaged to some degree, and as of Tuesday night, no one is being allowed back in to area.

Longtime Obama adviser David Axelrod acknowledged Ailes' influence.

Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch in a statement called Ailes "a brilliant broadcaster", saying he "played a huge role in shaping America's media over the last thirty years".

But four years later, Ailes would become founder and CEO of the Fox News Channel.

On Thursday, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office told WPTV it was in charge of examining Ailes's body.

"Roger Ailes was a genius at politics and the news media".

By creating a cable news giant which became a favourite of conservatives, the late newsman became a central United States political figure.

Critics have long accused Ailes and Fox of stretching the meaning of the network's motto, "fair and balanced".

Shortly after Ailes' ouster, Fox News' parent company agreed to a $20 million settlement with lead accuser Gretchen Carlson and admitted that she "was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve".