Scott Marks 12:30 p.m., July 26
Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes
A fair and balanced overview of the wonderful, horrible life of Roger Ailes: Republican kingmaker, architect of Fox News, and bullying pimp to woman in his employ. (His pickup line of choice: “If you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys.”) Early in his career, PR man Ailes segued from propping up one stiff — cue card dependent talk show host/automaton Mike Douglas — to energizing the lastingly unrelaxed Richard Nixon. It was Ailes’ expertise as a media-masseuse that ultimately helped pave the way for Tricky Dick’s second term in office. A hemophiliac, Ailes’ Fox News continues to bleed watered-down facts for its dumbed-down-as-it-is throngs. Never having spent more time on the network than the second it takes to channel-surf past it, many of the participants and informational tidbits imparted were new to me. Ailes was never so much as a blip on my radar, and if nothing else, Alexis Bloom’s debut documentary clued me in as to why. 2017.