The network is just a few months away from launch, and no one is ready. After singling out several employees for their poor performance (“You’re walking around like Mr. Magoo looking for his f---ing d--- in that control room!”), Ailes suddenly pivots to rally mode. Fox News has an opportunity, he says, to speak to conservatives, an audience cable news ignores. As Ailes talks—about loyalty, Fox News’ “mission,” and “fairness and balance”—his voice rises, and the camera pulls tighter and tighter until his face fills the screen, an angry, worked-up white guy yelling about “the real America.”
It’s an apt metaphor for Fox News, but it also speaks to the main problem with the series itself. While The Loudest Voice is a starstudded re-creation of Ailes’ most infamous moments as an alleged serial sexual harasser and brilliant political panderer, it also just feels like visual rhetoric—something that looks good to awards voters but doesn’t say anything new about its subject.
The seven-episode series (based on Gabriel Sherman’s book The Loudest Voice in the Room) centers on key milestones in Ailes’ career, from launching Fox News in 1996 to his resignation, amid sexual-misconduct allegations, in 2016. Aided by his inner circle of loyalists—including his sphinxlike assistant Judy Laterza (Aleksa Palladino) and PR exec Brian Lewis (the suitably smarmy Seth MacF