Highlights from Roger Ailes' Kennedy Center speech

The Fox News president talked Benghazi, the IRS and, of course, Obama

By Jillian Rayfield

Published June 13, 2013 4:13PM (EDT)

Roger Ailes                (AP/Reed Saxon)
Roger Ailes (AP/Reed Saxon)

Fox News chief Roger Ailes gave a rousing speech at the Kennedy Center in Washington on Wednesday, accepting a prize from the Bradley Foundation for being a "visionary of American journalism," worth $250,000. Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine was on the scene, and reported on some of the best quotes. Here are the highlights:

On Benghazi and Obama:

"You see, when we ask you to go out in the night and risk your life for America, we promise that we will backstop you and try and get you out if its humanly possible. In Benghazi, we did not do that...I've come to the conclusion that I don't even care what the president of the United States was doing that night. However, I would like to know what the commander-in-chief was doing that night."

On the IRS:

"We already know the IRS is arrogant," he said. "They waste as much money as other government agencies. They enjoy pushing people around, and they can't line dance. We don't need 16,000 more people who can't line dance! And we don't need more people with guns enforcing our health care!"

On America:

"We've allowed ourselves to be manipulated by others, many of whom want to impose their culture and laws onto the manufactured utopian idea that all cultures are equal and most are better than America. Of course all people should be proud of their heritage. They should teach their children to be proud of their history and their traditions, and they should be welcomed in America. But America is a culture. It has a culture. And it must be recognized."

On other cable news networks:

"We must not allow our collective memory to fade or morph into trendy and revisionist versions of political correctness, which becomes a substitute for the truth. Traditional American culture influenced me greatly as I created the Fox News Channel for Rupert Murdoch. We knew that a fair and balanced news channel could succeed as long as no views were rejected and conservative views were allowed to be heard."

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Barack Obama Fox News Kennedy Center Roger Ailes Rupert Murdoch