Watching the current scene of Fox Network’s hocho Roger Ailes orchestrating the largest gathering of presidential hopefuls in the nation’s political history once again renews fond memories of our working together in another era. None is more vivid than one experience that we still laugh about.

Back in  1980, many years before he became today’s media tycoon, Roger already was a respected film producer with an office on Central Park South in New York. And I was director of communications for former Texas Governor John Connally’s  unsuccessful campaign for President.  We teamed up to create all of his television spots and programs.  .

Almost a decade later–in 1979. I heard from Roger with an invitation to join him in work on a Wyoming U.S. Senate campaign for an oil company executive named Bigfoot Binford. Binford was a big rambunctious fellow not lacking in confidence. He reminded of the political figure once described by Texas Congressman Jake Pickle: “sometimes wrong, but never in doubt”.

The campaign was not going well. Our opponent was a fellow named Alan Simpson, whose name would become familiar as he went on to become a giant in the U.S. Senate. With the dour results of a new poll in hand, Roger and I traveled to Wyoming to give Binford the bad news.  After Roger spelled it out, Binford was not happy. More importantly, he was not surrendering. We hashed the poll over and over but the facts did not change.  Binford was undaunted. “Give me some of that graph paper” he snarled. “I’ll do my own damn poll!.”

-Julian Read

August 6. 2015