When the ‘Loudest Voice’ Sounded Off,
Writer Gabriel Sherman Took Notes
MAYBE YOU SAW the miniseries. Maybe you read the book. Now you can meet the man responsible for both. On tap for Sept. 18, our first lunch of the fall season: Gabriel Sherman, a mild-looking fellow whose 2014 biography of Roger Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” became a bestseller and was the basis of Showtime’s recently telecast miniseries of the same name. Sherman was executive producer of that series. His book is subtitled: “How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News . . . and Divided a Country.” Its genesis was Sherman’s reporting in New York magazine, where he is a contributing editor who covered cable news outlets for a decade before embarking on the Ailes project in 2011.
“Once he found out I was writing about him, it became this super intense experience where he went scorched earth on me,” Sherman told one interviewer. In a 2017 column in New York magazine, he said Ailes hired private investigators to follow him. He also set up a surveillance operation inside Fox News to dig up dirt on Sherman, and had people create a 400-page dossier “to serve as source text for anonymous writers to smear my reputation online, often in anti-Semitic ways.” Sherman even received a death threat from someone who called his home, a warning serious enough for the writer and his wife to make a report to the NYPD and temporarily move elsewhere.
Sherman has written that he interviewed some 600 people for his book, but Ailes declined “many” requests to be one of them. Further, added Sherman, the few times the two men actually did meet were “unpleasant.” The entire project, he said, took a “personal and professional” toll on him. Not everyone was eager to talk. It should be remembered that at the time Sherman was pursuing his story, Ailes was a powerful member of the media establishment. People feared him, but there was something Sherman felt the Fox executive was hiding. What that was became clear when Ailes’s sexual predations came to light, leading to his ouster from Fox in 2016. Ailes died a year later.
In addition to his post at New York magazine, Sherman is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair as well as a frequent contributor to NBC News and to MSNBC. Earlier in his career, he was a writer for the New York Observer. We expect a major response to his appearance, so make your reservation now.
The date: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019
The time: Noon
The place: The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South.
PLEASE NOTE: You may reserve via Eventbrite by linking to:
When you reach that site, click on the word “TICKETS” and follow the directions. You will then receive an email confirming your reservation.
You can no longer reserve by emailing Michael Serrill, but you may continue to reserve by calling the Silurian reservation line at 212-532-0887. Please spell your name clearly and include a contact number or an email address. Lunch prices are $55 for members, $65 for guests, payable at the door by cash (exact change, please), check or credit card. Regardless of how you reserve, if you’re bringing a guest, make sure to give us your guest’s name. Each member is allowed to reserve for one guest, with additional guests put on a waiting list, pending a final count.
One other reminder. Because we must give a final tally to the National Arts Club at noon on Sept. 16 — the Monday before the luncheon — we cannot allow any cancellation after that time. No-shows will be asked to pay for their seats.