Ex-Speaker Paul Ryan Weasels His Way Onto Fox Board
Former House Speaker and ongoing terrible person Paul Ryan has joined the board of the new Fox Corporation. The "new model" Fox officially began trading early Tuesday after 21st Century Fox completed the transfer of Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox Broadcasting. Disney picked up what was left of 21st Century Fox's assets in a to-go bag this morning.
Ryan's new colleagues include Formula 1 CEO and mustache tender Chase Carey, Aragon Global Holdings founder Anne Dias, former Telemundo CEO Roland Hernandez, and 21st Century Fox board member Jacques Nasser. He'll also sit around a big glass table in the Hall of Doom with controlling shareholders Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch.
"We are thrilled to welcome our new colleagues to the Fox board," said Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch. "We look forward to working with and being guided by them as we begin a new chapter, steadfastly committed to providing the best in news, sports and entertainment programming."
On the surface, this seems an odd fit. Ryan is a lifelong politician whose most extensive private sector experience was as a "marketing consultant" at his family's construction company. What does he have to offer the board of a major media conglomerate? True, he's already provided his fellow board members and conveniently now himself generous tax cuts that schmucks like us are already paying for. Maybe that's worth a 50 percent increase from what he was "earning" as one of the most ineffectual speakers in modern history.
Ryan is also eligible for an $84,930 annual federal pension, because the world is cruel and unjust. Dick Dale worked until he died so he wouldn't have to wash and re-use colostomy bags. Once he turns 50 in 2020, Ryan will receive regular checks from the American taxpayer that exceed the average household income in Wisconsin. He's set. He could legitimately "retire" and "spend more time with his family," as he claimed when he cashed out his chips in the House last year.
For-profit board service is a standard part of the life cycle of the mediocre but entitled white male, and maybe it's less demanding than constantly failing to serve the public in any compelling way. As a board member of Fox News's parent company, Ryan might finally have some influence over Donald Trump, whose daily intelligence briefing starts with "Fox & Friends" and ends with "Hannity." That's more than 12 hours a day. Barack Obama might've read "documents" and "reports" but for only a fraction of the time the current White House squatter spends watching Fox News with his mouth hanging open.
Just last week on Twitter, where Ryan should change his handle from @SpeakerRyan to @CorporateHack, he praised Trump's "record of accomplishments" and endorsed him for re-election, while criticizing the Democrats' "leftward lurch." Ryan is a craven hypocrite who just six years ago accused Obama of "verbal tantrums" and "petulance." He also claimed he was not the "moderate" that Bill Clinton was. Republicans will always claim the current Democrats are so much worse than past Democrats, who they also slandered as un-American commies. They then applaud Trump without an ounce of shame.
Ryan is probably the perfect choice for a "fair and balanced" network that doesn't hide the fact that it's a mouthpiece for Trump and the GOP. He served his plutocratic masters while in Congress and now he can continue doing so as a private citizen but with a bigger office and a fancier chair.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.