Gabriel Sherman, whose new book about Roger Ailes has caused a major stir in the media world, appeared on HuffPost Live on Thursday to discuss his own experiences covering the famously secretive and combative head of Fox News, and to address some of the controversies surrounding the book.
Sherman famously never got to speak directly to Ailes for the book, but he described two interactions he did have with him as "very combative."
"He treated me like I was a threat," Sherman said. "At one party at the Four Seasons he called me a 'harasser.'"
Sherman also discussed the possibility that he might have been "played" by Ailes during the process of interviewing sources for the book. (Some reviewers have professed their suspicions about his sourcing.) He noted several instances in which he was contacted by insiders that he says were allies of Ailes.
"I had to be very careful," he said. "I just knew that there was a lot of possibility for deception.... I knew that while Ailes wouldn't sit down with me, he was sending out these scouts throughout the process."
Sherman recalled one anonymous email he received that he said he knew was sent from either one of Ailes' "emissaries" or Ailes himself trying to "plant misinformation."
But when asked about the future of Fox News without Ailes, Sherman said he has doubts that a company "so built" on one man could continue without him.
"I don't think Fox could exist in its current form without him," Sherman said. "I've heard it being described by executives close to him that there would be a 'Lord of the Flies'-like situation if he was gone. The in-fighting would be so fierce.... Everyone is loyal to him, all the power flows up to him.... It's this divide and conquer strategy that he uses to make his team loyal to him."
To hear more from Sherman, watch the full interview below: