John Cook

  • Jolly Roger

    There are only two truly revealing sentences in Zev Chafets’s new biography of Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News and message minder for a host of Republican presidents. They serve as bookends of sorts. The first, in the preface, informs us that the project at hand will be superannuated: “He intends to write an autobiography someday, and I imagine he is holding something in reserve.” The second appears 249 pages later, in the acknowledgments: “I am indebted to Brian Lewis, Fox News executive vice president for corporate communications, who was always willing to answer just one more question.”

  • International Man of Mystery

    Julian Assange, the white-haired founder of WikiLeaks, has been variously described as a Bond villain, a freedom fighter, and a ghostly info warrior sprung from the pages of a William Gibson novel. And at first blush, his tale seems to have all the elements of a gripping thriller: vast caches of classified documents, international intrigue, violent sex, operatives, and assassination threats. Indeed, according to the recent rash of books about the man and his crusade against government secrecy, Assange assiduously cultivates a sense of his own dashing presence, inventing CIA spies lurking around