“I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually,” Mr. Ailes said. “You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”
Fox News is often accused by critics of crossing the line with hosts like Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
But Mr. Ailes accused liberals of using the same overheated rhetoric, and he defended Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, for a map that depicted cross hairs over the district of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was one of the 20 people shot on Saturday.
“We looked at the Internet and the first thing we found in 2007, the Democrat Party had a targeted map with targets on it for the Palin district,” Mr. Ailes said. “These maps have been used for for years that I know of. I have two pictures of myself with a bull’s-eye on my head.”
He added, “Both sides are wrong, but they both do it.”