Author Topic: Fox News has a “crumbling foundation”: Roger Ailes’ biographer talks to Salon  (Read 1640 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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TUESDAY, JAN 21, 2014 05:30 AM PST
Fox News has a “crumbling foundation”: Roger Ailes’ biographer talks to Salon
Violence, paranoia, bigotry and sexual harassment reign at "America's Newsroom," author Gabriel Sherman explains

Gabriel Sherman’s exhaustive, inflammatory biography of Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, released days ago by Random House, has already prompted network pushback. “While we have not read the book,” a Fox News spokesperson told the New York Times, “the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.” Sherman’s 538-page tome, “The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided a Country,” is the product of three years of work and hundreds of interviews. It paints Ailes as a transformative figure in American media and politics – and includes alleged episodes of violence, paranoia, bigotry and sexual harassment.

Sherman, a contributing editor at New York magazine, spoke with Salon Friday about Ailes’ power, his myth-making about his own biography, and Fox’s future. “He is presiding over an empire that has a crumbling foundation,” said Sherman. A condensed and edited version of our conversation follows.

You write that Ailes has been “essentially running the Republican Party …” Why Ailes and not, say, Mitch McConnell, or Jim DeMint, or Rush Limbaugh, or Rubert Murdoch?

I think Ailes has surpassed the Republican Party. Fox is driving the set of stories and the mission in a way that – it’s not that Ailes is doing it to help the Republican Party, Ailes has his own agenda. He is bigger than the Republican Party. He has a meeting, which I report on in the book, and he expresses disdain for the Republican Party — he jokes at one point that the GOP couldn’t organize a one-car funeral. So you know, to your question, why Ailes and not somebody else, I think because there is just a legitimate power vacuum in Republican politics. I mean, the biggest power center on the right in American life right now is Fox News. It is the toll booth that Republican politicians have to go through to speak to Republican primary voters. And Ailes has created an empire that effectively controls the message on the right. That’s why I write about him being the closest thing we have right now in American politics to a party boss.

Let’s take three motives: Winning profit for Fox News, winning elections for Republicans, and winning ideological or policy victories for conservatism. How big a role do each of those play in the way Ailes has run Fox?

I think the way to look at it is that it’s a dance. There are these competing interests and motivations that govern how Ailes runs Fox News; they are all interrelated, and at any given point one of those motives will be higher up than another.

Without the profits and the ratings, Ailes cannot win an election and push his conservative agenda. So at a certain respect, the profits and the ratings are the primary agenda, because this is the engine that allows him to accomplish everything else.

But really since 2002, since Fox News passed CNN and never turned back as the No. 1 cable news network — and now its ratings are double that of CNN and MSNBC combined, and it generates around a billion dollar profit for Rupert Murdoch’s media empire — now that financial success is so assured … Ailes can bank that. He knows that Fox is going to be an ATM machine for him and for Murdoch. So now, his agenda becomes more about advancing Republican fortunes at the polls.

And what my book shows is, most recently, his agenda has become pushing his own agenda. That’s how I see that Ailes has come to a remarkable point in his career, where his agenda — the style of politics that he is pushing, and that his audience wants to hear on Fox — is detrimental to the GOP.

That was the moment we saw Ailes’ agenda damaging Mitt Romney’s ability to win a national majority, by turning off moderate voices, from the center-right all the way to the left. Fox became this extreme circus-like brand of politics that Mitt Romney could never shake.

After recounting election night 2012, you suggest that “perhaps the freak show had become too freakish” for the GOP’s own good. How so?

I recount a confrontation that Karl Rove and Ailes had around the time of the 2010 midterm elections, when the Tea Party wave was washing over America, Sarah Palin was flirting with running for president, Fox was giving airtime to Tea Party candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Michelle Bachman and others.

And Rove goes to Ailes, and Rove is the consummate party insider … [he] went to Ailes and effectively said: You’re going to kill our party. You’re promoting people like Christine “I’m a witch” O’Donnell. You’re putting Palin out there. These are marginal fringe candidates that are never going to win an election.

And I think in that confrontation you can see how Ailes’ instinct and agenda, to promote both very entertaining candidates and very far-right candidates, damaged the party. And that’s what brought him into conflict with Rove.

You describe Ailes’ building what his brother called a “panic room,” underneath his house, suspecting people of being spies, and believing Michelle Obama was threatening his safety when she said she was surprised to see him at an event. Do those anecdotes reveal something about Fox News as well as Ailes?

I think they are directly related to the culture of Fox News. I set out to write a book about Fox News. And very early on in my reporting three years ago, I realized the story of Fox News is the story of Roger Ailes. The network is a total reflection of his worldview. The paranoia, the conspiracy, the humor, the charisma. You can’t write about Fox or Ailes without acknowledging that he has the timing and the range of a comic. I mean, he’s hilarious.

But all of those elements of his personality are part of what winds up on the screen on Fox. But also, most importantly, how the organization is run. The paranoia.

I mean, I can’t tell you how many people I spoke to said something along the lines of, If Ailes knew I was talking to you he would kill me, or my life would be ruined if it got out that Ailes knew I was helping you with your book.

And so I wanted to show [how] this conspiratorial world that Ailes has created for himself is also sort of a metaphor for the style of politics that has become so pervasive on the right — this fear of outsiders and this paranoia that has been dominant, that the GOP since 2012 has been making a vocal effort to change. But I don’t think it will change as long as Fox News continues to be programmed by a man who has this worldview.


Offline Reginald Hudlin

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You mention “post-election tweaks” at Fox, and you end with the observation that “every show has its run.” Where is Fox News headed?

I write at the end of the book with a bit of sadness for Roger Ailes; it’s the human story, and the incredible journey that he had through show business, politics and now television news. And Ailes is 73. He is trying to re-create an America that doesn’t exist anymore. And one could argue it never existed.

And I see both him and Fox — you know, he is presiding over an empire that has a crumbling foundation. And it still is very much an empire, but the underpinnings holding it up are weakening.

And Ailes is clinging to power. So you can never predict when that end will come. But what has made Fox News powerful is speaking to a part of America that has continued to get older and older. And the time will come when that audience is no longer there to program to.

And what will happen then?

Well, it’s impossible to predict the future. But I think one thing is clear: Without Roger Ailes, Fox News cannot exist in its present form. The culture of the newsroom, of how the news is programmed, is so tied to his worldview — and everything flows from his office — that if you take him out of the picture, that machine loses its life force.

That’s not to say there can’t be a conservative news network. There is a very vibrant conservative media in this country. But the sort of fear and drama that Fox is does not exist without Ailes. And I think it’s telling that he has not publicly discussed a successor. He kind of refuses to acknowledge who he would pick to take over, if and when he goes.

Your book recounts producer Randi Harrison saying that in a salary negotiation, Ailes offered her $100 extra a week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.” A Fox spokesperson said they “have not read the book” but that “these charges are false.” Who’s telling the truth?

Well, the sourcing is very transparent in the book. There’s more than 100 pages of endnotes at the back. That anecdote is told from on-the-record sources. Randi Harrison told that anecdote to me in the course of several interviews. I corroborated her story with other sources. So at the end of the day, you know, I have a firsthand account of that episode. And I think it’s very important to note that it’s in the context of other women who have had encounters with Ailes of a sexual nature that they felt uncomfortable with. And those are also documented in the book with on-the-record sources. So I think the reader can evaluate for themselves what the truth is. And I’m very transparent with the sourcing.

Has anything surprised you about the way Fox News has handled the release of your book?

Well, I think it’s notable that the volume of hysteria that greeted the reporting of this book, the more than 9,000 words that Breitbart spilled distorting me and my journalism in the months that I was working on this book, the Twitter attacks by Fox personalities maligning me. I think it’s telling that once the book is out they went silent. And the degree to which Ailes and Fox can control the conservative media’s coverage of a story.

Now, let’s do a thought experiment for a second. If Breitbart News thought my book was a big story … and if Sean Hannity and Karl Rove and Andrea Tantaros and other Fox personalities thought that my working on this book was a big story, so much so that they would take to Twitter to comment on it, I think it is very telling that there has been very little response now that it’s out.

So that tells me they were covering my book not as a news story, but as a political campaign. It was a political campaign designed to impugn me and my journalism. To distort my journalism in an effort to close the eyes of their conservative audience. And now that the book is out, I’m so happy that readers can judge for themselves the book on its merits. That it’s a nuanced and measured look at Ailes’ power, and his dark side. And that is something that Roger Ailes has no power over.

While you were working on your book, Ailes was cooperating with a biography with a different tone, by Zev Chafets, that some people saw as a move to undermine your book. Have you read that one?

Of course, I read it … I read thousands of pages of secondary sources in the course of my reporting that are all listed in the bibliography …

And what was your reaction to it?

I thought it was a fascinating document that revealed Roger Ailes in ways that Roger Ailes did not perhaps intend …

There are episodes in Ailes’ life that he recounts, both in Chafets’ book and elsewhere, that are these wonderful stories, they’re old chestnuts, and he tells them all the time. He tells them in meetings with his Fox executives. He tells them in speeches. And they’re these stories that present Ailes as this kind of lucky kid from Ohio, who through luck and good fortune stumbled into politics — he never really cared about politics, he was a TV guy, a showman, and just kind of lucked into this career. And the prime example of that is his encounter with Richard Nixon on the set of the Mike Douglas show in January of 1968.

And in Chafets’ telling — and this is an account that Ailes has given to other journalists — Ailes had met Nixon because he had booked a belly dancer called Little Egypt on the Mike Douglas show. And Ailes, being the savvy producer, wanted to spare Nixon an uncomfortable encounter with the belly dancer in the green room of the Mike Douglas show. So Ailes put Nixon in his private office, to give him a private place to wait while the show tapes. And that was the opportunity: When Ailes went into his office, he started making small talk with Nixon. He made the famous remark:

Nixon says, “It’s a shame a man has to use gimmicks like television to get elected.” And Ailes retorted, “Sir, if you think that way, you’re gonna lose again” …

So that’s a wonderful story. It shows Ailes as being a quick thinker. It shows him downplaying his ambition while he amassed power. So you know, I went out and I had rereported that anecdote long before Chafets’ book came out, because I was fascinated by that. It’s the Roger Ailes creation myth story.

And I interviewed the Mike Douglas producers, I consulted the show logs for the show, the documents, and it turns out there was no belly dancer that day. So there was no way that Nixon could’ve been having an awkward encounter with a dancer that Ailes was trying to avoid.

And what all of the sources that I spoke to told me is that Roger Ailes was intensely interested in Nixon. He wanted to be his media adviser. He had discussed becoming his media advisor with a colleague.

He had also discussed with another colleague his appreciation of the Nazi propaganda filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. And not for her ideology — I want to make it clear that in no way am I saying that Ailes was taken with Nazi ideology. It was her skills as a filmmaker that he was enthralled with. He loved her use of camera angles and edits  to communicate a political message.

And so what my book does is show, actually, that there was a calculated effort. That Ailes had to meet Nixon, to talk his way onto the campaign. And I think it’s an amazing bit of stagecraft that he has pulled off in his career, to present himself as kind of up-from-his-bootstraps, unassuming person, when in fact there has kind of been a design and an agenda to his desire to enter the political arena.

And so that’s a case where Chafets’ book has that anecdote, and it reveals Ailes, but what it reveals about Ailes is that he’s willing to spin these myths and these yarns, these kind of invented stories about himself …

You portray Ailes as quick to see the potential of television and in some cases perhaps slow to adjust to the move to the Internet. Is that a trend that continues?

I see no indication that it changes. Ailes is very, very aware that his audience is an older audience that wants traditional television. They’re not putting a lot of content online. So I don’t see Fox innovating in a way that suggests that Ailes is looking to build, you know, a digital future beyond cable news. I mean, Fox has a phenomenally successful business model that he’s going to ride this out as long as he needs. I mean, Fox is an ATM machine so they’re not rushing into new media, because those business models are not as successful as the one he already has.

What does your reporting suggest about what CNN or MSNBC would need to do in order to compete with Fox?

They’re in a tough place. Because Ailes has carved out such a loyal audience, and is willing to do things … CNN is a news network. MSNBC has kind of morphed into a progressive sort of talk radio with pictures, it’s a different thing. But let’s just look at CNN: They have bureaus all over the world … They supply much of the global news for many other media … CNN is in the news business, the news gathering business …

The president of CNN U.S., he can’t do what Ailes does, which is effectively, Ailes has built a political organization that has journalists. I mean, Ailes starts every morning talking to his executives about … how to speak to conservatives, and appeal to their emotion. And, for example, he’ll say, “Obama hates capitalism” and you see his vision radiate throughout the channel. You see the chyron, the segments, repeated segments on Fox: Is Obama a socialist? Is Obama bringing socialism to America? You see those themes, those story lines develop.

And while every news network you know has narrative — MSNBC right now is obsessed with Christie’s bridge scandal — what Ailes can do, that CNN can’t, is that he programs a political message. And that he has journalists that go out and fill in the spaces with some reports, but it’s a political organization at its heart. And CNN is just a very different animal.

I think what [CNN’s] Jeff Zucker is trying to do is to apply more entertainment values to what CNN does, and when there’s not big, breaking news, maybe bring in eyeballs and viewers with compelling content like the “Blackfish” documentary that got a lot of attention. But they’re just different. You know, CNN and Fox News are fundamentally different, different things.

And so I think there are limits to how CNN could try to apply Ailes’ success to their own business. And I think it would be to their detriment. You know, in the past cable news executives have failed when they have tried to emulate Ailes. Because you can’t emulate Ailes. Because Ailes has built something that is a complete expression of his own worldview. I mean, he is the fuel. He is the flux capacitor of Fox News, and Jeff Zucker is not at CNN.

CNN is a complicated multiheaded beast. You know, it’s just very different.

And the efforts that Ailes made, that you report, to recruit Chris Christie or [David] Petraeus to run for president, what do those choices reveal about Ailes?

Well, I think that those choices are in keeping with his long career as a Republican operative. You know, Ailes politically is a committed conservative ideologue, hostile to government spending, hostile to environmental regulation, he’s hawkish on foreign policy — you know, you go down the line, he’s very conservative. But his career has mainly been spent working through moderates. You know, his political hero is George H.W. Bush. At one point they were speaking many times a week …

Ailes has been able to be the bridge between the moderate, country club establishment wing of the party, and the populist blue-collar base out in the heartland. And Ailes has communicated their frustrations and their resentments, and been able to harness that kind of frustration onto an establishment GOP candidate. And I think it’s important that Ailes has monetized this unique ability to understand the frustrations of middle America not only in service of moderate GOP candidates … Ailes also has done this in service of large corporations …

Ailes crafted messages on behalf of Philip Morris and big tobacco in a campaign against raising tobacco taxes in California … He was running his own consulting firm, and his ads on behalf of Big Tobacco played upon fears of crime and cigarette smuggling, which you know were criticized … for their racial appeals: that if you raise taxes, you’re going to increase inner city crime and drug trafficking and gangs, because people are going to smuggle cigarettes. And that shows you how he was willing to take that message also to corporate America, and help lobby on behalf of corporate America by appealing to the resentments and the fears of sort of the white middle class that he understood so well.

Is there something you think has been missed in the coverage so far about what is in your book?

What I hope readers can experience now that the book is out is that this is a story. While it has revelations … fundamentally it is a story that has a beginning, and a middle, and an end. And at the center of that story is my protagonist, Roger Ailes …

“Mad Men” was so successful on television because it evoked the pre-culture war 1960s in New York City, and even if you weren’t interested in advertising, you wanted to see what happened to these characters. In that same way, I’ve really tried hard to create a world, with Roger Ailes at the center of it, where you have these characters who you care for …

It’s a human story and the characters are what are at the heart of it.

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Wednesday, 30th October 2019
Former Fox News hosts want out of non-disclosure agreements
by CBS News

Former Fox News employees are demanding to be released immediately from non-disclosure agreements over sexual harassment claims.

Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky are among six former employees reportedly pushing to share their stories publicly.

The signed agreements, also known as NDAs, often trade silence for money.

NBC News released former employees from their NDAs last week, which inspired the push at Fox News.

In the wake of the Me Too movement, women are calling them unfair silencers that sweep sexual misconduct claims under the rug.

CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan asked the women why they're pushing for this now.
"Because I think this is the latest phase in the revolution. We've made so much progress over the last three years," Carlson said.

"We want to speak for ourselves. We had a voice for a very long time," Roginsky said.

Carlson and Roginsky aren't allowed to talk publicly about alleged sexual harassment working at Fox News.

"The way in which we continue to subjugate women and keep them down is through NDA's and silencing them. It's really a harasser's best friend," Carlson said.

But now they said they're tired of being silent.

"I want to do it for the thousands of women in our country who maybe don't have the national platform to speak out," Carlson said.

Carlson was the first of numerous women silenced after settling lawsuits against Fox News and its then-president, Roger Ailes, for claims of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Ailes died in 2017.

"Some would say a company didn't make you sign a settlement. What do you say to that?" Duncan asked.

"I say that that's the way we have decided as a culture to resolve sexual harassment cases and it's wrong," Carlson said.

In a lawsuit, Carlson alleged Ailes "sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances."

Court documents alleged Carlson was terminated from the network in 2016.

Roginsky said Ailes and Fox News denied her a regular spot hosting "The Five" after she refused to have a sexual relationship with the former network chief.

"You all were awarded money, compensated financially – you can't even say that?" Duncan asked.

"No," Carlson said, shaking her head.

The women also aren't allowed to discuss the way they're being portrayed in recent movies.

Carlson is played by Nicole Kidman in the movie, "Bombshell," which tells the story about the takedown of Ailes.

"We would've liked to have been able to tell our sides of the story, so that's strange and frustrating," Carlson said.

"If Fox is not going to release these women from their NDAs, are they going to go public anyway? Well, if they do, they know what the consequences are, and they are big in terms of dollars," CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said.

Roginsky said she doesn't know what the consequences would be if she spoke out, and "I don't want to find out," she said.

"The onus shouldn't be on us to try and find out. The onus should be on the companies to release us. This is not an issue that's only emblematic of one industry or one political persuasion, its emblematic of an entire culture and a society that tells women that they need to keep quiet… and that has to end," Roginsky said.

Fox News had no comment about releasing people from NDA agreements.

Many companies, including CBS, have used non-disclosure agreements.

When we asked CBS about its use of them, the network said it previously released people from confidentiality provisions in order to allow them to speak with investigators.

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Thursday, 5th December 2019
Top Fox News D.C. Reporter James Rosen Left Network After Sexual Harassment Claims

by David Folkenflik

On the Friday before Christmas, Fox News confirmed that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, had left the network.

He had worked there for 18 years and become something of a legend.

The U.S. Justice Department under the Obama administration was so frustrated by his reporting on U.S. intelligence about North Korea that it conducted a leak investigation into his sources.

The network cited no reason for Rosen's exit and did not announce it on the air.

According to Rosen's former colleagues, however, he had an established pattern of flirting aggressively with many peers and had made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer.

And his departure followed increased scrutiny of his behavior at the network, according to colleagues.

This story is based on interviews with eight of Rosen's former colleagues at the Fox News bureau in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Rosen declined to comment to NPR after it set out in detail what it intended to report.

Rosen's behavior was drawing attention from Fox News at a time when its controlling owner, Rupert Murdoch, declared there had been no allegations of sexual misconduct at the network since the ouster of the late Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, in July 2016.

"There was a problem with our chief executive, sort of, over the years, isolated incidents," Murdoch said in a mid-December interview with Sky News, another news outlet in which he has a controlling stake.

He then said Ailes was gone in three or four days after complaints were made.

(Murdoch actually ousted Ailes 13 days after former host Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Ailes on July 6, 2016. Five years earlier, Fox News had paid $3 million to settle allegations from a former network booker that Ailes had coerced sex from her. The Murdochs say they were not aware of the payment at the time.)

Murdoch went on:

"There's been nothing else since then. That was largely political because we're conservative."

Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, Fox's parent company, had to issue a statement cleaning up the damage caused by those remarks among outraged female employees.

Many female former Fox News journalists other than Carlson had come forward to attest to sexual harassment by Ailes (all of which he denied through his lawyer before Ailes' death in 2017).

Yet Ailes was not the only prominent Fox figure accused of sexual harassment.

Top prime-time host Bill O'Reilly was bought out of his contract by Fox in the spring of 2017 after The New York Times detailed the scope of multiple sexual harassment allegations against him for which he agreed to pay settlements totaling approximately $45 million to quiet them; the host Eric Bolling was fired after being accused of sending unsolicited sexually explicit texts to several female colleagues; and other top executives were ushered out as having facilitated or tolerated such behavior.

A midlevel Fox News executive, Francisco Cortes, was also fired in 2017 after being accused of sexually assaulting a former Fox News contributor.

O'Reilly, Bolling and Cortes have each denied any wrongdoing.

A judge this week dismissed Cortes' allegations contained in a lawsuit against 21st Century Fox that it fired him and leaked news of the accusation to scapegoat him as a public relations ploy.

21st Century Fox and Fox News say the removal of those executives and a raft of new procedures show the network's commitment to offering a fair and welcoming workplace for women.

The Ailes and O'Reilly sexual harassment scandals inspired further revelations about related accusations against powerful figures across numerous media institutions, including NPR, which fired two male news executives last fall.

Current and former Fox News Washington journalists characterize the Washington bureau as retaining something of a Mad Men ethos, with some male reporters frequently sending racy "topline" notes through the network's internal messaging service.

The accusations against Rosen, who is married with young children, are more severe than that.

He developed a reputation as a talented and ambitious journalist called "the professor" on the air by former political anchor Brit Hume for his interest in Watergate (Rosen wrote a book focusing on the life of former Attorney General John Mitchell that argued for a kinder reassessment of his role in that Nixon-era scandal).

Rosen has sent such messages, according to his former female co-workers.

But in three instances he made overt physical and sexual overtures, according to the accounts of numerous former Fox News colleagues who heard about the incidents contemporaneously.

In the winter following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, a female Fox News reporter joined the bureau from New York.

In a shared cab ride back from a meal, Rosen groped her, grabbing her breast.

After she rebuffed his advance, Rosen sought to steal away her sources and stories related to his interests in diplomacy and national security.

That's according to four colleagues who say she relayed the episode as a warning about Rosen's behavior.

The reporter declined to comment for this story.

(NPR has decided not to name the women in this article as they have not granted permission to do so.)

In a subsequent episode several years later, a female producer covering the State Department alleged that Rosen had directly sexually harassed her.

A foreign national, she subsequently accepted a deal from Fox that enabled her to extend her stay in the U.S. in exchange for not making her complaint public, according to several of her former colleagues.

The producer, who now works for a foreign-based news organization, is abroad with family and did not respond to several detailed messages left by email and phone seeking comment.

Late last spring, Rosen turned his attention to a younger female reporter, according to two colleagues who say she told them of the incident shortly afterward.

Returning from a lunch together, Rosen physically tried to kiss her in the elevator ride back to the office, and once refused, attempted forcibly to kiss her again.

According to a colleague, he then asked the reporter to keep the approach quiet and offered her unsolicited help in getting more time on Bret Baier's nightly political newscast, Special Report.

The female reporter declined to comment for this story.

Fox News executives say privately it takes time to reverse problems in a culture set from the top by Ailes.

Under a new top human resources executive, Fox News last summer placed a human resources employee in the bureau for the first time.

In response to detailed questions, Fox News declined to comment on its Washington bureau or Rosen beyond affirming his departure.

Yet some female employees at Fox's D.C. bureau say the company seemed late to turn its attention southward from its main headquarters in New York City, given the Ailes scandal.

The bureau is a large outpost and a mainstay of the network's coverage.

Its reporters, producers and hosts serve up stories, segments and shows that help fuel Fox programming throughout the day and evening.

And employees interviewed pointed to earlier related incidents in D.C.

The former Fox News correspondent Rudi Bakhtiar alleged that she was dismissed in 2007 after she made complaints that the new Washington bureau chief, Brian Wilson, had propositioned her.

After she filed an internal complaint, Fox's Ailes informed her she was being let go because of her performance.

She was paid an undisclosed sum in a private settlement.

In another instance, Catherine Herridge, a former Fox weekend host who is now a Washington-based national security correspondent for the network, made a range of allegations in a November 2010 complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — including sexual and age discrimination, unequal pay, and job retaliation for raising complaints internally.

She alleged she had been subjected to a "glass ceiling."

She also said that Fox News general counsel Dianne Brandi had conducted the internal investigation even though she was one of the people identified in Herridge's complaint.

The EEOC said it did not have sufficient evidence to support many of Herridge's accusations but ultimately sued Fox News, alleging it had unlawfully retaliated against her.

The suit was dismissed. Herridge and Fox signed a new contract and she remains on the air.

Brandi, then the network's top lawyer, characterized the EEOC's suit as "politically motivated."
Brandi is now on extended leave from Fox News, which is the focus of an ongoing criminal inquiry by federal prosecutors for its handling of payments to women who alleged sexual harassment there.

Rosen's departure was a surprise — with no celebration of his achievements on the air, no announcement to viewers, nor much warning to colleagues.

He had attended a holiday party for Baier's show, Special Report, just a few days earlier.

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Thursday, 5th December 2019
Karen McDougal sues Fox News over alleged slander
by Justine Coleman

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with the acting-president years before he entered the Executive Mansion, is suing Fox News for slander, alleging Tucker Carlson damaged her reputation.

The suit filed in New York state court claims Carlson falsely accused McDougal of extortion on his show "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on December 10, 2018, and shared false information that she "approached drumphf and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn't give them money."

Carlson is not named as a defendant.

McDougal denies she participated in extortion to receive the $150,000 payment and said in the lawsuit that Carlson misled his viewers by saying that he was reporting "undisputed facts."

The suit alleges Carlson's comments were "intentionally false and made with reckless disregard for the truth."

"Had Carlson done any investigation or responsible reporting or journalism, he would have easily discovered that what he and FOX NEWS published about MCDOUGAL was and is demonstrably false," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit details how media executive David Pecker and drumphf's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen negotiated with McDougal to buy her silence about her affair.

McDougal said in the suit that the people she negotiated with

"never once mentioned, implied or otherwise indicated that MCDOUGAL extorted drumphf."

A Fox News Channel spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that

"FOX News will vigorously defend Tucker Carlson against these meritless claims."

The Hill reached out to McDougal's lawyer for comment.

drumphf, when he was a candidate, was involved in the effort to silence McDougal and adult-film star Stormy Daniels about their extramarital affairs, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance law violations stemming from these payments last year.

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Sunday, 8th December 2019
Napolitano: Ignoring a congressional subpoena is obstruction and an impeachable offense
by Joshua Nelson

Following George Washington University law scholar Jonathan Turley's testimony at Wednesday's impeachment hearing, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano disagreed with his stated argument that President Trump had the authority to disregard a subpoena issued by Congress.

“He can't. That's what Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were charged with. ... You don’t have to comply with it, you have to challenge it or comply with it. Ignoring it is obstruction of Congress,” Napolitano told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, refuting Turley’s point that Trump was justified in commanding members of the administration not to comply.

Napolitano went on to say, “Congress doesn’t need the court’s permission to serve a subpoena and it doesn’t need the courts' help in enforcing the subpoena. The courts have nothing to do with it, Congress makes the determination. We gave you the subpoena, you’re resisting us, that’s an impeachable offense. The House has voted that three times.”

The Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee moving to the forefront of Trump’s impeachment inquiry Wednesday with a hearing featuring four legal scholars, but no fact witnesses.

Committee lawmakers heard Wednesday from Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, Harvard law professor and Bloomberg columnist Noah Feldman, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt, and Turley.

All were Democrat witnesses except for Turley. "The only republican scholar obtuse enough to testify."

In his opening statement, Turley told lawmakers that, while he is not a "supporter" of the president, he is concerned about the “integrity” of the impeachment process based on the case being built against Trump.

Napolitano said that overall, Turley made a "very credible case" against impeaching the president based on the current evidence and that not much changed following Wednesday's testimony.

He said it now appears House Democrats will include in the articles of impeachment allegations from Robert Mueller on obstruction of justice.

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Offline Battle

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Friday, 17th January 2020
Disney is dropping ‘Fox,’ rebranding its acquired studio as 20th Century Studios
Fox Searchlight Pictures is now Searchlight Pictures
by Chaim Gartenberg

Disney’s landmark purchase of 20th Century Fox last year is complete, and now the company is looking to phase out the “Fox” branding in its new assets:

the 20th Century Fox film studio is being rebranded to just “20th Century Studios,” and Fox Searchlight Pictures is now “Searchlight Pictures,” according to a report from Variety.

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« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 02:36:47 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Friday, 27th March 2o2o
Trish Regan Out at Fox Business After Covid-19 Comments
by Lindsey Ellefson

Fox Business Network has parted ways with Trish Regan days after her comments that Covid-19 was "another attempt to impeach the acting-president."

"Fox Business has parted ways with Trish Regan – we thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the coronavirus crisis," the network said in a statement.

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« Last Edit: March 27, 2020, 03:01:32 pm by Battle »