Bill O’Reilly Says Sexual Harassment Victims Make Fox News Look Bad – Not The Harassers

The ousting of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes four months ago is apparently still a sore spot for some of Fox’s deadender loyalists. Ailes was accused of sexual harassment by at least a dozen women who worked for him over the years. It was Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit that fanned the embers of what became an all-consuming inferno. Eventually Ailes resigned in disgrace, only to join Donald Trump’s campaign as an advisor.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

Among the women victimized by Ailes was primetime host Megyn Kelly. Her disclosures were particularly damning. Unfortunately, she withheld the incidents until she was ready to publish her new book, Settle For More. Nevertheless, the revelations in the book have caused some turmoil at Fox News.

Specifically, Bill O’Reilly, who is on his own book tour, has been asked to comment on the controversy. He was, as he said during an interview with CBS This Morning, “not amused” (see video below). Then he went on an extended rant telling the host he was “not interested in making my network look bad.” He insisted that Fox was “a good place to work,” while belittling the trauma suffered by his female colleagues. Then, back on his own show, he doubled down:

“So here’s the deal. If somebody is paying you a wage, you owe that person or company allegiance. If you don’t like what’s happening in the workplace, go to human resources or leave. I’ve done that. And then take the action you need to take afterward if you feel aggrieved. There are labor laws in this country. But don’t run down the concern that supports you by trying to undermine it. Factor Tip of The Day: Loyalty is good.”

The following day, Megyn Kelly was on CBS This Morning and had the perfect response: “I believe that Roger Ailes made the company look bad.”

O’Reilly’s perverse sense of loyalty utterly ignores the reality that millions of women have to encounter in the workplace. His notion of what a company is entitled to when it pays your salary is absurd and repulsive. No employer is paying for your submission to criminal harassment, and allegiance under such circumstances is certainly not required.

The suggestion that a victim’s only recourse is to report the harassment to human resources or quit makes no sense. First of all, reporting such behavior about a co-worker is one thing. But when the perpetrator is the company CEO it’s not that simple. The human resources director reports to the same executive and may not want to put themselves at risk.

As for quitting, that forces the victim to make the sacrifice for the misdeeds of their perverted boss. Not to mention it leaves the jerk in a position to continue victimizing other women. And O’Reilly’s suggestion that speaking out about sexual harassment “undermines” the company illustrates his total disconnect from reality. A sane perspective of this would recognize that rooting out these weasels actually improves the company for everyone. In O’Reilly’s world abusive executives would run rampant in the suites of every corporation without fear of reprisal.

That would probably suit O’Reilly just fine, considering he has his own history of abusive behavior. He settled a sexual harassment claim against him by a former producer for millions of dollars. And he was accused by his own children of physically assaulting his wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids. No wonder he’s such close friends with Donald Trump, another deviant with a record of assaulting women. So O’Reilly’s views on how a company or an employee should respond when faced with harassment are worse than irrelevant. He has a clear conflict of interest and dearth of morals. And he calls himself a “Culture Warrior.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s New Excuse For Sex Talk Kills His WikiLeaks Case Against Clinton

The 2016 presidential election has been unique in so many ways. Mostly due to the candidacy of a celebrity TV game show host running as a racist demagogue. But even in this year of abnormalities the recording of Donald Trump confessing to sexual assault was extraordinary and appalling.

Trump/Assange/Clinton

Up until now, Trump’s excuse for his nauseating behavior has been to trivialize it as “locker room talk.” But rather than leaving it at that he also re-injured his victims by calling them liars and insulting their looks. He actually reaffirmed the abhorrent personality traits that the tapes revealed.

However, on Thursday’s episode of the the O’Reilly Factor, Trump was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly who asked about the impact of the recordings (video below). That segment produced this startling exchange:

O’Reilly: I got one more question about the campaigning. Do you believe you would be ahead, if not for the Access Hollywood stuff?
Trump: I just don’t know. I think it was very negative. It was locker room talk. The microphone was not supposed to be on. Not that I make that as an excuse for myself, but certainly it was an illegal act that was NBC. It was not supposed to be on.
O’Reilly: You think it was illegal, what they did, putting that tape out?
Trump: Oh, absolutely. No, that was a private locker, you know. That was a private dressing room. Yeah, that was certainly illegal. No question about it.
O’Reilly: Are you going to take any action after the election against NBC?
Trump: Well, you’ll see. You’ll see.

So Trump is accusing NBC of an “illegal act” for having made his “private” communications available to the public. After all, he thought his discussion was strictly between himself and his TV colleague. Therefore, the disclosure of its contents to the world was an inexcusable invasion of privacy for which there must be consequences.

Sound familiar? The emails exchanged by associates of Hillary Clinton were also private communications. The participants also had a right to expect that no one else would have access to them. And unlike Trump’s conversation, Clinton’s emails were stolen by hackers and distributed by WikiLeaks, a secretive and shady operation affiliated with Russian intelligence.

Trump has been exploiting the WikiLeaks documents relentlessly in an attempt to malign Clinton and harm her campaign. He has not been the least bit bothered by using stolen documents for his own advantage. In fact, he has literally encouraged Russian hackers to expand their illegal activities and promised that they would be rewarded.

With Trump now declaring that it is improper and even illegal to make private conversations public, will he cease to make use of the illegally acquired WikiLeaks documents? Don’t count on it. Hypocrisy is his standard mode of operation. So while he will cry like a baby if the privacy of his elitist world is invaded, he will continue the exploitation of others when it’s in his interests to do so. That I can tell you.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Brags ‘I Am The Most Fabulous Whiner’ – Obama Says ‘Stop Whining’

Reality is beginning to set in for Donald Trump. No matter how hard he tries to deny it, he’s a loser and deep down he knows it. And it can’t make him feel any better that he’s losing to a mere woman. The proof is in the desperation he’s exhibiting with his nearly complete transformation into a ranting, delusional, incoherent, conspiracy theorist.

Donald Trump Whiner

Even more telling is Trump’s descension into an abyss of relentless whining. His campaign is now wholly focused on complaints that everyone and everything is against him. The media is rigged against him. Polling places will be rigged to defeat him. Even the GOP establishment is rigging the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor for some reason. It’s a massive conspiracy aimed at destroying both Trump and America.

There is something pathetic and childish about Trump’s emotional meltdown. And many others are beginning to recognize and comment on it. Responding to questions about Trump’s taped admission of sexual assault, his own wife, Melania, characterized him as a juvenile. She confessed to CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “I have two boys at home. I have my young son and I have my husband.” Her son Barron is ten years old. If Melania thinks her husband has the emotional maturity of a pre-teen, we may want to respect her opinion.

Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Bill O’Reilly offered his advice to his good friend Donald. He strongly urged him to “Stop whining.” O’Reilly said that Trump “should have a little buzzer for whenever he whines.” “Like one of those shock collars you get for your dog,” Colbert added.

This morning President Obama joined in at a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. When asked a question about Trump’s wildly factless allegations of “rigged elections” and “voter fraud,” Obama defended the American tradition of “vigorous, sometimes bitter political contests,” that result in a peaceful transition of power. Then he added this:

“It doesn’t really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you’d want out of a president. You start whining before the game is even over? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job. So I’d advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”

Good luck with that. Trump is a candidate who whines on auto-pilot. He whines about what he regards as mistreatment by the GOP. And he whines when voters reject him and belittles them for not recognizing his awesomeness. He whines about how awful America is. Then he whines about the media that aired his ranting stump speeches uninterrupted more than any other candidate.

Virtually everything about Trump screams infantile. He calls his rivals liars and cheaters and pussies. He calls critics dummies and losers. Then he points fingers at others saying that they started it. He brags about his alleged (and unlikely) phallic endowment. It’s just a matter of time before he rails against his enemies as poopyheads who smell funny. He doesn’t seem to have matured past the third-grade level (literally with regard to his speeches).

But most telling is what Trump actually says about himself. In an interview in August of 2015, Trump was asked about his tendency to whine. His response was to brag about it and declare himself to be “the most fabulous whiner.” He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that:

“I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine, because I want to win. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

Now, isn’t that what you want in a president? Just imagine how effective that will be with Vladimir Putin. And ISIS will surely surrender under the threat of a sustained whine offensive. It might work best on Congress where many of Trump’s fellow Republicans have endorsed him and his tactics. So look for more whining from The Donald as Election Day nears, and especially in the days after. But be prepared for a nuclear blast of whine when he realizes that he lost.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Watch Trump boast about what an awesome whiner he is.

LOCK HER UP: Fox News Stands Alone With Praise For Aspiring Dictator Donald Trump

The second presidential debate is now a part of history, and that’s not just a figure of speech. In a campaign that has set ugly precedents and breached common standards of decency from its inception, Donald Trump has once again lowered the bar. He has let his inner dictator emerge in full view of millions of viewers and citizens.

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

During a debate wherein Trump engaged in free-range falsification of reality, there was one moment that stood out. It was an exchange in which Trump took the extraordinary position that as president he would instruct his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.

TRUMP: “I didn’t think I’d say this but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it, but if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.
CLINTON: It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.
TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

The “situation” to which Trump referred has to do with Clinton’s emails and the private server she used. Never mind that an extensive investigation was already completed by the FBI. While they found some room for criticism, they concluded that there were no actionable violations of the law.

Trump, however, doesn’t care about the law as evidenced by his prejudgment to jail Clinton before any investigation or trial. It’s a position that stands in stark contrast to every legal precept in a democracy. Former Attorney General Eric Holder noted that in a statement saying “In the USA we do not threaten to jail political opponents.” George Bush’s press secretary Ari Fleischer agreed saying that “Winning candidates don’t threaten to put opponents in jail. […] Trump is wrong on this.”

For the most part the media recognized the aberrant legal analysis that Trump was proposing. Like much of what he says on any subject, he demonstrated his pitiful lack of knowledge or even basic understanding. Here are a few examples of how the press views Trump’s ludicrous threat.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: We got an excellent moment right now to discuss something I’ve never heard in any of these debates before between two presidential candidates […] One candidate says not only is he going to put forward a special prosecutor to investigate his rival, but he’s going to put her in jail if he’s elected president of the United States. That’s pretty extraordinary.

DANA BASH, CNN: What makes this country different from countries with dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders is that when they took over, they put their opponents in jail.

JOY REID, MSNBC: We need to not speed past the point that an American candidate for president threatened to jail his political opponent. […] This happens in Malaysia, this happens in Uganda. This does not happen in the United States of America.

VAN JONES, CNN: A line was crossed that I don’t know has been crossed in my lifetime, maybe ever. He threatened to jail his opponent. […] He threatened to jail Hillary Clinton if he became president of the United States. That is something that I think is a new low in American democracy.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Donald Trump also said, in one of the most provocative comments of the evening, he said that if he was president, he would jail his political opponent. He would put Hillary Clinton in jail. That is the sort of thing that we usually decry in other countries, in authoritarian countries.

PAUL KRUGMAN: Let’s be clear: a candidate for president promised to put his opponent in jail if he wins. Everything else is secondary.

JAKE HOROWITZ, MIC: A few politicians who have jailed their political opponents: Putin, Erdogan, Chavez, Mugabe, Pinochet. Noriega.

DAVID FRUM, speechwriter for George Bush: Who would consent to serve as Attorney General to a president who believed he could direct prosecutions of his political opponents?

By contrast, Fox News presented a somewhat different perspective. Their primetime star Bill O’Reilly gushed that “That’s the smartest thing he did all night because that, just that, coalesced his base back together.” And contributor Scott Brown said that “It was the line of obviously, I think, the election, the debate process. […] it was a home run. I thought he won the debate.” Nowhere on the “fair and balanced” Fox News was there a contrary opinion like that expressed by Clinton’s campaign spokesman Brian Fallon:

“That is the comment of a dictator that you expect to hear in a banana republic — the idea of jailing your political opponents.”

And that pretty much sums it up. Trump has presented himself as a narcissistic authoritarian from the outset of his campaign. His racist proposals to ban immigrants on the basis of religion; his incitement of violence toward protesters; his proclamations that “I alone” can defeat ISIS, or reform the tax code, or repeal ObamaCare, or end street violence. These are all indications of Trump’s belief that as president he can act unilaterally and impose his will the nation. And let’s not forget his open hostility to the media upon whom he promised to seek revenge.

These are the thoughts and actions of a budding tyrant. Anyone who can contemplate putting Trump at the head of the U.S. government and military is playing with fire. Trump has shown us who he is, and it’s a frightening picture of autocratic oppression. If he were to become president, Hillary Clinton would not be the only opponent he would throw in his gulag. Guantanamo would be packed with his critics and any random liberals who offend him.

Racist Fox News Stooge Jesse Watters Gets SCORCHED By The Daily Show (VIDEO)

Generally when a rabidly bigoted Fox News host makes headlines it’s safe to guess that the subject is Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity. However, a lesser known figure is challenging the network’s chumpians for dipshit supremacy.

Jesse Watters

Jesse Watters is a producer for The O’Reilly Factor and hosts his own Watters World that purports to be funny. He’s also the closeted editor of the ultra-conservative and lie-riddled Fox Nation website (see Fox Nation vs. Reality). His exploits have drawn some attention in the past primarily for their rank stupidity. Stephen Colbert roasted Watters deliciously on his old Colbert Report.

This week Watters outdid himself with a blatantly racist trip to New York’s Chinatown (video below). He managed to fire off every offensive stereotype in the book. The repulsive segment has been universally condemned by Asian-American groups and journalists. Watters issued the standard non-apology apology blaming those who were offended for their own pain.

Well, Watters isn’t getting off that easy. Daily Show correspondent Ronnie Chieng saw the piece and had a little something to say about it. He got the righteous rant rolling by responding to a question that Watters asked a Chinatown resident. The question: “Is this the year of the dragon?” Chieng’s reply: “No, it’s the year of “Go F*ck Yourself!” That set the stage for the rest of the segment. Chieng played a few clips from the piece with a look that melded outrage and confusion leading to this comment:

“What the hell was that? How was that on the news? In fact, how was that even on TV? Where the (bleep) did this come from? I mean, everyone’s been wondering who’ll be the target of 2016’s worst racism. I didn’t even know Asians were in the running.”

Chieng chastised Watters for taking advantage of innocent people and making them look foolish for not responding to him. Of course the reason for their silence was that he deliberately harassed people who didn’t speak English. Watters was ridiculing people (mostly seniors) who were unable to defend themselves. So Chieng gave him a taste of his own medicine. In a forum where Watters could not respond, Chieng asked “Hey douchebag, why do you look like a guy who carries around a bag of roofies just in case?” And it just gets worse from there – much worse.

The bigotry that is so commonplace on Fox News in their reporting has also crept into their alleged comedy. And the hate-filled campaign of Donald Trump was hatched and nurtured on the network. Their 99 percent white audience could hardly care less about disparaging others. So expect more of the same sort of prejudice and insults in the future from Fox News. Not to mention their home-brew hate machine, Donald Trump.

SNL’s Trump Mockery Causes Fox News Clowns To Freakout: ‘Should Comedy Shows Take On Politics’?

There has been a meme circulating around the InterTubes for some time saying that “I get my news from Comedy Central and my comedy from Fox News.” It’s a concise way of articulating the reality that programs like The Daily Show are far more reliable sources for information than Bill O’Reilly or Fox & Friends. Expanding on that theme, Fox & Friends did a segment this weekend that asked perhaps the dumbest question of the year: Should comedy shows take on politics?

Fox News

Are they Kidding? Politics has been a staple of comedy for centuries. The desire to mock our governments and leaders is pretty much an element of being human. But from Fox’s point of view it’s easy to understand their comic anxiety. First of all, they are terrible at it. Second of all, they are thin-skinned whiny babies who can’t take a joke. The F&F segment was a preemptive strike against last night’s Saturday Night Live season debut featuring Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.

[What follows is a reprise of an article first published last year]
But something that seems to have been developing without much notice is that Fox News is actively reshaping their programming to be more like an actual comedy network. Alone among cable news broadcasters, Fox News is airing actual comedy shows. Already on the schedule is their late night entry Red Eye. Earlier this year they premiered The Greg Gutfeld Show, spinning off the former Red Eye host. And they just recently introduced a new show starring Bill O’Reilly stalker/producer and Fox Nation editor, Jesse Watters, that will expand on his Watters’ World segments from The O’Reilly Factor. [See this epic smackdown of Watters by Steven Colbert]

Setting aside the fact that there is scarce evidence of actual humor in any of these programs, what is interesting is that Fox News is investing so much of their airtime in a form of entertainment that literally makes a mockery of their pretense to being journalists. And considering their epic failure in this genre back in 2007, the execrable “Half-Hour News Hour,” they have some measure of courage to attempt it again. For a network that whines so often about not being taken seriously as reporters, this trend will do little to enhance their already tattered reputation.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fox News has been so fiercely derisive of comedy programs that deign to direct their barbs at news subjects. Over many years there has been a constant drumbeat of outrage from Fox aimed at comedians whom they regard as unqualified to have worthwhile opinions on the news or the talent to find humor in it.

And no one has taken more abuse from Fox than Jon Stewart. Sean Hannity called him “a sanctimonious jackass.” Megyn Kelly said that “He was not a force for good.” Bill O’Reilly labeled him “a key component of left-wing television.” O’Reilly also went after Stewart’s audience saying that he has “stoned slackers watching your dopey show every night.” And this anti-Stewart doctrine comes straight from the top. Fox News CEO Roger Ailes publicly scolded Stewart saying that “He hates conservatives. He’s crazy.”

Fox News generally demeans anyone in the entertainment field who speaks out about politics, unless it’s Ted Nugent or Dennis Miller, but then it’s a stretch describing them as entertaining. If George Clooney or Sarah Silverman exercise their rights as citizens, Fox News considers it an abomination and unleashes a rancid stream of unreserved hostility. Fox contributor Laura Ingraham even wrote a book titled Shut Up and Sing,” to advocate for silencing show biz folk who want to participate in American democracy.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

So after disparaging entertainers, and especially comedians, for engaging in the centuries old art of satire, it is rather odd to find Fox News devoting a significant amount of time and money to doing what they hate so many others for doing. But while it is common for comedians to take on political topics, it is unheard of for news networks to commit whole programs to comedy. Certainly a news network can interview a comic or report on a humorous news story, but Fox has just launched their third comedy show. And they still want people to take them seriously as journalists? Well, that ship has sailed. If anything, Fox could continue to debut new comedy programs until they fill the schedule. Then, at least, people will be laughing at Fox for the right reasons.

OMG: The Internet Is Making People Less Human, Says Fox News ‘Psycho’ Analyst (VIDEO)

Self proclaimed “Culture Warrior” Bill O’Reilly is very concerned about the harm being done by the Internet. He devoted a segment of the O’Reilly Factor on Fox News to the question: Is the internet creating a culture of hate in the US? Well, as a veteran hate monger, he should know.

Bill O'Reilly

The segment began with O’Reilly complaining about what he called an “online addiction” suffered by eighty percent of Americans. Don’t bother looking for his support for that statistic because it apparently came from the same dark place as the rest of his dubious data. And you don’t want to go there, trust me. After setting up this premise, O’Reilly turned to his guest, “Dr.” Keith Ablow, and asked “Is hatred rising because of social media?” Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, responded:

“Absolutely. Bill … The Internet invites people into it anonymously. It does so via an anonymous technological filter, and therefore it short-circuits empathy. So it favors people who lack empathy, number one, and it threatens to turn just regular folks into less empathetic people as well. So it’s doing that in a two-fold way.”

Why just the other day I received an invitation from the Internet’s anonymous technological filter to short-circuit my empathy. I was too busy translating some pseudo-psychological drivel and had to decline. But no doubt some misanthropes accepted the invitation to relinquish what was left of their ability to care for others. Ablow continued:

“It’s not just through bullying. Because, after all, ISIS and the like use the Internet to recruit. Why? Why is it seemingly so easy? Because people are depersonalized and dehumanized by the Internet. “

Any opportunity to inject ISIS into a discussion on Fox News is mandatory according to the network’s employee contracts. Even if it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. What Ablow leaves out of his analysis is that terrorists are not the only ones using the Internet for recruiting. It is also being used McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and the U.S. Army. All good examples of organizations seeking fresh, dehumanized candidates to join their zombie operations.

Another guest on the program was Dr. Paul Booth of DePaul University. He made the rational observation that hatred has always existed in society and the Internet didn’t create it. But O’Reilly would have none of that common sense crap. He quickly deflected to whining that “vicious people” online were the problem because “there’s no regulation. They can’t stop it.” He didn’t reveal who should be responsible for stopping it or by what means. But Ablow heartily agreed:

“They can’t stop it. And respectfully, what Dr. Booth misses is that there’s plenty of data suggesting that people who use social media more suffer psychological problems more. And one of them is a decrease in empathy and a lack of connectedness. Remember, the Internet cut its teeth on adult entertainment. The lack of humanity has been built in from the beginning. This coaxes people to be less human.”

Ablow is getting awfully worked up about empathy for a guy who literally argued that “Donald Trump’s Narcissism Is Exactly What America Needs.” A real doctor would know that among the symptoms of narcissism is a lack of empathy. Why he brings porn into the mix is another of his curious theories. Or, perhaps, obsessions?

More to the point, Ablow’s contention that a “lack of humanity” was built into the Internet from the beginning is just plain delusional. Its actual beginnings (i.e. teeth cutting) were with defense contractors and academics. It then expanded to communications, gaming, commerce, and, yes, porn. Coaxing people to be less human was never on the agenda. Then Ablow drops this psychobabble:

“There isn’t a person alive who’s more human because they used the Internet or social media more. It’s psychologically impossible for that to be the case.”

Huh? What makes a person more human? Is there a person alive who’s more human because they used television or chiropractors or Prozac? If you’re only 81 percent human now, what’s the other 19 percent? Yorkshire Terrier? Ablow is making no sense at all. He is literally blabbering gibberish. Which was the perfect segue into O’Reilly’s summation:

“My main point is this. That there’s so much garbage on it. And that garbage finds its way out into the legitimate media. […] And now we’re having mainstream media quote this stuff. It’s all “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media.” I mean it’s like nobody’s safe. Who’s safe?”

Bill O’Reilly is condemning the whole reason for Fox News’ existence: Putting out garbage that finds its way out into the legitimate media. What’s more, he just threw Donald Trump under the bus for using the “Don’t blame me. I saw it on social media” defense. After being called out on Meet the Press for posting a hoax video on twitter, Trump admitted that “All I know is what’s on the Internet.” And taking it to the next level is Trump fluffer Rudy Giuliani, who advised Fox News viewers to use the Internet to look up videos about Hillary Clinton’s precarious health. Because that’s where all the best medical diagnoses by whackoids like Alex Jones and Drudge are published.

Since you’re probably reading this on the Internet, be careful to shield yourself from the empathy-draining rays emanating from the screen. You are likely becoming less human even as you read this sentence. That’s if you haven’t already soured on humanity after listening to O’Reilly and Ablow. But if you hope to survive, the only known protection from the Internet’s evil influence is heavy duty tin foil and, yes, porn. Good luck.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Can Fox News, ‘A Playboy Mansion-Like Cult’, Cover Hillary’s Historic Run Fairly?

The wires are burning up this morning as another lawsuit is filed against serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes. You recall that Ailes was ousted as Fox News CEO after Gretchen Carlson, and a couple dozen other women, leveled charges against him.

Fox News/Playboy

The new suit was filed by Andrea Tantaros, the absent co-host of Fox’s Outnumbered. She alleges that Ailes engaged in repeated instances of sexual harassment, and that her complaints were ignored or belittled. Buzzfeed’s report on this contained a colorfully worded statement from Tantaros’ attorney:

“In the lawsuit, Tantaros’s attorney Judd Burstein describes Fox News as a ‘a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny’ and describes Ailes as a ‘sexual predator’ who ‘did not act alone.’ Tantaros alleges Ailes retaliated against her for rebuffing his advances by removing her from The Five and ordering the Fox News media relations department to turn against her.”

There have been many observations that Fox News has all the markings of a cult, including one by this author ( see: Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance). But a “sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” is even more troubling than your standard, garden variety cult.

In addition to Ailes, Tantaros identified several other Fox big wigs who “made unwanted sexual comments or advances” toward her. They include Fox’s biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, as well as senior national correspondent John Roberts. Former Sen. Scott Brown and former Superman Dean Cain, both Fox contributors, were also named, but not cited as defendants.

Efforts to stop the inappropriate behavior were met with indifference by Fox News management. Particularly executive VP Bill Shine. According to the lawsuit Shine dismissed Tantaros, warning that Ailes was a powerful man and that she needed to “let this one go.” Shine was later promoted to co-president of Fox News after Ailes was terminated.

The blatant discrimination against women by Fox in their workplace is reflected in their election coverage. Even Megyn Kelly has had to admonish her colleagues on the air when they demonstrated insensitivity to women’s issues. That sort of prejudice taints the network in a year when the leading candidate for president happens to be a woman.

Already there have been distinctly misogynistic reports from Fox during the campaign. No candidate other than Clinton has been chastised for fashion faux pas, tone of voice, or physical stamina. And her critics on Fox have also railed against the alleged use of the fabled “Woman’s Card” in her policy positions. A male candidate would not have been similarly attacked for supporting Planned Parenthood or child care.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Descriptions of Fox News as “a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult” make it difficult not to notice how it impacts coverage of Hillary Clinton. After all, she is the first female nominee of a major party to be president of the United States. There is no question that any Democratic candidate would be on the receiving end of Fox’s vitriolic political biases. However, Clinton’s gender is not an insignificant factor and is clearly playing a role in Fox’s coverage. Every viewer needs to keep in mind the heinous activities that go on behind the scenes at Fox News. Because it cannot be separated from the insulting remarks and story angles that actually make it to the air.

Huuuge Coward Donald Trump Ducking All TV News Shows – Except His Pals On Fox News

As Donald Trump will be first to tell you, everything he does is BIG, tremendous, the best, and everyone else pales in comparison to his self-exalting greatness. Apparently, that also applies to his awesome display of cowardice with respect to his recent media appearances.

Donald Trump Chicken

Howard Kurtz is the media correspondent on Fox News and host of MediaBuzz. His commentaries generally comply with the standard Fox requirement of reverence for Donald Trump and knee-jerk Republicanism (for example). But he just published an article for the Fox News website that actually reveals some useful information about the monster that Fox created:

KURTZ: Donald Trump, in a sharp shift in strategy, is now refusing to appear on many television outlets, and top advisers who want to limit his exposure are no longer notifying him of every interview request.

According to sources familiar with the campaign, one faction is worried that the constant rounds of interviews entail too much risk of the candidate making mistakes or fanning minor controversies

There are two startling revelations in those opening paragraphs. First, Trump’s handlers are admitting that he is a gaffe machine and is not competent to speak in public without adult supervision. Secondly, his babysitters have apparently staged a coup and are taking on greater power within the campaign, even to the degree of keeping Trump in the dark and making decisions that deliberately shun his participation. Imagine how horribly that weakness would play out in the Oval Office.

Kurtz notes that Trump has abstained from all appearances on news networks that are deemed to be unfriendly. And since he has broadly tarred the press as vile scum, that doesn’t leave much. He has not consented to an interview on CNN since June 13, or on MSNBC since May 20. However, in that same time frame he has appeared eighteen times on Fox News, mostly with his close personal friends Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the curvy couch potatoes of Fox & Friends.

Additionally, Trump has shied away from the Sunday morning talkers that he used to at least call into on a regular basis. His absence on those programs may be due in part to the fact that some of them will not allow him to phone it in anymore. That includes Fox News Sunday where he has not been a guest since April 3. Host Chris Wallace was one of the first to publicly refuse to take Trump’s calls on the air.

It’s reflective of Trump’s character that he is too frightened to face journalists who might be less than adoring. He cannot engage in a substantive dialog on any of the pressing issues of the day because he is too ignorant and refuses to do the necessary study. Consequently, he sticks to sweeping generalities like “build a wall,” “kill the terrorists,” and “make America great again.” He never provides any details on how he would achieve any of those goals, and answering questions from reporters about them only exposes his shallow grasp of a complex world.

In some respects it would seem obvious that Trump is left with only Fox News as the foundation of the media strategy for his campaign. But let’s not forget that he has attacked Fox with some of the same ferocity as he has other networks. He withdrew from one of the Fox News GOP primary debates due to his fear of and revulsion for host and moderator Megyn Kelly. He even supported a boycott of Fox News and tweeted:

That didn’t last long. Trump was on the O’Reilly show later that night. Which is proof that he does not have the courage of his convictions, particularly when his needs are at stake. He is exhibiting personal characteristics that should make every voter nervous about a Trump presidency. He is cowardly, selfish, incurious, fickle, and conceited bigly.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

These are not traits that would contribute to successful negotiations with foreign leaders or even here at home in Congress. Trump’s fear of the press and need to be coddled by sycophants, combined with his lust for power and insistence on blind loyalty, are the makings of the worst kind of tyrant: one that is ill-informed, addicted to praise, and susceptible to manipulation by his intellectual superiors (i.e. anyone not Sarah Palin).

Gretchen Carlson Sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes For Sexual Harassment, More Women Coming Forward

If anyone was wondering where Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has been for the past few weeks, the mystery has now been solved. Without any public notice or explanation she was fired last month and removed from the air. Now the reasons have been made clear. According to The Hollywood Reporter

“Gretchen Carlson, a broadcast veteran, claims in a sexual harassment lawsuit that she was let go from Fox News on June 23 as retaliation for rebuffing Roger Ailes’ sexual advances.”

Fox News

Carlson is alleging both sexual harassment by Ailes and retaliation for reporting discriminatory behavior prior to that by her Fox colleagues. Her complaint says in part that…

“When Carlson met with Ailes to discuss the discriminatory treatment to which she was being subjected, Ailes stated: ‘I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,’ adding that ‘sometimes problems are easier to solve’ that way. Carlson rebuffed Ailes’ sexual demands at that meeting, and nine months later, Ailes ended her career at Fox News.”

Carlson had been with Fox News for eleven years and was hosting her own daytime program “The Real Story” which was number one in its time period. She was previously a co-host on Fox & Friends where she says was subjected to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” from her co-host Steve Doocy. The Hollywood Reporter notes that…

“In 2009, Carlson says she complained to a supervisor that Steve Doocy, one of her co-hosts on Fox & Friends, ‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast..”

It was in response to those and other incidents that Carlson met with Ailes in September of 2015. Carlson alleges that her complaints were not taken seriously at that meeting and she was further harassed by Ailes with more explicit demands for sex. After her refusal she charges that she was punished with a cut in salary and other retaliatory measures including slashing her appearances on the network, and being denied social media and public relations support.

Roger Ailes has a long history of exploiting sex in the workplace. He has required his female anchors and contributors to wear revealing clothing and engage in other provocative on-air behaviors. Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice In The Room,” that Ailes has repeatedly given direction to his staff regarding the display of female body parts. For instance:

  • When the view of reporter Kiran Chetry was obstructed, Ailes called the control booth to demand that they “Move that damn laptop, I can’t see her legs!”
  • Ailes complained about host Catherine Crier’s attire saying that “I did not spend x-number of dollars on a glass desk for her to wear pant suits.”
  • The casting of The Five included one particular co-host because “I Need The Leg. That’s Andrea Tantaros.”

Furthermore, NPR’s media reporter David Folkenflik was told by knowledgeable sources about the Fox News “Leg Cam” that “goes directly for the legs.” And when host Megyn Kelly was interviewed by GQ (with an accompanying, and revealing, pictorial), she was asked about her own “glass table that shows off your legs.” She responded that “Well, It’s a visual business. People want to see the anchor.” That must be why Bill O’Reilly wears those low-cut blouses. O’Reilly has had his own problems in this area. A few years ago he paid a multi-million dollar settlement to his former producer, Andrea Mackris, for sexual harassment. Also, when Gretchen Carlson was tapped to replace Megyn Kelly in daytime, she revealed that “pants were not allowed on Fox & Friends,” and teased viewers with the prospect that on her new show “I might forget my clothes the first day.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Additionally, there is another mystery surrounding a different female host at Fox News. Andrea Tantaros was a regular member of the panel on Fox’s “Outnumbered.” She disappeared in April with the only explanation being that it was “a contract issue.” While there were incidents of sexually improper conduct with regard to Tantaros as noted above, there is no evidence at this time that her departure is related to that.

It remains to seen if Roger Ailes will be held accountable for what appears to be a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional behavior. But this complaint is a major breakthrough that took courage for Carlson to file and is likely to result in further revelations. The male-dominated culture at Fox News, conspicuously known for its abundance of blondes, could produce many more examples of sexist conduct and discrimination. We may just be at the tip of the iceberg.

UPDATE: CNN’s Brian Stelter is reporting that “In the hours since the lawsuit was announced, ‘at least ten’ other women have contacted the law firm, wanting to speak about Ailes’ treatment, according to a spokesman for the firm.” That didn’t take long.