Fox ‘News’ Boss Roger Ailes Is FIRED As His Creation Donald Trump Takes GOP Nomination

Tonight Donald Trump will be making his HUGE speech to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States. It’s ironic, therefore, that the man most responsible for his victory over seventeen other Republican hopefuls just got his ass booted out the door.

Ailes Trump

Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News, has accepted a separation agreement that is effective today. It was only three days ago that the strange saga of Ailes was first reported. The unusually rapid progress of events that resulted in Ailes’ surprise termination followed the filing of a lawsuit by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson alleging that Ailes sexually harassed her and then retaliated after she reported prior incidents of harassment and gender discrimination. The suit alleges that Ailes told her “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” Shortly after Carslson’s lawsuit hit the press several other women came forward with similar complaints.

Ailes released a statement saying in part, “I am proud of our accomplishments and look forward to continuing to work with you as a consultant in building 21st Century Fox.” Fox sources, however, say that he will not be an official consultant, but will be available to informally advise his old pal Rupert Murdoch, CEO of the Fox News parent corporation 21st Century Fox.

Ailes’ long history of exploiting sex in the workplace has been well documented. The environment at Fox is known for making inappropriate demands on female staff, including wearing revealing clothes and engaging in other provocative behavior on-air. 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.

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

As Donald Trump takes the stage tonight at the Republican National Convention, the propaganda machine that made it possible is undergoing a severe upheaval. There is no clear line of succession in the executive ranks. Rupert Murdoch will be temporarily assuming the role of interim CEO. And as the dust settles it will be Murdoch’s kids who will be calling the shots and filling the vacancies. There are likely to be other shoes dropping in coming weeks, so stay tuned for further developments.

YOU’RE FIRED: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes To Be Canned For Alleged Sexual Harassment, Sources Say

The continuing saga of Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes just took a leap off a cliff. Longtime Ailes watcher and biographer, Gabriel Sherman of New York Magazine is reporting that:

“Roger Ailes’s tenure as the head of Fox News may be coming to an end. Rupert Murdoch and sons Lachlan and James — co-chairmen and CEO, respectively, of parent company 21st Century Fox — have settled on removing the 76-year-old executive, say two sources briefed on a sexual-harassment investigation of Ailes being conducted by New York law firm Paul, Weiss.”

Roger Ailes Fox News

Sherman’s sources say that the Murdochs are torn between waiting to pull the trigger until after the Republican National Convention, or giving Ailes a choice to quit now or face being fired.

Ailes was recently named in a lawsuit by former Fox host Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation for reporting those abuses. The suit alleges that Ailes told her “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.” And shortly after Carlson’s suit was filed numerous other women came forward with similar accounts of improper conduct by Ailes.

Roger Ailes long history of exploiting sex in the workplace has been well documented. The environment at Fox is known for making inappropriate demands on female staff, including wearing revealing clothes and engaging in other provocative behavior on-air. 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.”

In addition to Gabriel’s reporting, NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik was told that Fox News, on Ailes instructions, made use of a “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.

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

If these reports are correct then Ailes’ days at Fox are numbered. His role in creating the network, and serving as its chief executive for twenty years, could end in disgrace and humiliation. And for that to happen just as Fox News is covering their biggest GOP event of the year, it could have serious political ramifications for Donald Trump’s campaign as well. The Murdoch kids who are assuming control of the company are not likely to be as supportive of Trump as Ailes. This story is still unfolding, so stay tuned.

And the plot thickens: “Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox.”

How Not To News: Fox Resorts To Knee-Jerk Obama Blaming After Baton Rouge Shooting

Today brings a new incident of senseless violence that rips at the heart of the nation’s conscience. Six police officers were shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana this morning, three of whom were killed. As usual in these circumstances, words are insufficient to convey the sour combination of sorrow, sympathy, and fury.

Fox News Alert

The motivation of the shooter(s) has yet to be determined as investigators are still trying to piece together the slowly unfolding evidence. President Obama spoke with passion and grace as he condemned the shootings and called on all Americans to be united in offering condolences and determination to end the cycle of violence. At times like these the least helpful contribution to the painful drama is irresponsible speculation and self-serving assignment of blame. So naturally, that’s what Fox News devoted itself to for most of the day. And it didn’t take them more than a few minutes to launch into a tirade of offensive and baseless allegations.

Long before any verifiable information was available, Fox was on the air condemning the shooting as a deliberate attack on law enforcement. Never mind that there was no evidence from either the police department, witnesses, suspects, or any other source affirming that conclusion. At Fox “News” facts just get in the way of the right-wing sensationalism that is the core of their narrative. Particularly when they are determined to cast blame for the crimes on their ideological foes.

Within minutes of the first reports, Fox News had drawn a conclusion about the shooter’s motives without having any proof. Host Harris Faulkner stated as fact that “This is an ambush of epic proportions.” Then she reached out to Fox’s trusty roster of knee-jerk conservatives for analysis. They included Steve Loomis, a police union official who embarked on a feverish rant about President Obama’s culpability for the shootings saying “the president of the United States has blood on his hands that will not be able to come washed off.” Then former FBI agent Steven Rogers asserted without foundation that the White House “added flames or fuel to the flame of racism.”

Fox’s own host Jeanine Pirro agreed with the Obama-blamers saying that “the killing of cops is now becoming normalized. It’s now becoming legitimized.” That’s a nearly delusional comment that defies reason. She went on to say that “I agree with your other guests to say that it starts at the top.” So Pirro believes that the President is legitimizing the killing of cops and, of course, no one on Fox asked her to validate that deranged and unsupported point of view.

Not to be left out, Donald Trump posted his reaction on Facebook and characteristically turned it into a self-serving political comment that also took aim at Obama: “We grieve for the officers killed in Baton Rouge today. How many law enforcement and people have to die because of a lack of leadership in our country? We demand law and order.” He followed that up with several alarmist tweets that focused on negativity and division. Contrast that with the statements by Obama and Hillary Clinton who called for unity in the face of adversity.

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

The blatant manner with which Fox endeavors to malign the President, and more generally the #BlackLivesMatter movement, despite the absence of any evidence, is a testament to their innate prejudices. But worse, it is a perversion of the most basic tenets of ethical journalism. Rather than waiting for confirmation of what occurred, Fox jumped straight to spinning their favorite fables of an exploding anti-cop epidemic and the total breakdown of civil society. It’s a stance that conveniently fits with their hatred of all things Obama and their advocacy of Donald Trump. But it is not how professional journalists conduct themselves, not that Fox cares about that.

Donald Trump Is Already Trying To Take Political Advantage Of The Tragedy In Nice, France

News reports of a horrific incident in Nice, France are unfolding in real time. The latest estimates of fatalities is in the seventies, with many more injured. There are few facts available to explain what occurred, but the media is speculating that it is an act of terrorism.

Donald Trump

At times like these ethical leaders are expected to refrain from making irresponsible remarks that could muddy the waters and add to the confusion that is always present in breaking news. And most of all, they are morally prohibited from seeking political gain from the suffering of others. Suffice to say that Donald Trump is not an ethical leader.

While bodies were still strewn about the streets of Nice, Trump took to Twitter to exploit the tragedy. His first tweet was relatively innocuous saying only:

How does that comment help the situation? Trump is stating the obvious and then asking an absurd question. Someone should ask him “When will we learn WHAT? Does he have a lesson plan on the threat of trucks mowing down pedestrians that he’d like to share with us? And his warning that “It is only getting worse” is typical of his campaign’s reliance on fear mongering.

The only reason he is commenting at all is to get his name into the news cycle. And that is even more apparent in the tweet that followed:

It would be understandable if Trump’s news conference tomorrow involved a subject that was frivolous or otherwise disrespectful following this event. But the announcement of a vice-presidential candidate doesn’t fit that criteria. In fact, it almost rewards the perpetrators of this act by demonstrating that they can disrupt our democratic processes with their brutal and cowardly attacks. It’s a victory for the terrorists.

There is no excuse for Trump canceling his announcement. It would not offend anyone if it went forward. So why did he do it? Because tomorrow the media is still likely to be tightly focused on what happened in Nice and Trump’s VP announcement would get buried. The only reason he canceled the news conference is so he can reschedule it at a time when he will get more attention. That I can tell you.

In addition to his tweets, Trump called into Fox News for an interview with Greta Van Susteren. Of course, the subject of the incident in Nice came up and Trump proved that he is utterly incapable of governing in a world with this sort of danger and turmoil. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Van Susteren: What would you be doing right now?
Trump: I’d be making it very, very hard for people to come into our country.

That’s what he’d be doing RIGHT NOW? He wouldn’t be contacting President Hollande of France and other world leaders? He wouldn’t be assembling his national security team? He wouldn’t be assessing the threat level here in the U.S.? He went on to repeat his mantra of building a wall and banning people from “terrorist” countries. It’s as if all he knows is what’s been prepared for him in his stump speeches. And then:

Van Susteren: What do you think President Obama should be doing about this?
Trump: Well, the first thing he should do is say that it’s radical Islamic terrorism.
Van Susteren: And then what?
Trump: And then not let people into our country.

Really? Van Susteren tried to give Trump opportunities to flesh out his answers with something coherent, but Trump was oblivious. The remainder of the interview was totally useless and flagrantly self-serving. It even included a swipe at Hillary Clinton when he said that “Hillary is weak and ineffective. She created ISIS.”

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

It is this type of ignorant blathering that illustrates why Trump would be downright dangerous if he had any real power. He is wholly ill-equipped to govern and every opportunity he is given to prove himself ends in embarrassment. If the media does its job, remarks like these by Trump will be showcased for voters so hat they can make an informed choice in November. If that occurs, the choice should be an easy one.

Did Fox News Just Tip Donald Trump’s Hand On His VP Pick?

Media speculation about who Donald Trump will select as a running mate has been heating up in recent days. The fabled shortlist is said to have been whittled down to a handful including Chris Christie, Mike Pence, and Newt Gingrich. Trump’s camp is saying that the decision will be made this week.

Trump/Gingrich

However, Fox News may have inadvertently let the rat out of the bag. They announced that they have suspended Newt Gingrich’s employment as a Fox News contributor due to the VP talk:

“Fox News Channel has mutually agreed to suspend its contributor agreement with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich effective immediately. Due to the intense media speculation about Gingrich’s potential selection as Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential candidate, we felt it best to halt his contributor role on the network to avoid all conflicts of interest that may arise.”

Of course, Gingrich has been the subject of VP conjecture for months. As far back as May 20, Donald Trump himself told Fox News that he was “absolutely” on his shortlist. If Fox was concerned about avoiding conflicts of interest they ought to have suspended Gingrich then.

The question now is: Why would Fox News move to cut Gingrich loose just a few days before Trump’s decision will be made public? Does it make any sense that Fox would allow Gingrich to appear on the network for months after being tagged as a VP prospect and then ditch him a couple of days before they know for sure?

If Gingrich is not Trump’s choice, then Fox will have suspended him for a few days for nothing. It seems far more logical to have taken this step if Fox knows that Gingrich will be Trump’s running mate and they are getting out in front of the decision so they can say they removed Gingrich from the air prior to his selection.

On the other hand, this may mean nothing more than that Fox was derelict in suspending Gingrich’s contributor status, which should have been done long ago. But there is good reason to be suspicious about the timing. Either way, we’ll probably know by the end of the week. Stay tuned.

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

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).

Fox News Mangles Obama’s Dallas Response, Then Airs The Single Worst Pro-Gun Argument Ever

While the tragic events in Dallas were still unfolding, President Obama took time from the NATO summit in Poland to speak to the horror that has once again stained the streets of an American city (video below). Speaking on behalf of all Americans he offered his condolences and promised that “the federal government will provide whatever assistance Dallas may need as it deals with this tremendous tragedy.”

Obama

Acknowledging that all the facts were still not known at the time, he condemned the shootings as “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” He praised the officers for “doing their jobs, keeping people safe during peaceful protests” when five of them were killed and seven others wounded. Continuing, he said:

“I believe that I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. According to police, there are multiple suspects. We will learn more, undoubtedly, about their twisted motivations. But let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”

It was a heartfelt statement that sought to console the victims and their families and to bring Americans together in this time of shared grief, reminding everyone “to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue — not just today, but every day.” But the only part of his remarks that Fox News saw fit to broadcast was this out-of-context soundbite:

“We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic.”

That happens to be an indisputable fact, but Fox News presented it as an attempt to politicize the tragedy by calling for gun control. Of course, there is nothing political in that comment unless any recognition of the reality of gun violence is considered political. Which, in the world of Fox News, it surely is.

That’s why Fox News spent most of the morning maligning the President. In one particularly absurd segment, Fox interviewed a guest who offered a unique perspective on the proliferation of guns in American society. He explained that the situation in Dallas proves that gun control doesn’t work, because if the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this then it’s up to citizens to arm themselves for protection.

Seriously? If the police can’t defend themselves against an attack like this, with all of their resources, manpower, and training, how the hell is a private citizen going to prevail in a similar situation? What would an armed citizen do differently that would have protected him from this type of assault? In all likelihood he would panic and spray bullets around a densely populated area resulting in even more civilian casualties. He would not have the expertise to differentiate a suspect from another citizen, who might also be armed. It would be a blood bath.

What’s more, with citizens running around brandishing AR-15’s, how would the police be able to assess the risks and identify the actual suspects? In that environment everyone would look like a suspect. This could result in police firing on the wrong people because they appeared to be dangerous or threatening. At the very least it would consume precious time while officers confronted armed citizens in an effort to determine whether or not they were criminals.

If anything, the fact that the police were unable to prevent the murders of their own colleagues by a well-armed maniac is proof that sensible gun regulations are necessary. If the perpetrator did not have access to a high-powered, semi-automatic weapon, he would not have been able to cause nearly the harm that he did. He would not have had the range or the rapid-fire capability, and some of the deceased officers might be alive now.

For Fox News to air deranged commentaries like this, while much of downtown Dallas is still being cordoned off as a crime scene, is irresponsible in the extreme. And for them to falsely accuse Obama of politicizing the shootings, even as they cut his full statement to a single sentence, is patently dishonest. The only politicization going on here is by Fox News and the gun fetishists they represent.

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

Fox News Host Rants About Clinton Emails – Was Bush Shill When 5 MILLION Emails Vanished

With the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, clearing her of legal wrongdoing, partisans on both sides are spinning this issue to their respective advantage. While FBI Director James Comey said plainly that there was no “evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws,” Republicans chose to malign his reputation during nearly five hours of questioning in a congressional hearing that proved nothing.

George Bush Dana Perino

Throughout this matter, one of the most vocal critics of Clinton was a Fox News co-host of The Five, Dana Perino. She embarked on an extended Twitter tirade yesterday beginning with an introduction to a multi-tweet rant:

That was the opening for another twenty or so tweets about how dearly she appreciated the opportunity to work for the White House and how seriously she took her job. Each tweet contained an implied swipe at Clinton who she cast as not sharing her respect for the position. Perino sought to paint herself as having no political biases, she was just there to serve America:

That, of course, was utter bullcrap. She was the press secretary for a starkly partisan administration that sharply divided the America people. There was a sentiment within the Bush realm that “you are either with us or you are with the terrorists.” Then Perino herself baselessly accused Comey of having a partisan double standard wherein he would have indicted a Republican under the same circumstances.

However, the most absurd part of this diatribe came when Perino referenced the time when she had to defend the Bush administration from charges of a cover up when they disclosed that two years of emails – more than five million – had been forever lost.

First of all, socks notwithstanding, Perino neglected to actually refer to any prior explaining rant. Secondly, if the emails were found (and that has not been established) it wouldn’t prove that there was no intent to deceive, only that the attempt at deception might have failed.

Flashback to April of 2007. The Bush administration was in the midst of dual scandals regarding: 1) the outing of Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent whose identity was deliberately compromised as payback for her husband’s criticism of the Bush lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and 2) the unethical firing of eight federal attorneys for politically ideological reasons. Additionally, there were questions about Karl Rove improperly using a Republican National Committee e-mail account that the White House later said disappeared.

So contrary to her assertion that it wasn’t the same, virtually every element of it is matched perfectly, There is classified information that was compromised, albeit in this case it was deliberate and it endangered the lives of covert CIA operatives. There were also improper political motivations in attempting to clean the Department of Justice of any attorneys left over from prior Democratic administrations. And there was an intent to hide official communications by using the RNC’s email servers instead of those at the White House as required by law. On top of all of that, there were millions of emails that were never recovered. And the explanation given was that it was just a computer glitch. Which is funny because Perino mocked any suggestion that any of Clinton’s missing emails might have been inadvertently deleted by tweeting:

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

What makes this even worse is that Perino just happened to be Bush’s press secretary at the time. That’s right, she was not a pundit, she was the President’s spokesperson. And this was the White House itself (not some home server) that lost millions of emails (not only 30,000) that were then being requested by investigators. And it was Perino who defended this blatant malfeasance. Here she is downplaying the matter in a report on CNN by Ed Henry (now at Fox News, but off the air because he was caught having an adulterous affair):

Perino actually used the defense that “there’s no indication the emails were intentionally lost,” which she dismisses as a defense for Clinton whom she believes should be prosecuted regardless of lack of intent. Now that’s a double standard. And it is astonishing that Perino could be so rattled by the FBI’s report when she herself was so intimately involved in spinning an identical controversy when she worked for Bush. Of course, now that she’s at Fox News, she’s still spinning for the same right-wing gang.

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.

On Fair And Balanced Fox News It’s Trump Dependence Day

It’s the Fourth of July and Americans are enjoying a day honoring the independence of the nation from a tyrannical monarchy. There are parades, and barbecues, and tributes to heroes going on all over the country. But on Fox News they have their own peculiar way of celebrating this holiday.

Donald Trump

As Independence Day approached, Fox News devoted much of the weekend to multiple re-airings of “13 Hours At Benghazi,” a two year old crockumentary that shamelessly distorted the tragic events that cost the lives of four Americans. The entire purpose of the program was to falsely malign Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration in the minds of Fox’s gullible viewers, despite the fact that every investigation into the matter cleared them of any wrongdoing.

And now, on the Fourth of July itself, Fox News has programmed a couple of “patriotic” hours that feature their choice for America’s icon of nationalistic fervor, Donald Trump. Because what could possibly better represent the spirit of America than a one-sided telethon of veneration for a bigoted, egomaniacal, wannabe dictator?

First of all, Fox News will be re-airing a very special episode of Greta Van Susteren’s On The Record entitled “Meet the Trumps.” In this heart-throttling waste of time Van Susteren devoted the whole hour to interviews with Trump’s adoring family, She spent the most time with his wife Melania whose relentless praise was reminiscent of victims of Stockholm Syndrome. She even said that she and The Donald never argue. Does that sound like a normal marriage or a paid campaign infomercial?

Later, Fox News will present an all new special from Sean Hannity dubbed “The Year of Trump.” This will undoubtedly be the sort of worshipful tripe that has characterized Hannity’s treatment of Trump since he launched his campaign. The only surprise is that he didn’t call it “The Passion of the Trump” in honor of his political savior. Hannity has the distinction of having provided Trump with more airtime than any other program on Television.

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

Suffice to say that no other news network has committed to airing several hours of dedicated Trump-humping programs this holiday weekend. And apparently Hillary Clinton hates the Fourth because Fox has virtually ignored her today. The fact that Fox News chose this particular holiday to slather their viewers in paeans to The Donald tells you something about Fox’s interpretation of patriotism. It is not accidental that Fox scheduled this parade of Trump propaganda on the same weekend that they revived their anti-Clinton Benghazi fest. This sort of flagrant bias is their reason for being. Happy Fourth Everybody!