Sexual Harassment Claim Against Bill O’Reilly Secretly Settled By Fox News

The den of misogyny and debasement known as Fox News has suffered another blow to its reputation for family values. It’s only been a few months since Fox fired Roger Ailes, their founder and CEO, due to allegations of sexual harassment. About a dozen women lodged complaints against him, most notably Gretchen Carlson, who won a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

Bill O'Reilly Megyn Kelly

On Monday a new report revealed that Fox’s top star, Bill O’Reilly, has also been the target of harassment allegations. Former anchor Juliet Huddy made the complaint over charges stemming from her employment in 2011. She asserted that O’Reilly made unwanted advances and sexually explicit phone calls wherein he appeared to be masturbating. Additionally, he threatened to adversely affect her career and retaliated when she proved to be an uncooperative victim. The complaint also named Jack Abernethy, the newly appointed co-president of Fox who replaced Ailes.

The news reports indicate that Fox News paid a substantial amount to settle with Huddy. Both Fox News and O’Reilly, however, deny the charges. The settlement was arranged in secret and stipulated that Huddy refrain from disclosing its terms. According to the report:

“LawNewz.com has confirmed the settlement with three separate sources including a former Fox News executive with direct knowledge of the matter. In addition, we obtained a draft of the intent to sue letter which was sent or handed to Fox News and listed the allegations of sexual harassment against both men. While we weren’t able to confirm the exact amount of the settlement, our sources tell us the amount paid out was in the high six figures. Neither Abernethy, nor O’Reilly paid any money out personally and, we are told, Abernethy and O’Reilly strongly denied all of the charges made against them by Huddy from the start.”

This isn’t the first time that O’Reilly has undergone scrutiny for such misbehavior. In 2004 he paid a multimillion dollar settlement to a former producer, Andrea Mackris, who alleged that he harassed her. Plus, he has been accused by his own children of physically assaulting his ex-wife, an act for which he lost custody of his kids.

There appears to be an environment at Fox News that allows for the toleration of this sort of abuse. It’s part of a pattern of behavior where women are exploited and on and off camera. In the Ailes era female anchors were forbidden to wear pants on sets without desks. To say nothing of the infamous “leg cam” that was deployed to feature the assets of their mostly young, blonde presenters. Ailes biographer Gabriel Sherman documented some of the techniques Fox employed to satisfy their largely male audience in his book “The Loudest Voice In The Room.” 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.”

Even former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got reeled in. She recently revealed her own experiences with sexual harassment by Ailes and left Fox to join NBC News. But in a revealing pictorial for GQ Magazine a few years ago, her appearance was very much a part of Fox’s marketing. 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.

Megyn Kelly Is Ditching Fox News For NBC. Watch Her Greatest ‘Hits’ Here

The new year has begun with some bad news for Fox News. Their second highest rated host just announced that she will be leaving the network for a new gig at NBC News. Friday will be Megyn Kelly’s last day on Fox. And while she will be gone from Fox, she leaves behind a legacy of disreputable “journalism” that won’t be forgotten. For example:

Megyn Kelly

1) Kelly was a devoted soldier in the war against the so-called “The Ground Zero Mosque.” Never mind that it was not a mosque and was several blocks from ground zero. She anchored a report that implied, without evidence, that its Muslim real estate developer, Sharif El-Gamal, was corrupt.

2) Kelly thought she had broken a scandalous story of voter fraud in Colorado. And it would have been a great scoop except for the fact that none of it was true.

3) Demonstrating the inbred racism that is emblematic of Fox News, Kelly utterly misrepresented a story of police brutality. She demeaned an African-America teenage victim as being “not a saint.” Which was starkly different from how she described a white sexual abuser.

4) Who can forget the time that a group of protesters were viciously assaulted by a rogue cop with pepper spray? On that occasion, Kelly downplayed the significance of the incident. She said that “It’s a derivative of actual pepper, it’s a food product, essentially.” Indeed it is. And waterboarding is actually done with water. So no big deal.

5) And then there’s my personal favorite. In a Christmas segment, Kelly was concerned that some kids might get the wrong idea about Santa Clause and Jesus. So she stepped up to assure them that both were undeniably white.

This is just a taste of the sort of journalistic credibility for which NBC is likely paying a substantial premium. In addition to the video samples above, there were many more examples from her Fox tenure. There was the time she moderated a discussion that was based on a series of “Fox Facts.” But were actually cribbed directly from a Republican National Committee press release. And the time she reported confirmation that the Boston marathon bomber had been arrested, while her on-screen graphics contradicted her.

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

Kelly studiously cultivates an image as a straight up news reporter. She once told Jay Leno that she is “not one of the opinion hosts at Fox News,” However, Media Matters conducted a survey of Kelly’s program and found that she “has hosted conservatives (56%) significantly more often than progressives (18%) and has surpassed even Fox’s Hannity in its divide between guests on the left and right.” So NBC has to know what they are getting with their new star. And that tells us something about where we can expect NBC to go as the Era of Trump takes shape.

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.

CONFIRMED: Fox News Was ‘Nakedly Colluding’ With Donald Trump

File this one under “Things We Already Knew.” Yes, it was painfully obvious that Fox News always had a clear preference for then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump. But until now there hasn’t been such a profoundly forthright admission of their bias.

Megyn Kelly Donald Trump

Fox News host Megyn Kelly has a new book, Settle For More, that contains some surprising revelations about her experiences at work. Among those previously excerpted in the press were her allegations of being a victim of sexual harassment. After a dozen other women revealed their harrowing encounters with the disgraced ex-CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, Kelly finally came forward with her own account.

In a similarly late confession, Kelly’s book also exposes a small piece of the political propaganda machine at Fox News. The New York Times received a pre-release copy from which they quoted a section about the Trump campaign. The excerpt describes Kelly’s discovery that someone at Fox was funneling debate questions to Trump:

“Then, the day before the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump was in a lather again, Ms. Kelly writes. He called Fox executives, saying he’d heard that her first question ‘was a very pointed question directed at him.’ This disconcerted her, because it was true: It was about his history of using disparaging language about women.

“She doesn’t speculate where the leak came from. (She reports. You decide.) But that’s another unambiguous takeaway from this book: Parts of Fox — or at the very least, Roger Ailes, the network’s chairman until July, when he was given the boot after several allegations of sexual harassment were made against him — seemed to be nakedly colluding with the Republican presidential nominee.”

There you have it. An eyewitness account of Fox News deliberately interfering with a candidates debate to benefit their chosen one. And the witness isn’t a wild-eyed, liberal, Fox hating, radical. It’s the fastest rising star on the network who is frequently referred to as “the future of Fox News.” So in addition to providing Trump with millions of dollars of free airtime, they were fouling supposedly neutral debate broadcasts.

On one hand, it’s admirable that Kelly includes this in her book. It casts a decidedly negative light on the heavily slanted editorial processes at Fox. On the other hand, she failed her obligations as a “journalist” by not saying anything when it occurred. The fact that a candidate was receiving tips on the questions for an upcoming debate is big news. And Kelly certainly agrees with that principle. She made a big deal about the exact same accusation when it was aimed at Democratic operative Donna Brazile.

In a stolen email released by WikiLeaks, Brazile made comments that implied that she had advance knowledge of a debate question and passed it on to the Clinton campaign. Kelly even raised this issue in an interview with Brazile wherein she asked “Can you imagine if this were a Republican had been fed a question by Fox News? You know, the different reaction we’d be seeing in the media?”

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

Yes, we do know, and we don’t have to use our imagination. The reaction on Fox News would be to cover it up until a for-profit book tour could be scheduled. So Trump got away with colluding with Fox News to help him in a debate. And Kelly got a juicy morsel of gossip with which to promote her book. It’s a win-win – for deceitful propagandists and dishonest TV hosts. And, of course, for ignorant, racist, xenophobic, misogynist, narcissistic, wannabe dictators.

Megyn Kelly Is NOT The Women’s Champion Fox News Pretends She Is

Ever since Megyn Kelly was promoted to anchor of her own primetime program, “The Kelly File,” she has been heralded as “the future of Fox News.” These tributes came from a surprisingly diverse assembly of media watchers and even competitors. For the most part they were based on a couple of incidents wherein Kelly took positions that gently contradicted the Fox doctrine.

Megyn Kelly Roger Ailes Fox News

The most noticeable of those partisan detours occurred during discussions of issues of concern to women. But like most conservatives, Kelly only adopts progressive positions when they affect her personally. For instance, she soundly thrashed a couple of male colleagues who belittled her upon her return from maternity leave. And then there was her question to Donald Trump during a Fox News Republican primary debate. She put him on the defensive by asking about his derogatory references to women as “fat pigs, dogs, and slobs.” That led to a prolonged and public feud between Kelly and The Donald. She later made up with Trump and granted him an hour of softball questions that ignored his blatant misogyny.

However, a more thorough examination of her record does not show her to be much of a feminist icon. She has been a frequent critic of Planned Parenthood and efforts to advance reproductive health care. And she callously dismisses the gender pay gap as a “meme.” But the best evidence of her conflict with the interests of women comes in the pages of her new book.

RadarOnline got a pre-release copy of the upcoming book and published some excerpts. In these remarks she discusses her encounters with former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. For the first time Kelly admits that she was also a victim of his unwanted advances:

“Roger began pushing the limits,” she alleges. “There was a pattern to his behavior. I would be called into Roger’s office, he would shut the door, and over the next hour or two, he would engage in a kind of cat-and-mouse game with me — veering between obviously inappropriate sexually charged comments (e.g. about the ‘very sexy bras’ I must have and how he’d like to see me in them) and legitimate professional advice.” […]

“But in January 2006, she claims, he “crossed a new line — trying to grab me repeatedly and kiss me on the lips.” When she shoved him away, she alleges, “he asked me an ominous question: ‘When is your contract up?’ And then, for the third time, he tried to kiss me.”

It’s about time Kelly came clean on the abhorrent behavior of her ex-boss. The problem is that she waited ten years to do so. If she was harassed in 2006, then her silence for a decade thereafter allowed Ailes to victimize countless other women. She didn’t even come forward with a public statement after the Ailes affairs broke in the press. It was her colleague Gretchen Carlson who took the courageous step of challenging Ailes – her boss and the most powerful man in media. Kelly essentially left Carlson hanging in the wind.

It’s not as if Kelly wasn’t aware of the consequences of her silence. The book excerpts include a quote wherein she expresses her concerns about other potential victims. She asks “What if — God forbid — he was still doing it to someone?”

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

Yeah – What if? In fact, he was doing it to other women and Kelly permitted it to continue for ten years until she was ready to publish it for profit. That is not how a champion of women’s rights behaves. That’s the behavior of a self-absorbed coward who is only concerned about her own welfare. And now Kelly is exploiting her experiences to squeeze a richer contract out of Fox. She’ll probably get it. Proving that the only woman who benefits from her “activism” is Megyn Kelly.

Republicans Have Fallen Out Of Love With Fox News – Thanks To Donald Trump

Hurricane Trump has been battering the Republican Party for more than a year now. The devastation it leaves behind is all too apparent as GOP candidates evacuate the low lands in a desperate attempt to avoid getting blown away. There is no precedent for the rush to safety that is taking place. Sixteen Republican senators refuse to endorse their party’s nominee for president. And pundits from across the conservative political spectrum – from the right to the far right – are renouncing Donald Trump and his inept campaign.

Megyn Kelly

Not satisfied with destroying the Republican Party, Trump can also take pride in demolishing the party’s PR division, Fox News. The BrandIndex survey regularly assesses major American commercial enterprises and ranks them according to their popularity with the public. It also breaks the findings out by political affiliation.

The most recent listing shows a precipitous decline by a former top performer. Fox News has fallen to a negative fifty amongst Republicans. As AdAge reports: “In 2014, Fox News was the brand 10th best-perceived by Republicans […] In 2015, Fox News slipped to No. 15.” For 2016, Fox News fell off a cliff dropping another thirty-five points to 50 below.

The most likely explanation for this involves the same destructive force that is roiling the GOP. Donald Trump was created by Fox and promoted throughout the election season. He received far more airtime and positive coverage than any other candidate. However, at the same time he was merciless in his criticism on those rare occasions when someone on Fox was less than adoring.

No one can forget the bitter feud that developed between Trump and Megyn Kelly after she had the audacity to ask him about some things he actually said. Trump later accused her of being overly harsh with him because of PMS (“Blood coming out of … wherever”). He then backed out of Fox’s broadcast of a GOP primary debate in order to avoid Kelly.

And that was just the beginning. Trump has spewed a steady stream of invective at the network that brought him to life. He said of Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network.

Funny, but I can’t disagree with much of that. However, now that Trump is getting his ass handed to him by Hillary Clinton, his vitriol is accelerating. His protests that the election is rigged are neatly dovetailed with complaints that the media is rigged. And he doesn’t exclude Fox. Not surprisingly, his legions of glassy-eyed disciples are all too happy to obediently shun Fox News. They now consider the right-wing propagandists to be in cahoots with the liberal establishment. It’s all a big conspiracy.

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

The result is that the Fox News brand is becoming toxic to a certain segment of those who were once its core audience. The only question is whether they will come back to Fox after Clinton is inaugurated and begins confiscating their guns, forcing them to get gay-married, and have abortions under the new Sharia law.

Top 10 Things That PROVE That Fox News Is NOT A News Network

Last month Fox News celebrated its twentieth year of broadcasting blatantly biased propaganda on behalf of Republican partisans. They have reveled in advancing lies and disinformation that has led to unnecessary and illegal wars, economic meltdowns, and a rise in racism and hate crimes.

Fox News

However, there is one thing that they have utterly failed to do: gain credibility as a bona fide news network. Their reporting consistently distorts facts, if it bothers to address them at all. Their anchors mainly serve as props to introduce slanted analyses and shallow guests. And there is more evidence that the network, by design, was never intended to produce honest journalism. What follows are the top ten examples of that evidence proving, once and for all, that Fox News is not now, nor ever was, a news network:

  1. Fox frames their pseudo-news segments in the same melodramatic packaging that entertainment outlets use. Like most fiction, it is focused on conflict, scandal, mystery, and hyper-charged emotions including hero worship, fear, and always sex.
  2. Fox employs flashy graphics and attention-grabbing audio whooshes and gongs to decorate their reports that are presented as “ALERTS” regardless of the actual news value.
  3. Fox’s roster of hosts has more former beauty pageant contestants than journalists. And they aren’t shy about putting their “talent” in revealing clothes and camera angles. In fact, they demand it.
  4. Fox’s obsession with tabloid thrill-fiction like Benghazi, Obama’s birth certificate, and Clinton’s email, is the news equivalent of porn.
  5. Fox acts as a mouthpiece for the GOP. For instance, Megyn Kelly presented GOP talking points from a Republican National Committee memo as independently sourced news.
  6. Several Fox hosts openly support Trump. Sean Hannity endorsed him, turned over hours of his airtime, and appeared in his campaign commercial.
  7. By their own account Fox regards their news day as the hours between 9:00am to 4:00pm, and 6:00pm to 8:00pm. That’s nine hours. Therefore, the other fifteen hours (the majority) are NOT news. And that presumes that the hours they call “news” aren’t also infested with right-wing bias.
  8. Fox News caters to their audience that is overwhelmingly white, Republican, conservative, and virulently anti-Obama.
  9. Fox News PR has been creating and posting pro-Trump/anti-Clinton memes on Twitter. There are about three dozen so far.
  10. Finally, Roger Ailes, the now disgraced sexual harasser and former Fox News CEO, admitted that the network isn’t news.

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

This list could easily be expanded to twenty or thirty or four hundred examples of how Fox News debases journalism. But this collection is a pretty good representation of the perversion that Fox has made of the once respected profession. They dress up their programs like entertainment and market their hosts like celebrities. Then they run stories that stimulate their audience in a manner perfected by daytime soap operas. And by keeping their devotedly right-wing fans engaged with similarly conservative views, Fox has become their source for comforting affirmations disguised as entertainment.

Watch A Deranged Trump Fan Video Bomb Fox News Screaming ‘Bill Clinton Is A Rapist’

Live television always holds out the possibility of unanticipated “contributions” to the program. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox & Friends found that out this morning during a remote outside the studio.

Fox News

While introducing a fluffy segment on shelter pets, a crazed figure pops up behind the hosts. He then removes his shirt and tie to reveal a t-shirt with a picture of Bill Clinton above the word “Rape.” Repeatedly shouting “Bill Clinton is a rapist,” the intruder attempts to jump over the barriers protecting the set. The hosts giggle and try to remain composed as security drags the protester away. It’s actually pretty funny, however, there is a serious subtext to the event.

First of all, the reckless and unfounded allegations against Bill Clinton are the work of nut job conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones of Infowars. In fact. Jones actually made a public offer to pay $1,000.00 to anyone who successfully got on the air wearing that shirt (which he sells on his website) and shouting that message. Presumably that guy can use the money right about mow – for bail.

More to the point, while this incident was obviously carried out by a certified fruitcake, the exact same message has played out on Fox News by their own anchors and guests. In June of last year Megyn Kelly raised the issue saying that “Bill Clinton was accused of rape. He has been accused by several women of sexually assaulting them.” F&F Anchor Steve Doocy interviewed disreputable rumor monger Ed Klein whose book charges that Bill raped Hillary. Doocy affirmed Klein’s nonsense asserting, without foundation, that his “sources are impeccable.” Frequent Fox guest Ann Coulter gave a speech at CPAC in March of 2013 wherein she ranted that “The keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention this year was forcible rapist Bill Clinton.” Fox contributor Katie Pavlich wrote that “Bill Clinton is probably a Rapist.”

If that isn’t enough, just last May Sean Hannity hosted Donald Trump as they attempted to dismiss his tawdry past. For the record, that includes three marriages and infidelities too numerous to cite. He literally bragged about them. What’s more, Trump himself is currently being sued for the rape of a thirteen year old girl. He was also accused of rape by his ex-wife, Ivana. So of course this conversation ignored all of that and quickly diverted to a comparison to Bill Clinton:

Hannity: In one case it’s about exposure. In another case it’s about groping and fondling and touching against a woman’s will.
Trump: And rape.
Hannity: And rape.

So whatever the state of mind of the wacko who tried to crash Fox’s broadcast there is one thing that is abundantly clear. He has the same political positions as the Fox News regulars. They might as well have let him join the others on the air. Who knows, maybe security took him to see someone in Human Resources and they gave him a job. Stay tuned for the Photobomber News Hour on Fox News.

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

Chicken-Sh*t Trump Already Trying To Weasel Out Of Debates With Clinton

Now that the general election scorecard is filled and the major party conventions are history, the next big events in the election cycle will be the highly anticipated Clinton/Trump debates. While the conventions are usually seen as self-serving infomercials, voters often regard the debates as critical opportunities to assess the candidates and make a decision.

Donald Trump

Well, it didn’t take twenty-four hours for Donald Trump to start whining about the debate process and laying the groundwork to slither away without having to confront Hillary Clinton face to face. Last night he summoned up the courage to venture out onto the Twitter machine and post this:

As usual, Trump and the GOP are trying to hide their fear by accusing everyone of conspiring against them. Trump’s paranoia is sending him into delusional fits that are precursors to a cowardly retreat, just like when he skipped out on a Fox News debate because he was too scared to face Megyn Kelly. Clearly he has a problem with strong women.

For the record, neither Clinton nor the Democratic Party had anything to do with the debate schedule. The Commission On Presidential Debates (CPD) has been managing these affairs since 1988. It is run by former members of both parties who have no affiliation with any candidate. The current schedule was released nearly a year ago (September 23, 2015), before any of the candidates were chosen. And it would be nearly impossible to find broadcast dates that didn’t coincide with a popular television program, whether it be the NFL or Law & Order or America’s Got Talent.

Trump has already demonstrated his tendency to provoke melodrama with regard to candidate debates. He turned the GOP primary debates into feral spectacles of crass immaturity and avoidance of substance. His tantrums succeeded in forcing the Republican National Committee and the media to capitulate to his will, forcing out networks or media co-sponsors that he didn’t think were sufficiently deferential to him.

What Trump means by “Unacceptable” is unclear. Is he declaring now that he is refusing to participate in the debates? Is he demanding that other terms agreeable to him are implemented? Or is he preparing his excuse for when he fails to show up like every other presidential candidate has done for over half a century? In any case he is revealing that he is a sniveling coward who would be knocked senseless were he to step into the ring with Hillary. And he knows it.

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

So look for Trump to continue his whining up to, throughout, and following the debates (if he even shows up). And watch him try to blame his failures on the legions of imaginary enemies who are amassed to bring him down. Donald Trump is a walking psychosis who is frantically searching for a way to avoid being humiliated by an uppity woman. At times like these you realize that there just isn’t enough popcorn in the world.

UPDATE: Lyin’ Don told George Stephanopoulos on This Week that the NFL sent him a letter saying that “This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against us?” But an NFL spokesman quickly denied it tweeting “While we’d obviously wish the debate commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Trump.”

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.