The epidemic of revelations regarding men in powerful positions exploiting women for sex continues unabated. Two years ago no one would have imagined that so many high-powered public figures would be unemployed today due to such grossly improper conduct. And while Donald Trump actually admitted to criminal sexual abuse, the repercussions for such misbehavior were generally mild, if any.
As the volume and frequency of these scandals escalated, Fox News stood out as a den of iniquity. The network’s CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired for multiple incidents of sexual harassment. Then their biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was tossed out after the discovery of tens millions of dollars paid to secure the silence of his victims. Fox also jettisoned its president, Bill Shine; host Eric Bolling; Fox Sports President, Jamie Horowitz; and VP of Fox News Latino, Francisco Cortes, all for similarly abhorrent misconduct. Although there were numerous men ousted from prominent positions in a variety of industries, it seemed like Fox News was running an enterprise rife with sexual depravity and predation.
So it was a little peculiar last month when Fox announced that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, was leaving the company after eighteen years. There was no reason given and no further comment. There were no testimonials or teary goodbyes on the air. He was just there one day and gone the next. And it wasn’t until this week that David Folkenflik of NPR discovered what had actually happened:
“According to Rosen’s former colleagues, however, he had an established pattern of flirting aggressively with many peers and had made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer. And his departure followed increased scrutiny of his behavior at the network, according to colleagues.”
Folkenflik’s article goes into detail about Rosen’s deplorable activities. He also noted that Rosen’s affairs were exposed at a time when the network’s owner and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, was trying to play down the scummy state of Fox News. Murdoch told an interviewer at Sky News (which he also has part ownership of), that Ailes was the only problem at Fox, despite the fact that all the people and problems listed above were already known. Following Murdoch’s comments, the women of Fox News let it be known that they weren’t having it.
It appears that Fox News was deliberately attempting to suppress the Rosen story to avoid further embarrassment. And they nearly got away with it. But it makes one wonder how many other sleazebags were quietly shoved out, or how many may still be working for Fox. Sure, there are lots of vile men lurking around the offices of many companies. But is there any one company that has had as many as Fox News? It certainly speaks to the environment that Fox created for its staff and the corporate culture that seems to have tolerated the abuse and oppression of the women at Fox News.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.