Hannity Worries as Fox News Insiders Complain ‘We’re Being Defined By the Worst People on Our Air’

There has been much speculation about the future direction of Fox News following Disney’s acquisition of most of the Fox entertainment assets. Rupert Murdoch remains at the helm of the cable “news” network, while his son Lachlan runs the new, shrunken Fox Corporation. Insiders are wondering about whether the network will continue to be the State TV division of the Donald Trump administration.

Fox News Sean Hannity

Now Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair is reporting that some changes may be in store for Fox News. Sherman has been a reliable source about what goes on behind the curtains at Fox. He wrote the definitive biography of the late, disgraced Fox CEO Roger Ailes, The Loudest Man in the Room. In his new article he sheds some light on the rumblings within an organization that has widely come to be seen as a propaganda mouthpiece for an authoritarian style White House regime:

“Donald Trump’s alliance with Fox News has been one of the few constants throughout his shambolic presidency. But in recent days, that bond has shown signs of fraying. […] Fox journalists, bristling at being branded an arm of the Trump White House, are lobbying Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace to rein in Fox & Friends, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Pirro. ‘Reporters are telling management that we’re being defined by the worst people on our air,’ a frustrated senior Fox staffer told me.”

Actually, most Fox News reporters are doing much of that branding themselves. While the primetime StormTrumpers set the tone for the network (with few signs that they are being reined in), the other hosts and contributors either back them up or decline to repudiate the lies and insults that are the red meat of Fox’s editorial mission.

Trump recently took a gentle swipe at Fox News for briefly suspending one of his favorite fluffers, Jeanine Pirro due to her virulently racist comments about Muslim representative Ilhan Omar. He also propped up Tucker Carlson following his offensive remarks on a shock-jock radio show, and gave what he must believe is the ultimate insult to Shepard Smith by saying that he belongs on CNN.

Sherman writes that the alleged “civil war” at Fox will be decided by Lachlan Murdoch, who is described as a “Libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard.” He suggests that the hiring of former DNC chair Donna Brazile signals a change in direction for Fox. That’s a weak argument considering that they also just hired the radical wingnut former congressman Trey Gowdy, who led the GOP-controlled committee that wasted years and millions of dollars on Benghazi hearings that produced nothing but ridicule for the Republican Hillary fetishists.

One of the most compelling disclosures in Sherman’s reporting concerned Sean Hannity, Trump’s shadow chief-of-staff:

“Sources said Hannity is angry at the Murdochs’ firing of Ailes and Bill Shine, Hannity’s close friend and former producer. Hannity believes the Murdochs are out to get Trump. ‘Hannity told Trump last year that the Murdochs hate Trump, and Hannity is the only one holding Fox together,’ a source who heard the conversation told me. Hannity has told friends that he intends to leave Fox when his contract expires in early 2021, two people who’ve spoken with him said.”

You have to wonder where Hannity would go if he left Fox News. Other Fox alum have not fared so well outside that fortress of rightist disinformation. For instance, where are Glenn Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, and Megyn Kelly today? What’s more, Hannity’s egotistical opinion that he’s the glue binding Fox together is laughable. For one thing, he’s losing his time period to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. For another, his Fox stablemate, Tucker Carlson, is outperforming him on Fox. And the network still has Laura Ingraham, Neil Cavuto, Jesse Watters, and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends slobbering all over Trump.

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

Finally, Sherman’s sources tell him that Fox News could be on the auction block. That would be an interesting development that would leave the Murdochs with just the broadcast entertainment network, their station group, and some cable sports channels. But even if Rupert were willing to let go (doubtful), who would buy Fox News? What media enterprise would benefit from owning a disreputable news outlet whose advertisers are fleeing in droves? Would the Murdochs (who are still the majority shareholders) allow a sale to Jeff Bezos? Or would they look for a conservative billionaire to ride up on a white (nationalist) horse? Time will tell.

Fox News Was Born 22 Years Ago Today to Corrupt the Free Press and Become State TV

It seems like only yesterday that America had a president who didn’t shout rhetoric he stole from Stalin that the media is “the enemy of the people.” But those days are long gone and have been replaced by a loudmouth ignoramus who hates the Constitution and does everything he can to turn his cult followers against it.

Fox News Lies

It was twenty-two years ago that Fox News made its debut on cable TV promising to “change the way you look at the world.” And if what they meant was that you would now look at it through the lens of lies and ultra-partisan right-wing dogma, they were right. The network was the brainchild (i.e. Rosemary’s Baby) of an Australian newspaper baron (Rupert Murdoch) and an American media consultant for the Republican Party (Roger Ailes). It took about five years before the cable channel caught on, but once it did it corralled all of the nation’s conservative viewers into a single pen where they could happily wallow in the mud of a deliberately dishonest perversion of journalism.

Today Fox News has morphed into what can only be described as the State TV arm of Donald Trump’s White House. It is a co-conspirator in his efforts to turn the United States into a dictatorship that serves the wealthy and corporatist classes of the country. And its programming appeals to a audience that has been expressly dumbed-down by two decades of pablum and soap opera style melodrama.

So Happy Birthday Fox News. And may there NOT be many more to come. The past twenty-two years has already inflicted more than enough damage on the nation and the viewers/victims (mostly our grandparents and high school dropouts) who became virtual fake news zombies. They are lost to us now, but with each new generation comes hope for a clear-thinking, propaganda-free future.

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

Kavanaugh to Be Interviewed On Fox News, the Network that Employed Multiple Sexual Predators

If you were looking for a sign that the Donald Trump White House is getting desperate with regard to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, they just showed their cards. Fox News has announced – and Trump tweeted a promo for – Kavanaugh’s appearance Monday night on Fox News with Martha MacCallum.

Fox News Alert

There could not be a clearer indicator of Trump’s worrying that his nominee is floundering and is at risk for an embarrassing failure. It is unprecedented for a Supreme Court nominee to go on television to advance his nomination and defend himself against allegations that haven’t even been raised in Congress or investigated by the FBI.

What’s worse is that the television platform chosen by Kavanaugh (or was it the White House?) is Fox News. That’s the network whose founder and CEO, Roger Ailes, was fired due to multiple complaints of sexual harassment and assault. It’s the network whose biggest star, Bill O’Reilly, was fired for the same reasons, after paying out tens of millions of dollars in hush money to his victims. It’s the network whose president, Bill Shine, was fired for his shoddy handling of those affairs and his enabling of the wrongdoers. Shine is now Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.

With a history of such tawdry behavior by Fox News, it seems to be a highly inappropriate media outlet to try to whitewash Kavanaugh’s history of alleged abuses. And the choice of Martha MacCallum to interview Kavanaugh is also troubling. Obviously they didn’t want a man like Sean Hannity to do it. So they picked a woman who was one of Ailes’ first and most vigorous defenders. And it needs to be noted also that, while Kavanaugh is swatting softballs from MacCallum on Fox News, his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford has more respectfully declined any television offers:

“As I am not a lawyer or a Senator, I am relying on them and you to ensure that the committee will agree to conditions that allow me to testify in a fair setting that won’t disrupt families and become a media tv show. […] I have received an inordinate number of requests to appear on major TV shows to elucidate further information, to which I have not responded. My goal is to return soon to my workplace, once it is deemed safe for me and importantly, my students.”

The distasteful decision to parade Kavanaugh and his wife on TV in the hopes of generating some public sympathy is more evidence of how Trump is turning the White House into a Reality TV presidency. It’s all about making impressions and convincing the American people not to vote them off the island. And on that score they are failing miserably. Polls show that a majority of people oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And that was before the latest charges were revealed. But if you’re moved by his revelation that he was a virgin until “many years” after high school, than you won’t want to miss this interview (Note: Kavanaugh being a virgin doesn’t make Dr. Ford’s allegations false. She never claimed that there was intercourse):

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

Trump’s Video Confessionals Bring the White House One Step Closer to the Reality TV Presidency

A few months ago Trump brought Bill Shine into the White as his Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. In other words, Minister of Propaganda. Shine is the former Fox News President who was fired due to his handling of sexual harassment at the network by Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and other big shots. Now he is handling the PR for a president with his own history of being a serial predator and whose nominee for the Supreme Court is battling similar charges.

Donald Trump

The presence of Bill Shine in the White House is unmistakable. His fingerprints are all over Trump’s public appearances and rallies that are now stage managed more carefully. They are located in more photogenic environments. And the access of the media is constrained to insure positive visual imagery, or at least political sterility. Shine is a veteran TV manipulator who learned his craft at the knee of Fox’s Godfather, the late Roger Ailes.

Shine’s propaganda pedigree is long-established. Before taking the reins of the network as president, he was the producer of Sean Hannity’s program. Hannity was so reliant on Shine that when rumors erupted about his imminent termination, Hannity exploded and whined that Shine’s departure would be “the total end of the Fox News Channel as we know it.” If only.

In his new position, Shine is exploiting the assets of his “star” whose resume is mainly littered with the gossip pages and reality TV. Trump spent fourteen years as the “host” of The Apprentice, so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that he was a busy real estate magnate. No authentic billionaire businessman has that much time to spare on television pablum. The Apprentice was Trump’s job. So Shine is putting that experience to work by casting Trump in short films that have little substance or news value.

The closest thing that these presidential clips can be compared to are the moments in reality TV shows where a character is separated from the herd and speaks directly to the camera about some personal observations regarding the other cast members. On Thursday one these confessionals was posted to Trump’s Twitter feed that whined about China taking advantage of America on trade issues. Trump complained that China looked at the U.S. as “very soft touches.” And he made the point that he doesn’t blame China, he blames America. It’s the “Blame America First” doctrine.

The day before that, Trump posted a video of himself declaring his devotion to the victims of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Never mind that the victims of Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico are figments of a “deep state” cabal to manufacture a fake death toll. This video features Trump’s pseudo-sincere ramblings set to an inspirational music sound track.

The day before that, Trump posted a clip thanking the first responders to Hurricane Florence, which he described as “a tough hurricane. One of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water.” Okay, so Shine isn’t perfect. But look at who he has to work with.

These are just the most recent examples of the Reality TV style infomercials produced by Shine and Company. Others include segments from Fox News programs of Trump-fluffing characters like Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Some of the videos just show Trump signing a big book that represents some legislation or executive order that he’s touting.

The one thing that all of these productions have in common is that they are all purposefully staged to put Trump in the best light possible. They give the President a public presence where he doesn’t have to bother with pesky reporters asking difficult questions. And of course, there is no opportunity for rebuttal or for any opinion other than the state sanctioned one mandated by Trump and his Propaganda Ministry staff. Shine is literally bringing Big Brother to the White House.

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

Shine’s role at the White House is to reproduce the sort of media tyranny that exists in Russia, North Korea, and that was pioneered by Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels. All of whom Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his admiration for. And Bill Shine is the person who is doing the most to help Trump realize his authoritarian goals with a reality TV flavor.

Fox News Enabler of Sexual Predators to Become Trump’s New Communications Director

The administration of Donald Trump is currently teeming with Fox News alumni serving in official roles and as outside advisors. They include National Security Advisor John Bolton, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, HHS Secretary Ben Carson, and Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. Plus Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, and Pete Hegseth are just a few of the Foxies that Trump relies upon regularly for counsel. And let’s not forget that Trump himself is a former Fox News shill. That’s right. He had a recurring role on Fox & Friends for years with his “Mondays With Trump” segment.

Fox News, Sean Hannity, White House

Now it is being reported that Trump is close to hiring former Fox News president Bill Shine to be his communications director, a post that has been vacant since Hope Hicks left almost four months ago. Shine took over as president of Fox News after CEO and founder Roger Ailes was fired for multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. But shortly thereafter, Shine was also jettisoned for coddling and protecting Ailes and other Fox deviants.

UPDATE: It’s official. Former Fox News Executive Bill Shine Accepts White House Communications Role.

Shine may be the perfect communications director for Trump. They share much in common. In addition to their shared histories with Fox News, they both have long records of disrespecting women. Trump presently is facing allegations by at least sixteen women who say he harassed and/or assaulted them. Shine has not been accused of mistreatment himself, but he is widely viewed as having knowingly covered up sexual misbehavior and crimes. He’s been named in several lawsuits filed against Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. For instance, former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros charged that Shine used private information to “to intimidate, terrorize and crush her career.”

Shine is also a close associate of Trump’s favorite Fox News defender and fluffer, Sean Hannity. And Hannity is reported to have actively pushed Trump to hire Shine. Prior to joining the executive ranks at Fox, Shine was Hannity’s producer. When Shine was first rumored to be on the chopping block Hannity freaked out. In response to the news he tweeted this:

Well, it was true, but FNC persists with an even more extremist agenda of facilitating Trump’s tyrannical aspirations and status as a racist cult leader. It is recognized by most observers that Fox News has transformed itself into a State TV enterprise serving only to advance White House propaganda. The bonds that link Fox to Trump just keep getting tied tighter with every day. Even Don Jr. has left his wife and five kids to date Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle.

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

In reality there is no practical difference between Fox News and Trump’s presidency. And with the possible addition of the Fox ex-president as the chief White House communications official, it is impossible to deny this unprecedented and unethical relationship between a president and the media. It is a parasitic perversion wherein Fox News slobbers over Trump with adoring tongue baths and targeted attacks on his critics. Meanwhile, Trump frequently tweets almost daily about what he’s watching on Fox News and even promotes their programming. At the same time he lashes out at all other media as “fake” news. One really has to wonder how Fox News can legitimately cover Trump considering their close personal and professional ties. But then “legitimate” would be the operative word, and one that is rarely associated with Fox News.

CNN President Blisters State-Run TV (aka Fox News) as ‘a Pure Propaganda Machine’

Two decades ago a conservative media mogul (Rupert Murdoch) and a right-ring political operative (Roger Ailes) colluded to form America’s first overtly partisan news network devoted to advancing a regressive agenda that favored corporations and the wealthy. And ever since Fox News has faithfully served it’s masters, all the while pretending to be “fair and balanced” journalists.

Donald Trump Fox News

For most of that time the rest of the media sheepishly approached Fox News as just another competitor. They rarely spoke honestly about how Fox was deliberately staining the one profession explicitly cited in the Constitution. Consequently, Fox got away with a lot of brazenly biased propaganda and managed to corral America’s Deplorables into a media pen where they felt safe and secure.

So it was rather surprising to hear CNN president Jeff Zucker’s criticism of Fox at the Financial Times’ “Future of News” conference on Thursday. He nailed Fox News in a way that few media executives have in the past twenty years. While nothing he said would be a revelation to anyone who has watched the network for more than two minutes, coming from a corporate media honcho it is borderline breathtaking. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights as reported by The Hollywood Reporter:

    Zucker said that…

  • Fox News “is really state-run TV. It is a pure propaganda machine, and I think does incredible disservice to this country.”
  • “The idea that it’s a news channel, I think, is really not the case at all.”
  • Fox News “has nothing on” the Russian government-run TASS Russian News Agency.
  • “I think they are lost in what is a complete propaganda machine.”

In addition, THR reports Zucker saying that “Fox News has changed substantially in the last two years, following the departure of late founder Roger Ailes. He described the change at the network as ‘shocking.'” However the only thing that might have changed is that in the post-Ailes era the executives at Fox were much less skilled at spewing rightist bullshit. Their deceitful machinations are more visible and sleazy. That may be what drove long-time Fox contributor Ralph Peters to quit the network that he now says he is “ashamed” to be associated with. According to THR Fox News was invited to participate in the event but declined.

Fox News continues to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s most dedicated defender. It serves as the personnel recruiting pool for the Trump administration. Among those tapped by Trump for White House posts were Heather Nauert, K.T. McFarland, Ben Carson, Sebastian Gorka, Richard Grennell, and Jonathan Wachtel. And just today Trump announced that Fox’s John Bolton will replace H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. And even his legal team is now being stuffed with Fox News personalities, including Joseph DiGenova and, maybe his wife, Victoria Toensing.

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

CNN is not without its share of journalistic failures. They were among the news outlets that plastered the airwaves with Trump’s thoroughly un-newsworthy rallies (rants) during the campaign. And they still host Trump-fluffing flacks who are only there to further disseminate Trump’s lies. However, there has never been a presidential administration that was so rife with media shills from a single source. The only people that Trump recognizes are those he’s seen on TV. And the only TV he watches is Fox News. So after a year in office he still behaves like an intellectually shallow reality TV game show host, rather than the president that our nation needs. Hopefully he will be voted off this island soon by Robert Mueller’s team of Survivors.

Popcorn Time: War Breaks Out at Fox News Between Shepard Smith and Sean Hannity

The undisguised, ultra-rightist biases of Fox News are all too familiar to anyone who is paying attention. Particularly since the election of Donald Trump, who has built the Fox Team into a partisan media border wall that works ferociously to defend him no matter how dishonest or disgusting his behavior. Trump even treats Fox as his recruiting pool White House personnel.

Sean Hannity Fox News

However, there is one outpost of semi-sanity on the network that occasionally diverts from the Fox gospel. Afternoon anchor Shepard Smith has been known to propound actual facts in contrast to the deliberate lies and propaganda that infect the rest of Fox’s roster. Notably, he presented a reality-based summary of the Uranium One issue that many Fox squawking heads twisted into a perverse anti-Hillary Clinton harangue. He has also offered a more compassionate view of victims of gun violence than is generally exhibited by Fox’s NRA shills. These sort of segments have made Smith the most hated man on Fox News by Fox News viewers.

Predictably, the news that Smith just signed a new, multiyear contract with Fox News has landed with a thud among the Fox faithful who have been clamoring for him to fired. And a recent profile of Smith by Time Magazine wherein he expressed some candid opinions about his employer and colleagues isn’t going to make them any happier. Smith differentiated his role as a journalist with that of the “entertainers” who populate Fox’s primetime:

“We serve different masters. We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules. They don’t really have rules on the opinion side. They can say whatever they want. If it’s their opinion. I don’t really watch a lot of opinion programming. I’m busy.” […]

“I get it,” he says, “that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there.”

Smith is right. And his characterization of much of Fox’s programming as entertainment is consistent with what Fox News executives have said. News Corpse reported in 2015 a variety of admissions by Fox that they are not really in the news business. Among them the confession that Fox founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes, gave to the Hollywood Reporter. He dismissed talk that Fox competed with other news networks, instead insisting that “We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN.”

But Smith’s remarks did not go unnoticed by his network-mate, Sean Hannity. As the Fox host most fiercely infatuated with Trump, Hannity took offense at being trivialized as an entertainer. He tweeted this response to Smith:


[Note: Hannity deleted this tweet. But you can still see it here]

Smith never mentioned Hannity in his profile, but Hannity had no reservations making this feud personal. His indignation is hysterical considering that he broke none of the “stories” (actually crackpot conspiracy theories) he itemized in his tweet. He merely regurgitated them from other sleazy sources that feed his wingnut fringe fantasies (Breitbart, Infowars, Gateway Pundit, etc.). And then he has the gall to sign off with Fox’s brand new slogan, “Real News.” Fox posted a promo for the new tagline that warned “It’s about to get REAL.” Which kind of implies that it’s been bullshit up until now.

Another problem with Hannity trash-talking Smith is that Hannity himself has denied being a journalist. Or maybe this calmly phrased tweet was just misunderstood:


[Note: Hannity also deleted this tweet. See it here]

Inquiring minds want to know: If Hannity is not a “journalist jackass,” then what kind of jackass is he? It’s almost impossible to tell because he keeps contradicting himself. On his radio show last August he insisted that “I’m a journalist but I’m an advocacy journalist.” Apparently Hannity is whatever he says he is at the time he’s saying it. Like most of what comes out of his mouth, it cannot be taken seriously or relied upon to be operative an hour later.

Poor Hannity must be terribly disturbed by how badly he is being crushed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lately. He was moved by Fox to directly compete with her a few months ago, but they may be regretting that now. All it did was affirm how weak he is as a TV personality. And while there are a lot of Fox viewers who would like to see Smith fired, there are many more American who would prefer that Hannity is sent packing. And you can help by signing on here: Stop Hannity.

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

Another Fox News Sleazeball Has Been Caught in a Sex Scandal with a 25 Year Old Co-Worker

If you thought Watters World was a documentary about Donald Trump’s adventures with hookers in a Moscow hotel, you’re mistaken, but understandably so. In fact, it’s a program on Fox News featuring Jesse Watters, who is also a co-host of the daily afternoon program The Five. Watters is best known for being a smug, smartass who did ambush interviews for Bill O’Reilly and allegedly humorous segments that were overtly racist.


Now the New York Daily News is reporting that Watters’ wife has filed for divorce due to his ongoing adulterous affair with a twenty-five year old co-worker, Emma DiGiovine. Watters has admitted his infidelity which he only reported to Fox News human resources after the divorce papers were filed. He and his now-estranged wife have twin six year old daughters.

Most companies have strict prohibitions against employees engaging in romantic relationships with subordinates on their staff. Generally it mandates termination of the superior employee who is in a position to abuse their power. Presumably, Fox News has the same policy. However, the response by Fox upon discovery of the relationship was to transfer DiGiovine to another program and let Watters off the hook entirely. Now he can continue leading classy discussions wherein he describes single women as “Beyoncé voters” who “depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need things like contraception, health care and they love to talk about equal pay.”

This is just the latest sex scandal at Fox News. Previously their founder and CEO, the late Roger Ailes was fired after multiple allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. Then their star host, Bill O’Reilly, got the ax when it became publicly known that he had paid millions of dollars in settlements to silence his accusers. Gee, Donald Trump only paid $130,000 (that we know of). Fox and Friends anchor Ed Henry was suspended for several weeks for having an adulterous affair. Fox business host Charles Payne was also the subject of harassment charges. And Watters got his seat on The Five by replacing Eric Bolling, who was fired for sending explicit photos to women colleagues at Fox.

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

This obviously isn’t a case of a few bad apples. Fox News is a breeding ground for perverts. It’s a haven for men who exploit their power to demean and control women. Or as former Fox News host and victim Andrea Tantaros said in her lawsuit, “it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.” And now Jesse Watters has become the latest face of the reprehensible pattern of misogynistic behavior that is nurtured by Fox and its management. But he certainly won’t be the last.

BUSTED: Fox News Caught Trying to Cover Up Another Sexual Harassment Scandal

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.

Fox News Rupert Murdoch

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.

Women at Fox News Blast CEO Rupert Murdoch for Trivializing Sexual Abuse: ‘I’m Sick of This Sh*t’

This week Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of Fox News and 21st Century Fox, made some shocking statements regarding sexual harassment and abuse at Fox News. His brazen distortion of reality was either a deliberate attempt to rewrite the recent and abhorrent history of the network, or signs of acute dementia. But some outraged women who experienced the misogynistic culture of Fox News first hand aren’t sitting still for this bullshit.

Fox News Rupert Murdoch

Murdoch’s comments trivialized, and even downright denied, the actual events that have been documented and admitted in public statements by Fox News. When asked about the charges leveled at Fox personnel and whether they would impact the business, he said that they were…

“All nonsense, there was a problem with our chief executive [Roger Ailes], sort of, over the years, isolated incidents. As soon as we investigated it he was out of the place in hours, well, three or four days. And there’s been nothing else since then. That was largely political because we’re conservative. Now of course the liberals are going down the drain — NBC is in deep trouble. CBS, their stars. I mean there are really bad cases and people should be moved aside. There are other things which probably amount to a bit of flirting.”

Let’s address this heinous commentary in order. First of all, Murdoch conceded that there was a “problem” with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. But adds “sort of?” Ailes was accused of serial sexual assault by at least eleven women. And an independent review of his actions resulted in his termination. That isn’t “sort of,” a problem. And it isn’t “isolated incidents” either.

Then Murdoch stated that “there’s been nothing else since then.” Can he possibly believe that? The biggest star on his network, Bill O’Reilly was fired after the disclosure of millions of dollars in settlements to victims of his abuse. He personally shelled out $32 million to one victim. Also, numerous other Fox on-air and executive personnel were fired for sexual misconduct. The number of deviants on the Fox payroll points to a serious internal breakdown. The network was even called “a sex-fueled Playboy Mansion-like cult” by a long-time program host and victim.

Finally, Murdoch tried to dismiss the whole subject as being purely political. But in the same breath he conceded that both conservatives and liberals had their share of perverts. So he contradicted his own excuse. However, just trying to make this a partisan issue shows the depths of depravity to which he will sink. He is laser-focused on disparaging liberals in all matters, which was the founding mission of Fox News. And he proved what a despicable old coot he is by tacking on his opinion that sexual harassment and flirting are somehow synonymous.

Which brings us to the reactions of ten women contacted by Yasher Ali of the Huffington Post. Their disgust upon hearing Murdoch’s remarks was expressed with fierce determination and, as one stated, a hunger for justice. Here are some examples of their comments:

  • “I have had to put up with a hostile work environment for years, and now I’m told that it doesn’t exist by a man who doesn’t have to walk these halls every day?”
  • “Hey Rupert – stop with the lies or we’ll go public with the truth. All of it. Including about the talent and executives you still employ who have harassed us and don’t give a damn about workplace respect – only money.”
  • “What kind of company pays close to 100 million dollars to keep ‘flirting’ quiet?”
  • “Sexual harassment has nothing to do with politics. Many of us are conservative and want the truth to come out.”
  • “The harassment was persistent and ongoing. It was personally and professionally devastating for some of my colleagues and me. When the person who signs your paycheck and is responsible for promotions and demotions harasses women who rely on him, it’s more than ‘sort of’ a problem.”
  • “The culture at Fox News won’t change until you publicly accept that it has been a breeding ground for sexual misconduct over the past two decades.”
  • “I’m contacting a lawyer tomorrow. I’m sick of this shit.”

That’s a pretty damning summation of what it’s like to work at Fox News. And considering the broad corroboration among so many women who suffered, and continue to suffer, at Fox, Murdoch’s repulsive remarks ought to be reconsidered and a public apology made ASAP. And you can expect that to occur at around the same time that Donald Trump apologizes for his rampant, sexual predatory assault.

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