Life in a dystopia is full of surprises and disappointments. There are no longer any absolutes other than that there are absolutely no guarantees to what use to be our national reality. Common sense has become not so common, and truth is becoming harder to distinguish from fiction. And Fox News, the closest resource for a glimpse of unbiased reporting or commentary, has just become another sordid enterprise where female employees are expected to exchange sexual favors for airtime.
In what must have been a sigh of relief for former Fox and Friends co-host, Gretchen Carlson, Fox settled Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for a cool 20 million dollars. Carlson’s contract was not renewed, and in July of this year, she filed sexual harassment charges against her former boss and against allegations that she was acting in retaliation for her dismissal. But Carlson was smart enough to realize that her charges against Ailes would be perceived as retaliation for her loss of employment, and she was prepared. She had been taping Ailes sexual comments to her for over a year, and while Ailes denied the accusations, his own words destroyed his credibility.
Shortly after Carlson implicated Ailes, Fox News’ own Megyn Kelly admitted that she, too, had been a victim of Ailes “potty mouth.” Andrea Tantaros, co-host of “The Five,” followed Carson’s lead last month and filed a lawsuit against Fox for retaliation of sexual harassment complaints. Tantaros said that not only Roger Ailes, but Bill O’Reilly had subjected her to unwelcome advances. O’Reilly was the defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit in 2004 by a Fox employee. O’Reilly settled the suit within days of the filing, paying out millions, with the details of the case kept secret.
According to Tantaros’s suit, “Fox News masquerades as a defender of family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny. ” Sounds pretty ominous to me. Tantaros has additionally accused Scott Brown of sexual harassment. Brown, a former Massachusetts Republican United States Senator and Fox News Contributor, denies any wrongdoing. Of course he does!
It was announced today that Greta Van Sustern, host of Fox News “On the Record,” is leaving her position at Fox immediately. Brit Hume will be replacing her until after the November elections. Greta’s longtime status on the Fox team has ended in what is being touted as a financial disagreement. Oddly, her contract isn’t up, so salary at this time is a moot point. Her only comment in that ‘Fox had not felt like home for a few years,’ is an indication that trouble has been brewing at Fox for quite some time. Van Sustern’s husband, attorney John Coale, is hinting at a possible lawsuit against Fox, telling the New York Times that “There’s so much chaos, it’s very hard to work at Fox.”
Carlson named her “Fox and Friends” cohost, Steve Doocy, in her lawsuit against Fox. She complains that not only did Doocy belittle her, but he sexually harassed her as well. Tell me it ain’t so! Not Doocy…not Mr. Steve “Heartland Kansas” Doocy! Obviously, “Fox and Friends” had more in mind than just friendship. Please, just don’t tell me that Brian Kilmeade’s hair is not really his own.
Fox News has been the home of the ‘Fox Babes” for quite some time. The women, who appear to be cloned, all wear the same short sleeveless dresses, blonde or brunette hair extensions, 6 inch high heels, and heavily applied makeup. They sit on stools which display their shapely legs and that would cause any woman to develop sciatica. And then there’s Bill O’Reilly, the guy with a gobbler, a few strands of hair, and an ego to match Barack Obama’s. I can’t say as I ever remember Fox News being the home of the ‘Fox Hunks.”
Considering heavy-hitter Greta Van Sustern stepping out of the Fox lineup today, it would be plausible to infer that the shakeup at Fox is picking up momentum. Megyn Kelly is not expected to renew her contract. Carlson is gone. Tantaros is gone. And Ailes is out. O’Reilly announced a few months ago that he is seriously entertaining the thoughts of retiring. Did he know something that we didn’t know?
The drama at Fox will most likely continue. There are bodies buried (figuratively) on the set, and the skeletons have not all been identified. We will wait with anticipation for the next high heel to drop at the number one cable network. But we know one thing for sure. The accusations were true. Roger Ailes and the men at Fox News were indeed in the hen house.