Roger Ailes is the 76-year-old CEO of Fox News, and by virtue of his position as head of the most-watched news network on television, he is arguably the most powerful man in news. He’s a Republican (obviously) and as CEO of the network for the last 20 years, Ailes has been the driving force behind the brand of divisive, polarizing politics employed by Fox News, which has subsequently spread to the other major news networks, CNN and MSNBC.
Meanwhile, Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has not always been in lockstep with the “brand” of her network. She recently went “off script” and called for a ban on assault weapons after the shooting in Orlando and a few years ago, she went on air without makeup to highlight a culture of sexism ironically fostered by Fox News.
Today, she is no longer at Fox News.
This is the reason.
Breaking: "Fox News Host and Author Gretchen Carlson Files Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Lawsuit Against Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes"— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 6, 2016
I'm reading the Gretchen Carlson complaint now. It says "Carlson rebuffed Ailes' sexual demands… and, nine months later, ended her career"— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 6, 2016
According to the complaint itself, it wasn’t just Ailes, but the entire environment at Fox News, including the behavior of her 2009 co-host Steve Doocy. From Think Progress:
The lawsuit says she complained to her supervisor that her co-host Steve Doocy “regularly treat[ed] her in a sexist and condescending way,” including putting his hand on her or pulling her arm to quiet her during live shows. She also claims he mocked and shunned her off air, belittled her, refused to engage with her on air, and “generally attempt[ed] to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop.”
According to the lawsuit, Ailes responded by calling her a “man hater” and “killer” and telling her to learn to “get along with the boys.”
It gets worse. A lot worse.
In September of last year, Carlson met with Ailes to complain about the discriminatory treatment and sexual harassment she felt she was receiving from coworkers. According to the lawsuit, Ailes responded, “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, “sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way. She says she refused his advances.
Carlson was terminated on June 23, nine months after that meeting.
Carlson has released a statement.
Gretchen Carlson statement on the lawsuit pic.twitter.com/F6W9HU4H2A— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) July 6, 2016
I hope Roger Ailes gets stomped on like a lit bag of shit left on the stoop of Paul Bunyan’s log cabin.