Friday, July 22, 2016

Ailes Out at Fox News

Once a year everyone in my company has to complete online training on how to prevent or not engage in sexual harassment. It's painfully obvious stuff. You don't have to believe in or accept 100% of the most radical feminist worldviews to understand that putting hands on someone without their permission, commenting on their body parts without invitation or God forbid making their promotion, continued employment, assignments or pleasant work environment contingent upon them having sex with you is illegal and something which could cost you your job and your employer a lot of money. Some of the examples which are used in my company's yearly training are so over the top that I couldn't believe that even the densest rockhead out there wouldn't already know that this stuff is out of bounds. But there's always someone out there who thinks that the rules don't apply to him. The latest example of this was former Fox News Boss Roger Ailes, who was accused by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson of long running virtual textbook sexual harassment over several years of her employment at Fox News. You can read some of her complaint here. Among other things Ailes allegedly asked Carlson to turn around so he could look at her bottom and told her that she should have had sex with him a long time ago in order to help her career. Ailes' alleged statements to and activities around Carlson are exactly the sorts of things which I thought were so obviously sexual harassment as to not be worth mentioning in a corporate CYA training video. Now to be fair there are a fair number of married people who meet each other in a work environment. And I don't think that one pass is grounds for harassment. But Ailes was Carlson's boss. That alone should have made Ailes keep everything above board. Apparently Ailes' bosses, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, decided that Fox News could get along without Ailes. Ailes "resigned" with a reported $40 million payout. If someone "suggests" that you resign or be fired, resigning is probably the smart move, right? According to some reports the Murdoch sons and Ailes were never overly fond of each other. Ailes chafed at having to report to the younger Murdochs. Some other women, most of them anonymous, claimed to have been harassed by Ailes over the years. But what may have flipped the switch was alleged confirmation by Fox News' top star Megyn "Jesus is White" Kelly, that Ailes sexually harassed her some years ago. Kelly is the future of the network. Presumably the Murdochs want to keep her happy and around. It puts more money in their pockets.  

So Ailes will have to face Carlson's lawsuit on his own. Fox News is of course, depending on your POV, famous or infamous, for transparent desks, thigh level camera POV, and women who show off expanses of cleavage and legs. So all in all I'm not surprised that the man who created a sexually charged work environment allegedly sought to benefit from same. For most people it's usually a bad idea to get your honey where you get your money. And it's always a bad idea to tell someone to give it up or get out. Allegedly....
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