The latest reporting on Roger Ailes’ sexual harassment is so stunning and filled with such lurid sexual particulars that it would be easy to lose sight of its more important but less prurient details: that a number of top-level Fox executives at the very least aided and abetted keeping a disturbed employee on the payroll merely because she was a “friend of Roger.”
In his must-read article, New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman spoke with a woman named Laurie Luhn and corroborated her story of 20+ years of sexual harassment by Ailes. Unlike most of the other women who have come forward about Ailes’ sexual advances, Sherman noted, Luhn acceded to them.
The details are certainly salacious and sure to cause Ailes much embarrassment:
Luhn put on the black garter and stockings she said Ailes had instructed her to buy; he called it her uniform. Ailes sat on a couch. “Go over there. Dance for me,” she recalled him saying. She hesitated. “Laurie, if you’re gonna be my girl, my eyes and ears, if you are going to be someone I can depend on in Washington, my spy, come on, dance for me,” he said, according to her account. When she started dancing, Ailes got out a video camera. Luhn didn’t want to be filmed, she said, but Ailes was insistent: “I am gonna need you to do better than that.”
When she had finished dancing, Ailes told her to get down on her knees in front of him, she said, and put his hands on her temples. As she recalled, he began speaking to her slowly and authoritatively, as if he were some kind of Svengali: “Tell me you will do what I tell you to do, when I tell you to do it. At any time, at any place when I call. No matter where I call you, no matter where you are. Do you understand? You will follow orders. If I tell you to put on your uniform, what are you gonna do, Laurie? WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO, LAURIE?” Then, she recalled, his voice dropped to a whisper: “What are you, Laurie? Are you Roger’s whore? Are you Roger’s spy? Come over here.” Ailes asked her to perform oral sex, she said.
By 2006, Luhn said, Ailes was regularly demanding phone sex in the office, but the hotel visits had stopped. Instead, said Luhn, Ailes instructed her to recruit young women for him. “You’re going to find me ‘Roger’s Angels.’ You’re going to find me whores,” Luhn recalled Ailes saying on numerous occasions, urging her to send young Fox staffers his way. He had promoted Luhn to director of bookings, which gave her the authority to hire employees. She said she chose women Ailes would be attracted to. “You’re not expected to hire unattractive people,” she said.
If you can put those images aside, check out what Luhn’s story says about Bill Shine, currently in line to succeed Ailes. When, in 2004, Luhn told Ailes she thought Washington bureau chief Kim Hume (Brit Hume’s wife) suspected the truth, Luhn was told to report to Shine, instead. As Luhn’s mental condition worsened, she got promoted into fake jobs.
For the next 18 months, Luhn remained at Fox with few job responsibilities. In late 2010, she moved to California and rented an apartment in Brentwood, while remaining on the Fox News payroll. “She wanted to get away,” her father, George, told me. Alone in California, Luhn said she suffered a nervous breakdown. Fox executives tried to make contact with her. Luhn’s father told me that Bill Shine called him several times. “He wanted to know if I had talked to her,” he said. “They were trying to get hold of her.”
Fox corporate attorney Dianne Brandi is also implicated:
In late 2010 or early 2011, Luhn said, she wrote a letter to Fox lawyer Dianne Brandi saying she had been sexually harassed by Ailes for 20 years. Brandi did not acknowledge receipt of the letter, but, according to a source, she asked Ailes about the sexual-harassment allegations, which he vehemently denied. Ailes, according to the source, told Brandi to work out a settlement. Luhn hired an attorney to negotiate her exit from Fox.
On Sunday, Sherman stunned CNN host Brian Stelter by saying the following:
"Bill Shine, Dianne Brandi, FOX News’s general counsel, a lot of the senior executives around Roger Ailes, were fully aware of this culture. Let’s be very clear, they knew exactly what was going on, they did not speak up."
In that same discussion, Sherman also said,
"Another thing that I’m hearing is that Bill Shine, Roger Ailes’ deputy, played a role in rallying the women to speak out against Roger Ailes accusers, and lead this counter-narrative to try to say, don’t believe Gretchen Carlson and the allegations. If that is indeed the case, that again—the Murdochs will have to say, this is a guy, these are managers who helped enable and tried to protect Roger Ailes who presided over this culture."
Bill Shine has reportedly already retained a lawyer.
You got that right! I rarely watch Faux Notnews, but from what I have seen, and the goodies divulged here at NewsHounds and MMFA (among others) the revelations of Jabba’s peccadilloes explains a lot. The lack of any journalistic integrity is obvious enough to be laughable. It’s amazing how power, fear and the almighty dollar drives these leggy beauties and low IQ men to spew the garbage that they do every day. I can’t wait to see how many heads roll as a result of this scandal.
I agree with your comments about the people who defended Ailes. They are not looking good right now and I wonder if they will be the next sacrificial lambs.
It’s especially damning to Greta Van Susteren and Brit Hume, both of whom work in the Washington office. Given that the article suggests that Hume’s wife knew something was not on the up and up, I find it doubtful Mr. Hume didn’t know.
Megyn Kelly started in the Washington office, it’s worth pointing out and she seemed to have figured it out.
The other thing that struck me is that this story, when considering it in its entirety, shows either the lack of moral fiber or a complete absence of journalistic instincts on the part of those Fox personalities who spoke out to support Roger Ailes against against Gretchen Carlson. I say this because, given the corporate culture and acceptance of Ailes’ dictates and ways (mandating short skirts, glass tables, “Friends of Roger”, etc.) either they knew or suspected the hanky-panky he was engaged in (and were willfully blind to it), or they should have known, if they were journalists of any caliber.
I fear though that any significant changes at Fox, may come slowly. It is a huge moneymaker for 21CF, and the Murdochs are not inclined to dismantle a billion-dollar (annually!) infotainment empire without good reason. So I hope this story continues to get attention (despite the ADD nature of the news media in general), as it may be the weight of public opinion in general that gives the Murdoch sons enough ammunition to convince Papa Murdoch that their problems weren’t solved by forcing Ailes to resign.
The bullying and threats from Shine & Co would obviously have been on an epic scale, but on the other hand 21st Century Fox and the Murdoch sons were not likely to brush the problem under a rug. If Ailes did fall, everything would change and it may be a personal black mark to be seen as having covered up for the pig.
It will be interesting to see how many of the minions survive the massive cuts and changes of direction over the next, say, six months.
I’m picking Hannity, Pirro, Doocy, Guilfoyle, Tantaros, Dobbs, Furhman, Bolling and several other of the more off-the-wall personalities will be moved on, with new management settling for a mildly right-wing line-up and editorial policies. Until and if they get a competitor in the space, that is, and get into another race to the bottom to defend the wingnut portion of the precious audience.
NOTE TO BILL SHINE
You are not qualified to run a merry-go-round. We hope you are terminated from this hideous network, you fool.
NOTE TO JAY WALLACE
You need to exit from this network, you clown.
NOTE TO BRIAN JONES
Take a hint. Leave.
NOTE TO KEVIN MAGEE
Since you are no longer employed at this hideous network start talking.
NOTE TO JOHN MOODY AND BILL SAMMON
Would it be funny if your names were brought up?
NOTE TO BILLY
When you retire from this so-called “network” we will celebrate your departure with a “Good Riddance” party.
NOTE TO HANNITY
There’s always Levin TV.
The 3 Stooges on the curvy couch at “Fox & Friends” would rage daily it’s proof liberals really hate women. Unlike all their buddy conservatives who greatly respect women in the kitchen making them dinner but catch nothing but grief for their open-mindedness.
Fox News on Roger the Rapist? Pretty much crickets. Other than Ailes hand puppet Howie Kurtz spraying as much whitewash as possible on the story as Home Depot had in stock, who on the ‘fair and balanced’ network is covering the story?
First order of business is to get rid of Bill Shine, Fin Fin, Long Island Lolito, Hannocchio, and that clown, Goofy Doocy. Send them packing now! Get rid of those executives who covered for the Nixon Trainee.
Coming down the pipeline:
1, More women come forward.
2. Fox “News” mouthpieces are exposed.
3. More firings.
4. Sexual predators
Another bombshell hits the Fox’s.