Gretchen Carlson has reportedly settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes for $20 million, to be paid by parent company 21st Century Fox. Perhaps just as important to her, she received an apology from 21st Century Fox for her treatment.
During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve. [my emphasis]
CNN’s Brian Stelter explains:
What’s notable about that is it’s an implicit acknowledgement of the harassment or the retaliation. Roger Ailes has continued to deny the allegations leveled against him, but the company, 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News, is acknowledging that she was wronged in some fashion and is apologizing publicly for it.
So will this be the end of the scandal? Obviously, 21st Century Fox hopes so. According to Vanity Fair, the company also settled with two other women. But Vanity Fair also notes that there was never any serious effort to clean house, despite an outside investigation by the Paul, Weiss law firm:
While the Paul, Weiss investigation interviewed more than 20 women, according to two sources familiar with the process, it never officially expanded to examine the broader culture of Fox News. The firm, according to numerous people familiar with the process, was apparently never ordered to scour the company’s hard drives for all evidence of sexual harassment or bawdy culture. In some ways, according to one person familiar with the process, the Paul, Weiss investigation simply got a revenue machine back on track. [my emphases]
In his bombshell exposé on Friday, New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman noted that because of New York’s three-year statute of limitations on sexual harassment, “The many others who left or were forced out of the company before the investigation came away with far less — in some cases nothing at all.” But Sherman also wrote that a shareholder law firm is investigating 21st Century Fox to “determine whether Fox’s Officers and Directors have breached their fiduciary duties.”
Still hanging out there is Andrea Tantaros' lawsuit that alleges a much broader picture of harassment at Fox and fingers several other Fox News personnel, including Bill O'Reilly, in addition to Ailes. Will there be more public accusations?
Trump has defended Ailes by dismissing and downplaying the allegations. Trump also reportedly advised Ailes on how to handle the scandal, just as Ailes informally counseled Trump. Now, Ailes is more openly and formally advising Trump.
Over the weekend, Trump’s vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, indicated he had no problem with Ailes taking part in the campaign.
Media Matters wrote that reporters have “a responsibility to grill” Trump about “having Ailes as an adviser and for having tried to publicly discredit Carlson.” I couldn’t agree more.
Watch Stelter discuss Carlson’s settlement below, from the September 6 CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, via Media Matters.
Carlson image via screengrab.
hit on her a few times. This is all foolish. Women with nice bodies and legs have always gotten special
breaks in the media employment area- and in life generally. Since P.T. Barnum’s Circus and Ford’s early
car and tractor commercials sponsors found out that men will watch a shapely woman—and
go out of their way to do it. Don’t blame Fox for enlisting these "man magnets "to boost their ratings- it’s an
old successful practice. Handsome men are likewise employed in ads aimed at women too. Ailes is under
attack because there is money available by making these allegations and embarrassing him and the
Fox Network. These women got the Break of a Lifetime – and became famous and well paid. Now they want
a windfall by attacking the man who made their success possible. Money Money Malarky!
I have a feeling there will be a post from Ellen on that any minute…
They claim it has nothing to do with the Carlson settlement announcement but you know….