Media experts speaking to CNN on Sunday exposed the “nasty operation” undertaken by FOX News to silence the women accusing Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. Ailes is the CEO of FOX News.
Former FOX host, Gretchen Carlson, was the first such woman to come forward. She filed suit against Ailes in the middle of last week, alleging that her employment at FOX was terminated because she refused Ailes’s sexual advances.
Then on Saturday, six more women revealed sexual harassment at the hands of Ailes. Those six women, who spoke to New York Magazine, are among a slowly increasing total of 12 who have reportedly contacted Carlson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith.
Their allegations reach back decades; in one case to right before Ailes became media adviser to then President Richard Nixon.
Three hours after the New York Magazine report was published, detailing the six women’s accusations against Ailes, the attorney representing Ailes issued a statement, reported by CNN:
‘It has become obvious that Ms. Carlson and her lawyer are desperately attempting to litigate this in the press because they have no legal case to argue. The latest allegations, all 30 to 50 years old, are false.’
As CNN also reports, Carlson’s lawyers immediately responded, asking how Barry Asen, the attorney representing Ailes, could know so quickly that all the allegations are false.
CNN reports what Smith and Martin Hyman said:
‘Calling these women liars because they chose to speak out is despicable. Bullying and threats will not silence these brave women.’
But public controversy isn’t the only strategy being employed by FOX News and those on Ailes’s side against his accusers.
The CNN “Reliable Sources” program on Sunday morning hosted a panel discussion on the situation with Ailes.
Journalists serving as members of the panel, possessing inside knowledge of the media industry, exposed what else FOX is doing to belittle and eventually silence the women coming forward against Ailes.
Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik was among those to speak to CNN.
‘Fox has a very sophisticated, very aggressive, very even nasty operation where they attack opponents and they put stuff in the hands of reporters at certain places. And there are a lot of ways that that game’s played. You saw that happening, I mean, I could tell where things were being placed by where things were showing up in the first couple days of this. That’s the way the game is played.’
Journalist Gabriel Sherman cited an example of what FOX is beginning to implement in the Ailes case.
‘Well, if history is a judge, his strategy is to go on the attack. I mean, let’s look at going back to 2004, when Andrea Mackris who accused Bill O’Reilly, Fox’s highest profile talent, of sexual harassment. Fox News PR machine went on the attack, discredited her motives, said she was trying to seek money, extortion.’
Ailes continues to serve as CEO of FOX while the sexual harassment investigation remains ongoing.
Watch the CNN segment featuring Sherman and others below.
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