Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who is currently facing numerous accusations of sexual harassment by a growing number of current and former employees, is reportedly—reportedly!—departing the channel, which he founded in October 1996 and has helmed for the past 19 years. This morning, Gabriel Sherman of New York magazine reported that Fox News’ star anchor, Megyn Kelly, had told investigators hired by 21st Century Fox that her boss had sexually harassed her approximately ten years ago, when she still worked at Fox. In the same piece, Sherman claimed that attorneys for 21st Century Fox had given Ailes an ultimatum: “Resign or face being fired for cause” by August 1 of this year.
Gretchen Carlson, the former co-host of Fox News’ morning variety hour Fox & Friends, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the network’s founder and powerful CEO, Roger Ailes. In it, Carlson’s attorneys allege that Ailes repeatedly made sexual advances on Carlson, and retaliated against her when she rebuffed them, culminating in her firing on June 23 of this year.
Gawker has obtained partial transcripts from the custody trial at the center of Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly’s vicious dispute with his ex-wife, Maureen McPhilmy. The documents, which record testimony given last year, confirm that the ex-couple’s teenage daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly “choking her mom” as he “dragged her down some stairs” by the neck. The same transcripts also reveal that O’Reilly—who famously settled a lurid sexual harassment claim from one of his young female producers—told his daughter that her mother is an “adulterer”; that he struggles to control his rage around his family; and that his daughter regards him as an absentee father.
For some strange reason, Fox News can't let go of this month-old post demonstrating—without naming him—that a figure in a White House photo was probably the CIA analyst who tracked down Osama bin Laden. Here's Mike Huckabee over the weekend: "Doesn't their name say it all? Gawker? What do you think of when you think of Gawker? Do you think, 'Oh that's the person I want to invite to my son's birthday party?'" Probably not. But for what it's worth, Gov. Huckabee, we don't really want to go to your son's birthday party, either. Mostly to avoid the dog-slaughtering.
Republican media strategist Roger Ailes launched Fox News Channel in 1996, ostensibly as a "fair and balanced" counterpoint to what he regarded as the liberal establishment media. But according to a remarkable document buried deep within the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, the intellectual forerunner for Fox News was a nakedly partisan 1970 plot by Ailes and other Nixon aides to circumvent the "prejudices of network news" and deliver "pro-administration" stories to heartland television viewers.
Rupert Murdoch sent out a memo today to reassure his News Corp. charges that, recession or not, their media conglomerate remains on top and is growing revenue. "Organically," which is heartening. Full memo after the jump. But don't let the hippie-dippie "organic" language fool you into thinking Murdoch is turning liberal; despite rumors of an internal feud, Murdoch still gives prominent praise to his right-tilting Fox News Channel and Wall Street Journal in the memo below, albeit after a nod to Avatar, a film about native peoples' struggle against mining interests. And he sounds as defiant as ever about free internet content, citing the Journal's effort at "instituting fair pricing for digital journalism" as a major accomplishment. He's about to turn 79, but Murdoch sounds like he's still very much in a hurry.
Dobbs would fit much more snugly into the right-wing stable of shouting heads over at Fox than he did at CNN, where he made an awkward lie of the cable network's attempt to position itself as a non-partisan straight-news alternative to MSNBC on the left and Fox News on the right. But Dobbs hasn't exactly been a ratings dynamo: He was recently losing not only to Shep Smith at Fox but Chris Matthews at MSNBC and even Jane Velez Mitchell at CNN's HLN (formerly Headline News). Burn.