Carlson Suing Fox For Sexual Harassment
Mirror Please, Wide Angle
It’s never easy cutting a “marginal at best” employee with a penchant for fabricated retaliation loose, but sometimes you just have to do what needs to be done and let the chips fall where they may. That would appear to be the case with Gretchen Carlson, whose relationship with Fox News was terminated on June 23rd. Many viewers were probably wondering how the naïve, unprepared and ill-informed talking head was able to keep her position for as long as she had it. The possibility that she was somehow making it on journalistic ability alone seemed remote.
Years of reporting on fragile butt-hurt snowflakes who see their lack of ability or success as a racial, sexual or otherwise discriminatory assault by others can poison one’s mind. Carlson doesn’t lack talent, she would have us believe. Her problem is that she’s just too irresistible and wholesome to make it on Fox. It was a struggle working for the urge-driven Neanderthals for eleven years, somehow she managed to soldier on.
Carlson is suing Roger Ailes, the network’s chief executive, claiming that it was her refusal to consent to his sexual advances that prompted her firing. She alleged there was a pattern of “discriminatory behavior” at Fox, citing an incident nine months prior to her firing in which Ailes allegedly told her, “You and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.”
Perhaps he was being gentlemanly, if he did say such a thing, and was merely politely informing the fifty-year-old underperformer that she was beyond her prime affair window. It might have been something he would have considered back “a long time ago” but he can do better now. He’s rich and powerful.
She’s also going after her former Fox and Friends co-anchor Steve Doocy, although he is not named in her lawsuit. Carlson says that in 2009 she complained to a supervisor that “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast.” Maybe she should have thanked him, he resisted the temptation to use duct tape.
According to Carlson Doocy subjected her to “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” off the air and “generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful female journalist rather than a blond female prop.” Perhaps there’s a reason for that, Ms. Carlson.
Ailes and Fox News issued a statement saying, “Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup. When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit. Ironically, FOX News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11 year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book. This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”
The parent company, 21st Century Fox, has announced it’s looking into the allegations against both Ailes and Doocy, saying, “The Company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy. We take these matters seriously. While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter.”
It’s possible Carlson has reacted to the realization that she’s not very good at her job with a last ditch effort to wring every dime out of Fox that she can. As bad as she was on air, this stunt officially ends her career. Even if Ailes had made a passing remark, New York is the major leagues and someone in her position needs to be able to handle it. It’s a business driven by ratings; she can’t blame anyone else if her show isn’t popular. Ailes gave her an opportunity and she failed. We see how she says “thank you.”