Friday Open Thread: Gretchen Carlson Gets 20 Million in her Sexual Harassment Suit Against Roger Ailes and Fox News

Guess she wasn’t such a dumb blonde after all…

Of course, graduating from Stanford, that was just the role she played on tv.

Gretchen Carlson taped her dealings with Ailes for a year.


Those tapes must be PURE FIRE.


From NY Magazine

The Revenge of Roger’s Angels
How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media.

By Gabriel Sherman

It took 15 days to end the mighty 20-year reign of Roger Ailes at Fox News, one of the most storied runs in media and political history. Ailes built not just a conservative cable news channel but something like a fourth branch of government; a propaganda arm for the GOP; an organization that determined Republican presidential candidates, sold wars, and decided the issues of the day for 2 million viewers. That the place turned out to be rife with grotesque abuses of power has left even its liberal critics stunned. More than two dozen women have come forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment, and what they have exposed is both a culture of misogyny and one of corruption and surveillance, smear campaigns and hush money, with implications reaching far wider than one disturbed man at the top.

It began, of course, with a lawsuit. Of all the people who might have brought down Ailes, the former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson was among the least likely. A 50-year-old former Miss America, she was the archetypal Fox anchor: blonde, right-wing, proudly anti-intellectual. A memorable Daily Show clip showed Carlson saying she needed to Google the words czar and ignoramus. But television is a deceptive medium. Off-camera, Carlson is a Stanford- and Oxford-educated feminist who chafed at the culture of Fox News. When Ailes made harassing comments to her about her legs and suggested she wear tight-fitting outfits after she joined the network in 2005, she tried to ignore him. But eventually he pushed her too far. When Carlson complained to her supervisor in 2009 about her co-host Steve Doocy, who she said condescended to her on and off the air, Ailes responded that she was “a man hater” and a “killer” who “needed to get along with the boys.” After this conversation, Carlson says, her role on the show diminished. In September 2013, Ailes demoted her from the morning show Fox & Friends to the lower-rated 2 p.m. time slot.

Carlson knew her situation was far from unique: It was common knowledge at Fox that Ailes frequently made inappropriate comments to women in private meetings and asked them to twirl around so he could examine their figures; and there were persistent rumors that Ailes propositioned female employees for sexual favors. The culture of fear at Fox was such that no one would dare come forward. Ailes was notoriously paranoid and secretive — he built a multiroom security bunker under his home and kept a gun in his Fox office, according to Vanity Fair — and he demanded absolute loyalty from those who worked for him. He was known for monitoring employee emails and phone conversations and hiring private investigators. “Watch out for the enemy within,” he told Fox’s staff during one companywide meeting.

Taking on Ailes was dangerous, but Carlson was determined to fight back. She settled on a simple strategy: She would turn the tables on his surveillance. Beginning in 2014, according to a person familiar with the lawsuit, Carlson brought her iPhone to meetings in Ailes’s office and secretly recorded him saying the kinds of things he’d been saying to her all along. “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way, he said in one conversation. “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to,” he said another time.

After more than a year of taping, she had captured numerous incidents of sexual harassment. Carlson’s husband, sports agent Casey Close, put her in touch with his lawyer Martin Hyman, who introduced her to employment attorney Nancy Erika Smith. Smith had won a sexual-harassment settlement in 2008 for a woman who sued former New Jersey acting governor Donald DiFranceso. “I hate bullies,” Smith told me. “I became a lawyer to fight bullies.” But this was riskier than any case she’d tried. Carlson’s Fox contract had a clause that mandated that employment disputes be resolved in private arbitration—which meant Carlson’s case could be thrown out and Smith herself could be sued for millions for filing.

Carlson’s team decided to circumvent the clause by suing Ailes personally rather than Fox News. They hoped that with the element of surprise, they would be able to prevent Fox from launching a preemptive suit that forced them into arbitration. The plan was to file in September 2016 in New Jersey Superior Court (Ailes owns a home in Cresskill, New Jersey). But their timetable was pushed up when, on the afternoon of June 23, Carlson was called into a meeting with Fox general counsel Dianne Brandi and senior executive VP Bill Shine, and fired the day her contract expired.* Smith, bedridden following surgery for a severed hamstring, raced to get the suit ready. Over the Fourth of July weekend, Smith instructed an IT technician to install software on her firm’s network and Carlson’s electronic devices to prevent the use of spyware by Fox. “We didn’t want to be hacked,” Smith said. They filed their lawsuit on July 6.

Read the rest at the link.

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51 Responses to Friday Open Thread: Gretchen Carlson Gets 20 Million in her Sexual Harassment Suit Against Roger Ailes and Fox News

  1. My Native American bros and sisters can sleep in peace tonight. So happy for you. 🙌🙌🙌 #NoDAPL #NoDakotaAccessPipeline

  2. rikyrah says:


    Damon Young, 9/9/16

    Of course, its extremely presumptuous of me — or anyone, rather — to speculate on the Obamas’ sex life. Who knows what’s happening privately between them? For all we know, they could have one of those arrangements like Claire and Frank Underwood where they both kinda do their own thing (and occasionally include secret service agents).

    But come the hell on! Look at them! Look at our first lady! Look at that ass! Look! At! Dat! Ass! Look at that look on the President’s face. It’s the same look you have on Thanksgiving while you’re praying before the feast; a look of “God is great and yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda is the praying done yet cause I can’t wait to smash the fuck out of this dressing.” They are totally, definitely, 100% fucking everywhere at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. From the windows to the walls. Till the sweat drips down Barack’s balls. Skeet, skeet, skeet, skeet. The playlist proves it!


  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Also this article:
    “Obama steps in with major action halting Dakota Access Pipeline”

    But shortly after the negative ruling sent shock waves throughout Indian Country, the Obama administration broke its silence on the controversy. In a major development, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior announced that a key part of the pipeline will not move forward at this point.

    “The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws,” the extraordinary joint statement read. “Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    “Educational Choice” is a Slogan Slick Enough for Donald Trump
    Rhetoric can’t hide a failure to address inequality
    by Andre Perry
    September 9, 2016 1:30 PM

    Donald Trump outlined his policy and philosophy for K-12 education in a speech at Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy (CASSA), a for-profit charter school in the largest city of battleground state of Ohio.

    The Republican presidential nominee and founder of Trump University accused Democrats of trapping black and Hispanic youth in failing public schools and offered the postern door of school choice through a proposed block grant, voucher-like program in which per pupil expenditures would follow students to the school of their parents’ liking.

    “I want every single inner city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom, the civil right to attend the school of their choice,” Trump said in his Sept. 8 speech.

    The philosophical basis for Trump’s policy should sound familiar. It seems to come out of the playbooks of both Republican and Democrat reformers who advocate for vouchers and/or charter schools. Charter and voucher advocates may distance themselves from the nuclear Trump and his policies, but they will have a hard time distancing themselves from his rhetoric, which reveals how gamey the word “choice” is.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Yes…it is their job.



    Is It the Media’s Job to Challenge Lies?
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    September 8, 2016 4:23 PM

    This week Howard Kurtz interviewed Chris Wallace about being chosen as a presidential debate moderator. At one point Kurtz asked him how he’d handle it if/when a candidate made unfounded accusations or said something that wasn’t true. Here is how Wallace responded:

    “That’s not my job,” Wallace, who hosts Fox News Sunday, said. “I do not believe that it’s my job to be a truth squad. It’s up to the other person to catch them on that.”

    I was reminded of that time when Chuck Todd told us what wasn’t his job.

    MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don’t expect members of the media to correct the record.

    During a segment on “Morning Joe,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans “have successfully messaged against it” but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that’s President Barack Obama’s job.

    A lot of people found both of those statements to be surprising – if not appalling. The idea that it is not the job of journalists to point out lies and/or misinformation seems to go against the very basics of what we should expect from a free press.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Trump’s Border Wall Is…. Unfair to Ohio!
    by Steven Waldman
    September 9, 2016 6:00 AM

    When questioning Donald Trump proposed border wall, critics tend toward metaphors: we should be “building bridges, not walls.”

    I’d like to suggest that if they want to make headway with voters, they look below the poetry of that phrase and focus instead on the prose. That is, we should be building actual bridges – structures with suspension cables and pavement – rather than walls.

    Trump’s wall would be a massive undertaking. But it would not be, as many critics imagine, unaffordable or un-doable. Estimates put the cost around $25 billion. That’s not a huge amount relative to the federal government’s $4 trillion budget, though a structural engineer writing in the National Memo estimates that it would require three times more concrete than the Hoover dam.

    What people who oppose the wall really find objectionable is its symbolism – it would be a dramatic statement that the nation wants to focus its precious resources on keeping out Mexicans. That’s both offensive and ineffective since 40% of illegal immigrants are people who came in legally and overstayed their visa. That’s true enough. But there are more prosaic arguments against Trump’s idea, which critics seldom make.

    The first is that compared to other public works projects, a wall is insanely wasteful and unproductive. Policy wonks (and wise politicians) support infrastructure spending not just because it provides short-term jobs, but because it often can help with long term economic growth. A light-rail system that makes commuting easier will lift the value of the property for blocks or miles around each station. Wider tunnels along Amtrak’s eastern corridor would allow actual high-speed rail transit from Boston to DC and boost jobs and wealth in every metro area along its route. By contrast, Trump’s wall is literally designed to cut off travel and commerce.

    The second practical argument against the wall is that it is politically unfair. It would be the single biggest public works project in decades, yet almost all of the jobs created would be in four states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. What about the other 46 states, whose roads and bridges are falling into disrepair? Yes, among the states being screwed are — to pick an entirely random collection — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😆

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