Seriously, it seems there was a running culture of harassment and misogyny at Fox News.
That’s not to say any other cable news network was any better. It’s just that nobody is suing and bringing these things to light.
The big news during 2016 centered around the revelation that then-Fox News CEO, Roger Ailes was forced out of his position after numerous reports (and lawsuits) involving his sexual harassment of female employees.
More than 20 women alleged inappropriate conduct from Ailes.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly faced similar charges from some of the women working for the network.
The New York Times is reporting that the latest lawsuit has recently been settled for $2.5 million.
The contributor, Tamara N. Holder, has said that the network executive tried to force her to perform oral sex on him in February 2015 when the two were alone in his office, according to interviews with four people briefed on her account, and documents that detail her claims. Ms. Holder did not immediately report the episode to the company or the police, fearing that doing so would ruin her career, interviews and documents show.
Ms. Holder reported her allegations to Fox News last fall. The network investigated her claims, and the executive, Francisco Cortes, the vice president for Fox News Latino, was terminated, according to two people familiar with the matter. Ms. Holder left Fox News after her contract expired on January 1, 2017.
Fox has lost quite a bit of their female talent over the last couple of years.
Holder joins Gretchen Carlson, Juliet Huddy (who brought the charges of harassment against O’Reilly), Greta Van Susteren, Andrea Tantaros, and Megyn Kelly.
Of those, only Van Susteren left without a story of sexual harassment or misconduct attached.
In an email, Ms. Holder said: “Yes, I was sexually assaulted. Immediately after I told the company where I worked about the incident, it promptly investigated the matter and took action, which I appreciate.”
In the months since Mr. Ailes’s departure, 21st Century Fox has struck agreements with several women who made sexual harassment complaints about Mr. Ailes and others at the network. They include a $20 million settlement with Gretchen Carlson, whose lawsuit against Mr. Ailes in July led to his ouster; a deal with Juliet Huddy, a longtime Fox News personality who made sexual harassment claims against the network’s top-rated host, Bill O’Reilly; and now the agreement with Ms. Holder, who had been a legal and political analyst at Fox News since 2010.
Holder said she didn’t immediately report the incident because she wasn’t as big of a name as someone like Gretchen Carlson, and that she’d been advised that if she rocked that particular boat, it could end her career, making her name “toxic.”
Maybe things will settle down over at Fox, now that Ailes is gone and settlements have been reached.
Fox News has done very well in the industry because they offered something more than the automatic leftward tilt of most cable news networks. How depressing to learn that while on the surface, they seemed to be all-American and free from the biased agendas of their counterpart networks, behind the scenes, the men are just jerks.
Update: Fox News and Tamara Holder have released a joint statement, included below.
“In September 2016 Fox News contributor Tamara Holder reported an incident of sexual assault at Fox News headquarters from the prior year. Immediately after Ms. Holder notified Fox News of the alleged incident, the Company promptly investigated the matter and took decisive action, for which Ms. Holder thanks the network. Following the completion of her contract on January 1, 2017, Ms. Holder left the network. Fox News is grateful to Ms. Holder for her many contributions during her tenure at the network and wishes her continued success.”