Gender

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  • CNN Reports First High Level Executive Leaves Fox News Only Days After Sexual Harassment Investigation Forced Out Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› BRENDAN KARET

    CNN's Dylan Byers reports that former Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente has left the network "days after Roger Ailes departure from Fox News.”

    CNN reported that Clemente’s departure “was unrelated to the recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding Ailes,” which continues to plague the network with new reports of widespread sexual harassment at the network. Clemente’s number two, Peter Boyer also left the network. CNN noted “that Clemente showed no signs of leaving the network prior to the scandal”:

    Michael Clemente, a longtime executive vice president of News at Fox who was effectively demoted earlier this year, has left the network, spokespeople confirmed. Peter Boyer, a former New Yorker writer who recently served as Clemente's number two, has also left.

    Clemente's departure, first reported by TVNewser, was approved by 21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. Network insiders say the move was unrelated to the recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding Ailes, though it's also true that Clemente showed no signs of leaving the network prior to the scandal.

    Michael Clemente's exit from Fox follows reports from New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman, who stated Fox News executives had helped Ailes "cover up" sexual harassment allegations, as well as Good Morning America's report that there was a "culture inside Fox News" of sexual harassment.

  • VIDEO: The Media's Years Of Sexist Attacks On Hillary Clinton

    Blog ››› ››› LEANNE NARAMORE

    The media has spent years hurling sexist attacks at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. From attacks on her appearance, her cleavage, her sexuality, her "PMS," the tone and volume of her voice, her laugh, her emotions, her age, being a grandmother, being called a "bitch,""castrating" and a "vaginal American," the claim that she's only successful because of her husband and more, it's hard to overstate the barrage of sexism Clinton has faced during her time as first lady, senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate.

    Now that Clinton is set to become first female presidential candidate for a major party in U.S. history, the media should avoid falling into this inexcusable cycle of rampant sexism and misogyny in their general election coverage.

  • Report: Sexual Harassment At Fox News Goes Way Beyond Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following the ousting of former Fox CEO Roger Ailes amid allegations that he sexually harassed former network anchor Gretchen Carlson, The New York Times reported that a culture of sexual harassment and intimidation in Fox News may extend beyond Ailes. According to the Times, interviews with current and former Fox News employees revealed “instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.”

    On July 21, Fox News’ parent company announced that Ailes would be resigning his position at Fox News but would receive $60 million and continue to work “as a consultant” with 21st Century Fox. Ailes’ ousting from the company follows a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. According to The Washington Post, 25 women have come forward to make similar harassment claims against Ailes.

    The New York Times reported on July 23 that Fox News may have “a broader problem in the workplace,” that extends beyond Ailes after at least “a dozen women” told the Times that “they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors.” From the Times’ report:

    The investigation by Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, focused narrowly on Mr. Ailes. But in interviews with The New York Times, current and former employees described instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.

    The Times spoke with about a dozen women who said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors. With the exception of Ms. Bakhtiar, they all spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embarrassment and fear of retribution. Most continue to work in television and worry that speaking out could damage their careers.

    They told of strikingly similar experiences at Fox News. Several said that inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and sex life were frequent. Managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors.

    [...]

    The women interviewed by The Times described similarly troubling experiences at Fox News and the Fox Business Network, a sprawling operation with about 2,000 employees on several floors of News Corporation’s headquarters on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan.

    The networks were run with an iron fist by Mr. Ailes, the founding chairman and a former Republican strategist, who established the channels as a lucrative profit center and an influential voice in conservative politics.

    [...]

    It is difficult to know exactly how much Mr. Ailes set the tone. The investigation into his conduct revealed findings troubling enough to compel 21st Century Fox executives to move quickly and arrange his exit. Beyond inappropriate language, Mr. Ailes was also accused by employees of kissing and intimate physical contact, according to three people briefed on the investigation, and of making propositions that included quid pro quo arrangements.

    [...]

    Female staff members told of problems with other supervisors as well. One current employee said that she was with a male supervisor in a closed-door, one-on-one meeting in 2009 when she asked to work on an assignment. He turned to her and said, “Sure,” then conditioned it on oral sex. The woman said she laughed it off, thinking that she would face retaliation and be demoted if she told him that the comment was inappropriate.

  • Washington Post Reports 25 Women Have Come Forward To Accuse Former Fox CEO Ailes Of Harassment  

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Following a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, 25 women have come forward to make claims of similar harassment against Ailes, according to a July 22 report from The Washington Post.

    On July 21, Fox News’ parent company announced that Ailes would be resigning his position at Fox News but would receive $60 million in a “consultant” position with 21st Century Fox.  

    The Washington Post highlighted the “locker room” mentality at Fox News, alongside new allegations in a July 22 article which reports there are now 25 women accusing Ailes of misconduct and harassment, dating back decades:

    News of Carlson’s firing, and the lawsuit she filed shortly thereafter, have now prompted 25 women to come forward with what they describe as similar harassment claims against Ailes that stretch across five decades back to his days in the 1960s as a young television producer, according to Carlson’s attorney, Nancy Erika Smith.

    Interviews with four of those women portray the 76-year-old television powerhouse as a man who could be routinely crude and inappropriate, ogling young women, commenting about their breasts and legs, and fostering a macho, insensitive culture. Among those who agreed to interviews is a 2002 Fox intern who spoke for the first time about her accusation that Ailes grabbed her buttocks and repeatedly propositioned her.

    […]

    The signals sent by Ailes were quickly picked up by the employees, the former staffer said. Some women began showing up to news meetings in short skirts and blouses that showed their cleavage.

    “It became common knowledge that women did not want to be alone with him,” the former staffer said. “They would bring other men with them when they had to meet him. It became a locker room, towel-snapping environment. He would say things like, ‘She’s really got the goods’ and ‘look at the t--s on that one.’ ”

    Sometimes, the former staffer said, Ailes made “jokes that he liked having women on their knees. The tone he set went through the organization.”

     

  • "RNC Contact" Gave White Supremacist And Virulent Misogynist A Convention Pass

    White Supremacist Used Pass To Broadcast Live For A Racist Program

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Matt Forney, a pro-Trump white supremacist who claims women “want” to be “raped” and “beat[en],” attended the second day of the Republican National Convention with a guest pass and reported live from inside the convention arena for a racist radio program.

    The white nationalist movement and adherents like Forney have been celebrating the Republican convention and nominee Donald Trump. They’re attending his convention and other campaign events and have used Trump and the RNC to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. The Trump campaign has had a series of troubling interactions with the white nationalist movement, including giving a white nationalist radio host press credentials, failing to condemn their support, and retweeting them.

    Forney has claimed that “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go” and argued that America needs “strict black control.” He’s also written misogynistic pieces claiming that women want to be raped and beaten and shouldn’t be educated.

    Slate's Michelle Goldberg profiled Forney in the series "Better Know an RNC White Supremacist" and wrote that he "says he’s been gratified by the way the Donald Trump campaign has made his views less taboo." 

    He wrote a July 20 piece headlined “The Alternative Right Infiltrates the Republican National Convention.” Forney claimed he received “guest credentials” from an unnamed “RNC contact” and was able to attend the convention on July 19. At one point, Forney says he was “invited to sit with the Hawaii delegation on the floor and observe the action up close.” He added that he “filmed several portions of the vote count for” a white nationalist show.  

    Forney retweeted a picture of himself with a July 19 guest pass. He also tweeted pictures of himself “Sitting with the Hawaiian delegation on the floor of the RNC,” and shots from other spots around the convention.

    Forney reported live from the RNC for the white nationalist program Red Ice Radio, which is hosted by Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the program “a racist online radio broadcast” and “white nationalist.”

    Red Ice Radio promotes anti-Semitism and Holocaust denialism. Its YouTube videos include “David Cole - The Truth Behind the Gates of Auschwitz,” “Jim Rizoli - What Really Happened at Auschwitz?,” “Eric Hunt - The Shoah: The Biggest Hoax of the 20th Century?” and “Ole Dammegard - Making Critical Thinking Illegal: Questioning the Holocaust.”

    During the July 19 broadcast, Palmgren said that Forney is “inside in the convention center right now.” Forney then briefly described what was currently happening at the convention and broadcast live images of the proceedings. (Forney’s broadcast appeared to have some technical difficulties.)

    Forney previously held a fundraiser “to help me cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this month” with Red Ice Radio and made his “goal with a total of $2,639.88 in donations, exceeding my original goal of $2,500.”

    Forney has written that blacks and Muslims “can’t be trusted” and must be brought under control, "Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S.," “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head,” and Jewish and Mormon people “work to undermine their host cultures.” Here is a sample of his white supremacist writings:

    • “White men built America, and without them, America will die.” [MattForney.com, 4/5/16]

    • “The children of interracial marriages are almost always fucked in the head. If I get married and have a family, it'll be with a white woman.” [Twitter, 7/9/16]

    • “White people can handle their guns. Blacks and Muslims can't. Bring them under control and end the violence. #PrayForFlorida #Orlando.” [Twitter, 6/12/16]

    • “The Amarillo incident is more proof that we need strict black control and Muslim control, not gun control. #prayforamarillo #prayfortexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Blacks and Muslims have proven that they can't be trusted. Black control now, Muslim control now. #Amarillo #PrayForAmarillo #PrayForTexas.” [Twitter, 6/14/16]

    • “Mormons are white Jews: belligerent subversives who despise ‘Gentiles’ and work to undermine their host cultures.” [Twitter, 3/20/16]

    • “Jews support gun control because their limp wrists make it impossible for them to shoot straight.” [Twitter, 2/8/16]

    • “Blacks do nothing but murder cops, rob and rape people, and bring death and destruction wherever they go. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Whites don't shoot cops. Blacks do. Bring blacks under control and the violence will end. #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.” [Twitter, 7/7/16]

    • “Mexicans are a fifth column in the U.S. An occupying army. And our politicians let them in by refusing to enforce our laws. #MAGA #SanJose.” [Twitter, 6/3/16]

    • “#PaulLePage is right. What, you think the old white liberals of Maine are selling heroin? It's blacks and Latinos.” [Twitter, 1/7/16]

    • "Let’s just be honest: everyone hates blacks." [alternative-right.blogspot.com, 1/3/15, via Slate

    He regularly writes virulently anti-women posts. His website includes posts with headlines like “How to Beat Your Girlfriend or Wife and Get Away with It.” Forney advocates “weekly whippings,” claiming: “Since most girls want to be spanked, it’s extremely unlikely that she will ever consider your weekly whippings to be ‘domestic violence.’ Even if she doesn’t like the sting of your palm, her sense of shame will keep her from reporting you to the police.”

    Other headlines include: “Why Feminists Want Men to Rape Them” (“Here are the reasons why feminists want to be sexually assaulted, and why they’re working around the clock to aid rapists”); “Hurt Your Wife to Show Her You Love Her”; “The Case Against Female Education”; “The Myth of Female Intelligence”; “Who Cares What Women Think?”; “The Inevitability of Female Submission”; “The Case Against Female Self-Esteem”; and “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved.”

    Forney is also anti-gay and uses his Twitter account to call opponents “faggot.”

    The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey wrote that “Forney is a professional Internet troll” and can contend for “most-hated man” on the internet:

    Matt Forney: Forney, a blogger and member of the Valizadeh school, proudly crowned himself the most-hated man on the Internet after his argument “against female self-esteem” went viral last fall. Forney is a professional Internet troll, and has actually published a book to that effect. Publishing blog posts with titles like “Why Fat Girls Don’t Deserve to Be Loved” is, apparently, a profitable enterprise.

    Forney is strongly supporting Trump for president. He explained that he’s voting for Trump because “Trump’s presidential campaign is the closest America will come to redemption, the last triumph of nationalism before the left swamps us with hordes of barely literate foreigners who will vote them into a permanent majority. I’m not going to sit back and pretend that both parties are identical when one of them is presenting a clear alternative to decay and decline.”

    He also wrote a piece headlined “How Donald Trump Is Inspiring A Masculine Renaissance In America.” He explained that “his unabashedly masculine personality has (in the words of my friend the Bechtloff) been an injection of testosterone directly into the nation’s bloodstream.”

    Radio host Alex Jones also reportedly received a “special guest” credential for the convention. Jones believes numerous toxic conspiracy theories, including that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job by the government.

    White nationalists have been regular attendees at Trump events.

    BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray reported that white nationalist leader Richard Spencer also had received “a credential for the convention but wouldn’t say how he’d gotten it, only saying he has ‘friends in high places.’ But he said he had continually been running into self-identified members of the alt-right around Cleveland. ‘The alt right is here,’ he said.”

    Vice News reported that white nationalist leader Matthew Heimbach, who has been supporting Trump outside the convention, said “he personally knows several other members of his group who are Trump delegates and currently on the convention floor.” American Freedom Party leader William Johnson was picked as a convention delegate but resigned following criticism.

    White nationalist radio host James Edwards attended a February Trump event and was given press credentials by the campaign. VDare founder Peter Brimelow attended a rally in November. Heimbach and his allies previously engaged “in pushing and shouting match with African American counter-protesters at [a] Super Tuesday Trump rally,” as the Southern Poverty Law Center noted