Roger Ailes

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  • This Is How Trump’s Closest Advisers Have Talked About Immigrants And Latinos

    Blog ››› ››› DINA RADTKE & CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is planning to deliver a speech focused on immigration on August 31. The supporters and hangers-on surrounding Trump -- who would likely have his ear were he elected to the presidency -- include Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, and Roger Ailes. Here's what you need to know about their background on immigration and Latinos:

    Ann Coulter

    Commentator Ann Coulter's Anti-Immigrant Book Adios, America Is A Series Of Recycled Nativist Talking Points. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter has credited white nationalist website VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow with inspiring her 2015 book Adios, America. In fact, many of the ideas presented in the book -- including her claim that immigrants “intentionally” set fires and litter -- appear to be closely modeled on those of white nationalist and anti-immigrant extremist movements in America. [Media Matters, 6/16/15]

    Coulter: Hispanics Will "Start Physically Attacking Blacks." While promoting her anti-immigrant book, Coulter complained about Hispanic immigrants and the "browning of America," predicting that "Hispanic groups will move into neighborhoods and say, 'We don't want any blacks here,' and start physically attacking blacks." [The Daily Beast, 5/26/15]

    Coulter: Americans Should Fear Immigrants More Than ISIS. Coulter has compared immigrants to terrorists from the Islamic State. During a May 26, 2015, interview on Fusion's America With Jorge Ramos, Coulter replied "yes" when host Jorge Ramos asked her about her assertion that Americans should fear immigrants more than the terror group. Coulter doubled down by saying, "If you don't want to be killed by ISIS, don't go to Syria. If you don't want to be killed by a Mexican, there's nothing I can tell you." [Fusion, America With Jorge Ramos, 5/26/15]

    Coulter: "'Real' Hispanics Are On Welfare." Coulter wrote that “"real" Hispanics, unlike Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), “are on welfare” in a May 2013 tweet:

    [Twitter, 5/6/13]

    Coulter Rejected A Hug From An Undocumented Immigrant. During a May 26 interview on Fusion's America with Jorge Ramos, Coulter refused to hug undocumented immigrant and DREAM Act activist Gaby Pacheco even when Pacheco persisted, saying the hug would be "a sign of my humanity and yours." [Media Matters, 5/29/15]

    Sean Hannity

    Sean Hannity Hosted A Town Hall Focused On Anti-Immigrant Fearmongering For Trump. Fox News host Sean Hannity dedicated two hours of his prime-time  show -- on August 23 and 24 -- to host an immigration town hall for Trump. The town hall served as an anti-immigrant bashing platform during which Hannity misinformed on crime and immigration,and fearmongered about the “absolutely staggering” effects that undocumented immigration has on the U.S.:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): We have decided tonight to go in depth on the direct impact they are having on you, the American people. And tonight you're going to hear heartbreaking stories from just some of the many, many family members whose loved ones were victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants, and tomorrow we'll be joined by law enforcement experts.

    Now, to put it simply, the effects that illegal immigration is having on our country is absolutely staggering.

    [...]

    Tonight is about the truth. This is truth you will not hear from The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, certainly not CNN, the Clinton news network. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/23/16]

    Hannity Defended Trump’s Attacks On Federal Judge’s Ethnicity. Hannity defended Trump’s claim that the judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit could not be impartial because he is Mexican and Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. And Hannity doubled down on the attacks on the Mexican-American judge by saying that Trump was “rightfully calling out the fact that there is a conflict of interest” From the June 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:

    SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Let me start by saying something else that needs to be said here. Towards the end of Hannity last night, we started the program, we covered a little bit of Donald Trump speaking in San Jose. Then I had a fight with Geraldo Rivera on the program over the issue of immigration and Donald Trump, I think, rightfully calling out the fact that there is a conflict of interest, the judge in the Trump University case. Remember nobody in the media covers the Laureate college case where Bill Clinton got paid $16-some-odd million, and many students from many poor countries feel like they were defrauded and that fraud has been committed against them. There's not one word about it in the media. Anyway, the judge in this particular case we found out is a member of the La Raza -- the race -- lawyers group. Remember La Raza? That's separate from the group that we hear about often, the advocacy group. But the word La Raza means "the race." So that's an indication that this guy might have radical views. Then we know that it came to light that the law firm, Robbins-Geller, appointed by the judge, Curiel, in this case to represent a plaintiff in the Trump University class action lawsuit. Well that law firm appointed by the judge, well they have a connection to Hillary Clinton in a couple of ways. One, they gave a $2,700 campaign contribution, at least the chairman Darren Robbins did. And it seems that Robbins-Geller paid the Clintons nearly a half a million dollars in less than a year in giving them paid speeches. Now I don't think I'd want a judge with those type of connections to that law firm presiding over a case that I'm involved in. And if that's not a strong case for a recusal, I don't know what is. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 6/3/16]

    Hannity: "I Agree With Mr. Trump” That Mexicans Are Criminals. Hannity defended Trump’s assertion that Mexico is sending “rapists” and “criminals” to the U.S. during a June 29, 2015, panel discussion. Hannity said, "I agree with Mr. Trump. As somebody who has been down to the border 11 times, I have seen the drug warehouses, I was there when criminals were arrested, I know the human trafficking side and the impact on our educational system, criminal justice system, et cetera --  our health care system." [Fox News, Hannity, 6/29/15]

    Steve Bannon

    Steve Bannon’s Fringe Website Breitbart News Consistently Uses Anti-Immigrant Slurs. Before joining the Trump campaign, Steve Bannon was the executive chairman of the 'alt-right' website Breitbart News, which  consistently uses headlines that denigrate undocumented immigrants. For example: “Report: More Than 925,000 Illegals with Final Deportation Remain in the U.S.,” “Report: Illegals Rushing to get into U.S. Before Trump Wall,” “Rape Deniers: 9 Facts About Illegal Alien Crime The Media Covers Up,” and “San Francisco Moves to Open Voting to Illegals.” [Media Matters, 8/18/16]

    Breitbart News Defended Trump’s Attacks On Federal Judge’s Ethnicity: Trump “Is Correct” To Question Judge Curiel’s Impartiality Based On His Mexican Heritage. Bannon’s website defended Trump’s racist attack against Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was presiding over the Trump University fraud case, agreeing that Curiel’s “Latino identity politics” would prevent him from being impartial. The article also attempted to falsely cast La Raza Lawyers association, of which Curiel is a member, as racist. From the June 6 article:

    Trump had questioned the impartiality of a federal judge.

    The controversy erupted when Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Gonzalo Curiel – the judge in the Trump University class action lawsuit – might not give him a fair shake because of the judge’s connection to Mexican political activism. After critics bemoaned such an accusation as racism, Trump doubled down on “Face the Nation.”

    “[Judge Curiel] is a member of a club or society, very strongly pro-Mexican, which is all fine,” Trump told CBS’s John Dickerson. “But I say he’s got bias.” The club Trump was referring to was La Raza Lawyers; an organization with the stated mission “to promote the interests of the Latino communities throughout the state.”

    Translated, “la raza” means “the race.” Imagine the outcry if white attorneys from Mississippi, such as this author, started a a (sic) legal association called “The Race” with the stated mission to promote the interest of white, Southern communities. Hollywood stars and entertainers, such as Bryan Adams, would boycott the state in perpetuity.

    Trump’s suggestion that a Hispanic judge may treat him unfairly because of Trump’s border security proposals, such as the wall, challenges the claim that liberal judges engaged in identity politics are never biased against non-liberals. And while Democrats were enraged by Trump’s challenge, Trump struck fear into the hearts of establishment Republicans not accustomed to challenging the politically correct code to which they have previously surrendered. [Breitbart News, 6/6/16]

    Laura Ingraham

    Laura Ingraham Didn’t Think Puerto Ricans Were American Citizens. In 2014, radio host Laura Ingraham launched an ignorant smear against Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, suggesting that her “immigrant family background” and her Puerto Rican-American heritage conflict with her “allegiance … to the Constitution.” Ingraham said Sotomayor's "allegiance obviously goes to her immigrant family background and not to the Constitution of the United States,” but Sotomayor is a Puerto Rican American who is both an American citizen and the daughter of American citizens. Puerto Ricans have had U.S. citizenship since President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act in 1917. [Media Matters, 2/4/14]

    Ingraham Mocked Prominent Hispanic Journalist José Díaz-Balart For Speaking Spanish. Ingraham  attacked prominent Telemundo journalist José Díaz-Balart for translating for a Spanish-speaking guest on his show. [Media Matters, 9/23/14]

    Ingraham: Mexicans "Have Come Here To Murder And Rape Our People." Ingraham echoed Trump’s claim that Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists, saying Mexicans “have come here to murder and rape our people. We know that.” From the March 4 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show:

    CALLER: My thing about Trump is that, the thing is, he's not a polished person and I think people catch him off guard a lot. Like with the question with David Duke, I think simply he did not remember who David Duke was at the moment, and I think that caught him off-guard. I mean, obviously like if the reporter said, "Hey, you know, David Duke, the KKK member endorsed you." He probably would have said, "Well absolutely not." And the, see, thing about the Mexicans and murderers and rapists, everybody knows --

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Well, they have come here. They have. Yeah, they have come here to murder and rape our people. We know that. That doesn't mean everybody has, doesn't mean everyone who comes across the border is a nasty, horrible person, but they have violated our laws. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 3/4/16]

    Ingraham On Immigrants: "Nobody Has A Right To Be Here Except The People Who Are Born Here." Ingraham said of immigrants, “Nobody has a right to be here except the people who are born here.” From the March 22 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Donald Trump this morning was on Fox News talking about what the responsibilities of the U.S. government is today with keeping the border secure, locking it down. Those who come into the country, that are allowed to be here -- it's a privilege to come into the United States. It's not a right. Nobody has a right to be here except the people who are born here. Nobody has a right to come here. And somehow we've become the depository of radicals and wannabe Islamists who believe they can come here, meld into society, and then complain about society. Or worse, plan attacks against society. [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 3/22/16]

    Roger Stone

    Roger Stone Attacked CNN Pundit For Her Ethnicity, Saying It Was The Only Reason She Was On Air. On Twitter, Trump ally Roger Stone criticized CNN commentator Ana Navarro by writing that “Black beans and rice didn't miss her.” He later doubled down on his comments on the June 6 edition of WBUR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook, by saying that her ethnicity is the only reason Navarro was hired by CNN:

    TOM ASHBROOK (HOST): Don’t we have to have some level of mutual respect to keep this project going? You famously have tweeted after CNN anchors and guests, they’re “moron,” “retarded,” called them “stupid negro,” “fat negro.” Even in your own expression, that seems outside the realm of openness to unity that surely we need.

    ROGER STONE: Well I would have to admit that calling Roland Martin a fat negro, that was a two martini tweet. And I regret that. I really do. I think it was inappropriate and I’m sorry I did it. As for my criticism of Ana Navarro of CNN as being unqualified for her job, having never actually elected anybody or ever actually worked on a campaign  --

    ASHBROOK: "Black beans and rice didn't miss her"? That sounds like a slur on ethnicity.

    STONE: Well, why else is she there? It's not on the basis of experience or expertise, so maybe to put it more delicately, you'd call it casting, but I don't understand why she's there given her lack of qualifications. [WBUR, On Point with Tom Ashbrook6/6/16]

    Roger Ailes

    Former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes Reportedly Said Navy SEALs Should "Have To Personally Kill An Illegal Immigrant" As Part Of Certification. New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman wrote in his biography of Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room, that while Ailes has "been careful to moderate his immigration position in public," he nonetheless harbors appalling views on the subject. Sherman wrote that Ailes once said that Navy SEALs should "have to personally kill an illegal immigrant" as part of their certification:

    Ailes said that if he were president, he would solve the immigration problem by sitting the president of Mexico down and giving him a stern talking-to: "Your country is corrupt. You can now only take thirty percent of what the people earn instead of seventy percent. If you don't do that, I'll send the CIA down there to kill you." He had been careful to moderate his immigration position in public. "If I'm going to risk my life to run over the fence to get into America, I want to win. I think Fox News will articulate that," he told The New Republic a few months earlier. But Ailes told [Philipstown, NY supervisor Richard] Shea that as president he would send Navy SEAL trainees to the border as part of a certification program: "I would make it a requirement that you would have to personally kill an illegal immigrant coming into the country. They would have to bring home a dead body."  [The Loudest Voice in the Room, page 392, via Media Matters, 7/20/16]

  • It's Not Just Roger Ailes: New Claim Alleges Fox News Institutionally Enables Sexual Harassment

    Echoing Past Complaints, Former Fox Host Andrea Tantaros Claims Fox Executive Covered Up For Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation against Fox News, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and top executives at the network, including the man who replaced Ailes as one of the heads of Fox News. Tantaros is the most recent of several people to accuse high-level Fox News executives and personalities of perpetuating and enabling sexual harassment in the workplace.

    Tantaros’ complaint, filed on August 22, alleges that her “tenure at Fox News devolved into a nightmare of sexual harassment by Ailes, Fox News’s then-President, and others, followed by retaliation by Ailes and others despite multiple ongoing complaints by Tantaros”:

    Plaintiff Andrea Tantaros, by her attorneys, Judd Burstein, P.C., complaining of the Defendants herein, as and for her Complaint, alleges:

    [...]

    2. ... Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.

    3. In recent months, other women have finally, laudably come forward to reveal Defendant Roger Ailes (“Ailes”) as the sexual predator that he is. However this Complaint is not just about Ailes; it also gives life to the saying that ‘the fish stinks from the head.’ For Ailes did not act alone. He may have been the primary culprit, but his actions were condoned by his most senior lieutenants, who engaged in a concerted effort to silence Tantaros by threats, humiliation, and retaliation.”

    The “concerted effort to silence Tantaros” is nothing new regarding allegations of sexual harassment at Fox News. According to a 2004 sexual harassment suit filed against Fox host Bill O’Reilly, O’Reilly allegedly threatened a former employee, saying, “If any woman ever breathed a word I’ll make her pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born,” and adding, “If you cross FOX NEWS CHANNEL, it’s not just me, it’s [FOX President] Roger Ailes who will go after you.” In another instance in 2005, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in federal court against News Corp.’s Fox News Network LLC” contending that “Joe Chillemi, a Fox vice president who supervised its advertising and promotions departments, sexually harassed and subjected” Kim Weiler, a former Fox employee, and “other women to a hostile work environment, routinely using obscenities and vulgarities to describe women or their body parts.” According to Weiler’s complaint, “Fox retaliated against Weiler for complaining about discrimination.” After settling the EEOC complaint, Fox News agreed not to enable sexual harassment in the workplace by retaliating against victims.

    According to Tantaros’ new complaint, after she reported the sexual harrasment, “Ailes initially retaliated against Tantaros in a host of ways,” such as “crafting and placing insulting stories about Tantaros” on websites, and “arranging for, and giving, Tantaros permission to participate” in an interview in which the interviewer “asked outrageous questions concerning, inter alia, her breasts -- all while a Fox News media relations staffer stood by and made no effort to intercede or stop these entirely inappropriate questions.”

    Tantaros’ lawsuit also names as a defendant Bill Shine, who was named a co-president of Fox News by Fox’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, after Ailes’ resignation. According to the complaint, when Tantaros met with Shine seeking “relief from Ailes’s sexual harassment and [Irena] Briganti’s retaliatory media vendetta against her," Shine “told Tantaros that Ailes was a ‘very powerful man’ and that Tantaros ‘needed to let this one go.’”

    Tantaros’ complaint highlights an apparent larger and pervasive problem throughout Fox News Channel: a workplace culture that reportedly encourages inappropriate behavior and ensures such behavior will be ignored or even covered up. If these reports are accurate, simply removing Roger Ailes from his position as president does not address the ongoing “effort[s] to silence” reports of illegal sexual harassment in the workplace by other Fox News executives and senior staff.

  • The Incredibly Sexist Interview Andrea Tantaros Discusses In Her Lawsuit Against Roger Ailes

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros alleges in a sexual harassment lawsuit that after she rebuffed advances from then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, the network denied requests from “prominent and credible media outlets to interview Tantaros” but arranged for her participation in an interview with “a website reportedly controlled by Ailes” where the interviewer humiliated her with questions about her breasts and other “outrageous” queries.

    The website’s resulting write-up of that interview discussed Tantaros’ “physical attractiveness” repeatedly and in detail and mentioned that the interviewer asked her questions about “frequent” online descriptions of her regarding “her physical attributes.”

    Tantaros’ August 22 lawsuit says that after she rejected repeated unwanted advances from Ailes in 2014, she was given permission by Fox’s media relations department to participate in only a single interview, with “a website reportedly controlled by Ailes,” during which she says she was “humiliated by the interviewer,” who asked her about “her breasts -- all while a Fox News media relations staffer” observed the interview “but did not object.”

    Ailes was forced to resign from Fox in July after dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment. Tantaros’ lawsuit makes similar allegations against Ailes. She also alleges that she was sexually harassed by Fox host Bill O’Reilly and contributor Scott Brown, and that Fox executive Bill Shine, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, urged her to “let this one go” when she brought her harassment by Ailes to his attention. Shine was promoted to co-president of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox following Ailes’ resignation.

    Tantaros further alleges that after she rebuffed his advances, Ailes retaliated by turning “Fox News’s widely-reported, vindictive media relations department” against her. She cites as one example of this conduct:

    Only arranging for, and giving, Tantaros permission to participate in a single interview -- one with Headline and Global News, a website reportedly controlled by Ailes. At this interview, Tantaros was humiliated by the interviewer, who asked outrageous questions concerning, inter alia, her breasts -- all while a Fox News media relations staffer stood by and made no effort to intercede or stop these entirely inappropriate questions.

    Tantaros’ lawsuit alleges that following the interview, she told Shine that she “believed the interview was a ‘set up’ engineered by Ailes” to “paint her as sex object rather than as a serious journalist.” The lawsuit further states that during that meeting, Tantaros detailed past instances in which she said Ailes had sexually harassed her. At a follow-up meeting a few days later, the lawsuit alleges, Shine suggested to Tantaros that Fox PR boss Irena Briganti had been behind the incident and that Ailes is “a very powerful man” and Tantaros should not “fight this.”

    Headlines & Global News president and editorial director Michael Q. Bullerdick conducted the interview, which was published as a 3,500-word profile on May 4, 2015. While the interview gives no indication that Bullerdick asked Tantaros about her breasts, it does include the following disturbing passages focused on Tantaros’ physical appearance.

    An Extensive Discussion Of Tantaros’ “Curve-Hugging” Outfit:

    TANTAROS IS TELLING me all this on the set of her hit daily Fox News talk show "Outnumbered." Although we met off stage we do the interview seated on the familiar crescent white couch. She is resplendent in a curve-hugging and subtly textured white dress that stops around the knees. This is a departure from the bold colors, particularly rich blues, we're used to seeing her wear. But it contrasts fantastically with her deeper complexion and inky black hair. Tan stilettos boasting a subtle cheetah pattern (or is it giraffe?) round out the day's look, and make her seem taller than I remember from a chance meeting several months ago at a publishing party.

    Bullerdick Saying He Wants To Be “One Of Those ‘Lucky Guys’”:

    The set is empty and she can sit anywhere but she instinctively takes her usual place on my right - one of the two "leg seats," as they're known. I'm a seat's width away in the middle spot normally reserved for each day's male guest host, the one the show has branded "one lucky guy." Later when I tell her how well it seems to suit me and hint that I'd love to be one of those "lucky guys," she ribs me about having a typical male ego.

    Tantaros Passing The “Litmus Test” Of “Being Easy On The Eyes”:

    Being relatable - or "likable" as Fox News network genius Roger Ailes has frequently termed it - is the litmus test his hosts must pass if they are to advance at the network. The other test, no doubt, is being easy on the eyes. If my own pair, along with the outsized Internet inventory of her physical appearance are to be believed, Tantaros has passed that test too.

    Bullerdick Quizzing Tantaros About “The Frequent Description Of Her Online” Regarding “Her Physical Attributes”:

    She laughs politely at first when I run off a list of Google key words associated with a search of her name - ones that include "hot," "legs," and "bikini" (The latter is a hoax so don't bother looking). But she tenses and frowns slightly when I follow that up by mentioning the frequent description of her online as a "Greek goddess" and the pages and pages of Internet threads spooling out of control about her physical attributes and posing questions like "Does she have a boyfriend, husband or is she divorced?" And others like, "Tantaros or Guilfoyle - who's the hotter Fox brunette?"

    "Oh my God," she says, taking a long pause.

    The point in bringing it all up is not to rankle her, which it certainly seems to be doing. It's to determine whether, as a professional who happens to be a woman, she's peeved that - on the Internet at least - her accomplishments from a distinguished, multifaceted career are lagging grossly behind all the attention paid to her physical attractiveness.

    The Claim That Ailes “Mined Broadcast Gold” By Hiring “Beautiful Women” Like Tantaros:

    Granted, answering it is somewhat of a delicate balancing act for her. After all, FNC's mega-success is grounded on a nod to research indicating that while viewers indeed want fair and balanced news along with informative and timely analysis, they prefer it delivered by sublimely good-looking people - in particular, beautiful women.

    Ailes wasn't the first to capitalize on the research that also indicates female viewers are just as captivated by attractive women as their male counterparts. But by institutionalizing the formula and assembling what's come to be known as that bevy of "Fox News Babes," he's mined broadcast gold. This is stating the obvious, of course, even if acknowledging it aloud at the network is frowned upon, say insiders.

  • Another Former Fox Host Sues Network, Claims New CEO Helped Ailes Cover Up Her Harassment Claims

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times reported that former Fox host Andrea Tantaros has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against disgraced former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes as well as a cover up of her complaints by Bill Shine, one of the men recently named co-president of Fox News. It had previously been reported that Shine “played an integral role in the cover up” of the allegations against Ailes.

    From The New York Times:

    During arbitration, Mr. Burstein said, Fox News offered to pay her a sum “in the seven figures” if she renounced claims against Mr. Ailes and others at the network, including the host Bill O’Reilly. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Tantaros said she had been subjected to unwelcome advances from Mr. O’Reilly, whom she had regarded as a friend and adviser.

    […]

    The lawsuit goes on to say that on Aug. 12, 2014, Mr. Ailes called her into his office and asked if she was planning to marry and have children. “Ailes then started complaining about marriage in general, and also made off-color jokes about being married,” the lawsuit states. It describes Mr. Ailes as speculating on the sexual habits and preferences of 10 Fox News personalities.

    He asked Ms. Tantaros to turn around “so I can get a good look at you,” the lawsuit charges, adding that Ms. Tantaros refused. Soon after, she was moved from “The Five” to a lower-rated show, “Outnumbered,” that aired at midday.

    Mr. Ailes called her back for similar sessions in December 2014 and February 2015, the lawsuit charges, and when she continued to rebuff him, she encountered hostility from the Fox News publicity department. In the February meeting, she said, Mr. Ailes talked about how she would look in a bikini, and accused her of ending a long-term relationship because she had been merely using the man.

    […]

    In April 2015, the lawsuit states, Ms. Tantaros met with Bill Shine, then a senior news executive and close aide to Mr. Ailes. She said that she told him about the meetings with Mr. Ailes and asked if he had told the head of publicity for Fox News, Irena Briganti, to go after her. The lawsuit claims that Mr. Shine “told Tantaros that Briganti is like a rabid dog on a chain that we can’t control. Sometimes that dog gets off the chain.” Then, pointing to a picture of Mr. Ailes on a magazine cover, the lawsuit charges, Mr. Shine told her that “this powerful man has faith in Irena Briganti” and that Ms. Tantaros “needs to let this one go.”

    Mr. Shine, through a spokeswoman, has said that Ms. Tantaros never approached him about Mr. Ailes harassing her.

     

  • Does Roger Ailes' Personal Attorney And On-Air “Mouthpiece” Still Work At Fox News?

    Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Peter Johnson Jr., a Fox News legal analyst and the personal lawyer and on-air “mouthpiece” of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, has receded from Fox’s airwaves following Ailes’ resignation and allegations by numerous women that Ailes sexually harassed them.

    While Fox’s website still lists Johnson as an analyst, a Media Matters review found that Johnson has not appeared on Fox since July 12, when he discussed that day’s memorial for five fatally shot Dallas police officers. Johnson also has not tweeted since July 17.

    On July 6, former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes, triggering an investigation into those allegations. By the end of July, at least 25 other women had levied similar charges against him. Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced on July 21 that Ailes would resign.

    Since then, New York magazine has reported that while CEO, Ailes used “portions of the Fox budget” to “hire consultants, political operatives, and private detectives” to conduct “surveillance campaigns” against perceived enemies, including journalists critical of Fox and Ailes, and that Johnson was involved in those operations. The magazine has described Johnson as a key confidante for Ailes as well as his on-air "mouthpiece."

  • Fox’s Sunday Shows Ignore Reports That Former Chief Roger Ailes Is Advising Trump

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News Sunday and MediaBuzz failed to cover new reporting that Fox News’ former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has assumed an advisory role in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. According to The New York Times, Ailes successfully urged Trump to change his campaign’s leadership and offered guidance on his first series of television campaign ads.

    On August 19, the Times reported that an irate Trump “hastily convened” a group “of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway, Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News Chairman, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News” to address concerns the candidate had with then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. The report, which detailed Manafort’s ouster from the “chaotic presidential campaign,” noted that during the August 14 meeting, Ailes “urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership.” Bannon and Conway formally joined the campaign as its chief executive and manager, respectively, on August 17, and Manafort exited just two days later.

    The Trump campaign had previously denied Ailes’ advisory role after reports that Ailes was assisting Trump with preparation for the upcoming presidential debates, and Conway told CNN’s Dana Bash this morning that Ailes “has no formal or informal role with the campaign,” but acknowledged that Trump “speaks to many different people.”

    But while CNN’s State of the Union host asked Conway directly about Ailes’ role in the campaign, and CNN’s Reliable Sources also discussed Ailes’ burgeoning role, Fox News’ Sunday shows ignored this development concerning their departed chairman and CEO. A Fox News Sunday panel discussion, and two MediaBuzz segments, all discussing the shake-up in Trump’s campaign leadership team, failed to even mention Ailes. A SnapStream transcript search of Fox News for “Ailes” showed no results from any other shows on the network from today.

  • NY Times Reports Roger Ailes Is Making Leadership And Advertising Decisions For Trump Campaign

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times reported that Roger Ailes, former chairman and CEO of Fox News, has assumed an advisory role in the Trump campaign, successfully urging Trump to change his campaign’s leadership, and offered guidance on Trump’s television campaign ads.

    While the Trump campaign previously denied Ailes’ advisory role, the Times reports that Trump convened a group “of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway, Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News Chairman, and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart news.” The report noted that during the meeting, Ailes “urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership.” The next Tuesday, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was replaced by Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway:

    It was an article in The New York Times last weekend — about frequent but frustrated efforts by Mr. Trump’s top advisers to curtail his pugilistic instincts — that set off the series of events leading to Mr. Manafort’s departure. On Saturday, Mr. Trump raged at Mr. Manafort, holding him responsible for the article.

    On Sunday, Mr. Trump hastily convened a meeting of paid and unpaid advisers including the pollster Kellyanne Conway; Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chairman; and Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Breitbart News, a conservative website. Mr. Manafort was not present.

    Mr. Ailes urged Mr. Trump to reconfigure the campaign’s leadership, according to a Republican briefed on the meeting. A former Republican strategist and ad man who was friends with Mr. Trump long before his ouster, Mr. Ailes had reviewed some of the initial television commercials Mr. Manafort had overseen and told Mr. Trump in blunt terms that they were lackluster.

    Only on Tuesday, the eve of its announcement, was Mr. Manafort informed of the campaign’s impending shake-up: Ms. Conway would become campaign manager, and Mr. Bannon would become the campaign’s chief executive.