Gender

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  • New Fox Chief Who Allegedly Covered Up Ailes’ Sexual Harassment Signs Multi-Year Deal

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Fox News

    Fox News announced today that co-president Bill Shine has signed a new multi-year contract. Shine reportedly “played an integral role in the cover up” of sexual harassment allegations against former chief Roger Ailes, which led critics to point out that Ailes departure did not indicate a change in culture at the network following Shine’s promotion.

    Rupert Murdoch announced the new Shine contract in a September 14 press release in which he praised Shine for his role in the Fox’s “continued dominance in the ratings and historic earnings performance” and said that the deal ensured “stability and leadership to guide the network for years to come.”

    Former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson recently settled after suing Ailes last month for sexual harassment. Her lawsuit spurred numerous other women to come forward with similar claims against Ailes and an internal investigation of Ailes’ actions that led to his resignation but reportedly did not examine “the broader culture of Fox News.”

    New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman -- the leading source on the Ailes scandal -- previously reported that Shine “played an integral role in the cover up of these sexual harassment claims,” including “play[ing] a role in rallying the women to speak out against Roger Ailes’ accusers.” Sherman also reported that Shine played a key role in the silencing and “smearing” of “Rudi Bakhtiar, who says she was fired from Fox News after complaining about sexual harassment.” Shine also reportedly played a role in the handling of Laurie Luhn, a former booker who reportedly received a $3.15 million severance agreement and was allegedly “sexually harassed and ‘psychologically tortured’ by Roger Ailes for more than 20 years.”

    Former Fox host Andrea Tantaros also filed a lawsuit last month alleging sexual harassment and retaliation against Shine, Fox News, and Ailes. According to the complaint, when Tantaros met with Shine seeking “relief from Ailes’s sexual harassment and [Fox News publicist 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.’”

    Media Matters President Bradley Beychok released the following statement last month after Fox News announced that the network was promoting Shine to co-president:

    "Fox News has an obligation to take allegations of sexual harassment seriously--  for the sake of its staff, and also for its audience. That is why Media Matters launched a petition calling on the network to release the findings of its internal review. The announcement that Bill Shine, who multiple reporters have linked to Ailes' harassment, will serve as co-president of Fox News is a disappointing signal that 21st Century Fox may not be ready to take serious the allegations and to end its culture of sexism and misogyny."

     
  • Laura Ingraham: "Who’s Been More Detailed On Policy Proposals, By The Way, Than Trump?"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Discussing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's child care plan, radio host Laura Ingraham asked, “Who’s been more detailed in policy proposals, by the way, than Trump? Whatever you think about these proposals, they're darn specific.” In fact, an Associated Press analysis has found that “By any measure, Clinton has released far more specific plans on far more topics than her GOP rival.” Others in media have also pointed out the lack of specifics and incoherence in Trump’s economic and foreign policies. From the September 14 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show:

    LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): So [Trump] proposed these new federal subsidies for child care, including tax deductions and rebates for lower income households, and tax-preferred savings accounts, as well as a promise of paid maternity leave for workers who don’t have it. Not all workers, but workers at a certain income level. "The proposal is the latest move by the Republican presidential nominee to build up a policy agenda that has been short on details.” Who’s been more detailed in policy proposals, by the way, than Trump? Whatever you think about these proposals, they're darn specific. And meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s nowhere to be found. 

  • Four Reasons Trump’s Parental Leave And Child Care Plan Doesn’t Add Up

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS & ALEX MORASH

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has announced that he will unveil a plan for parental leave and child care affordability, which he claims he would pay for by ending unemployment insurance fraud. The plan would include six weeks of maternity leave, tax deductions for child care, and family savings accounts. Journalists reporting on the plan should know that it does not actually include paid family and paternity leave, it favors the wealthy, it does not include sufficient funding, and it contradicts his few previous statements on child care.

  • The Six Worst Media Reactions To Hillary Clinton's Pneumonia Diagnosis

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    While attending a 9/11 memorial event in New York, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton felt “‘overheated’” and left early, appearing “unsteady” as she entered her campaign van, NBC News reported, noting that she has been diagnosed with pneumonia. Some media figures used the episode to declare that Clinton was “as sick as a bitch” and “having a seizure of some kind.”

  • Why Media Shouldn’t Fall For GOP Attempts To Scandalize Clinton’s “Basket Of Deplorables” Remarks

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Republicans are attempting to scandalize Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s remarks that “to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of [Republican nominee Donald] Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” referring to people with bigoted views whom Trump has uplifted. But her remarks are backed by polls finding that significant numbers of Trump supporters hold such deplorable views. Further, there have been numerous instances of racism and sexism at Trump rallies; Trump has successfully courted the racist white nationalist/”alt-right” movement, and Trump’s own campaign manager once referred to his supporters as "downright nasty."

  • Trump’s Victim Blaming Shouldn’t Be A Surprise -- He’s Surrounded By Misogynist Media Advisers

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    During NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump defended comments he made in 2013 suggesting that the incorporation of women into the military was to blame for sexual assault in the military. Trump’s remarks highlighted the misogyny that is a feature, not a bug, of his campaign, which is being run and advised by conservative media figures who have been accused of sexual harassment and assaulting women.

    During the September 7 forum, moderator Matt Lauer confronted Trump with a tweet he wrote in 2013 suggesting that “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military” were the result of “put[ting] men & women together.” When Lauer offered Trump the chance to address the comment, Trump responded that it was “a correct tweet. There are many people that think that that’s absolutely correct.”

    Trump’s defense of his tone-deaf comments on sexual assault is emblematic of his tendency to default to victim-blaming in cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The candidate’s remarks on sexual assault are also unsurprising given the advisers he turns to and campaign staff he’s hired. Roger Ailes, Stephen Bannon, and Corey Lewandowski all currently work for or with Trump’s campaign and are all right-wing media figures who have been accused of sexual harassment or assaulting women.

    • Roger Ailes, the former Fox News CEO recently ousted following a sexual harassment lawsuit, laid the groundwork for Trump’s campaign and put Fox “squarely behind the candidacy of Donald Trump.” Since leaving Fox, Ailes has reportedly stepped in to help Trump with debate prep. Despite the campaign’s efforts to deny Ailes’ official involvement, multiple reports point out that “Ailes has become one of the most influential voices in the room” advising the Republican candidate as he prepares for debates. During his tenure as Fox chairman, Ailes allegedly perpetuated an environment of rampant misogyny at Fox News by promising women promotions in exchange for sex, asking about the sex lives of employees, and making wildly inappropriate sexual comments to female employees.

    • Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News executive chairman whom Trump brought in as campaign CEO, once referred to a woman who worked with him as a “bimbo,” and like Ailes, like Ailes, has been accused of sexual harassment. Additionally, in 1996 he was “charged with domestic violence and battery” against his ex-wife, and while the charges were eventually dropped, Vox notes that “police reports from the time detail a story of repeated mental and physical abuse by Bannon.”

    • Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and a current CNN commentator, reportedly still advises the candidate, is helping prep Trump for the debates, travels with Trump to campaign stops, and continues to receive payments from Trump, all while receiving a salary from CNN. Lewandowski allegedly assaulted reporter Michelle Fields in March, and when Fields filed charges against Lewandowski, he verbally attacked her, calling her “totally delusional.”

    As Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox pointed out in her August 26 article, one of the most concerning aspects of Trump’s association with Ailes, Bannon, and Lewandowski is that he “chooses not only to associate” with them, but that they “influence his campaign at the highest levels:”

    But Trump’s “woman problem” goes far deeper than his electoral appeal. The real problem is that Bannon, Ailes, and Lewandowski are the kinds of individuals Trump chooses not only to associate with, but to influence his campaign at the highest levels. It’s a troubling judgment call—one he’s made over and over again. People show you who they are the first time. The third and fourth and fifth time? That’s just showing off.

  • Fox Ignores Trump Foundation’s Illegal Campaign Contribution, Obsesses Over Clinton’s Cough

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Fox News failed to cover the Trump Foundation’s illegal campaign contribution according to a Media Matters analysis. Despite multiple media outlets scrutinizing the illegal contribution from Trump’s charitable foundation, Fox focused on Clinton’s coughing every hour from 6 a.m. though 1 p.m. instead of the illegal Trump donation.

    In March, The Washington Post reported that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s charitable foundation, The Donald J. Trump Foundation, illegally donated $25,000 to the political committee And Justice For All, supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s re-election campaign. The donation
    “came as Bondi was reviewing whether to investigate fraud allegations against Trump University,” though she never took any action against Trump U. In response to the charge that this was an illegal donation meant to stop Bondi from investigating Trump U, The Trump Foundation chalked the illegal contribution up to a “clerical error.” In its filings with the IRS, the foundation listed its donation to “an unrelated group with a similar name, Justice For All.” On September 1, the Post reported that Trump paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS for the improper donation which “violated tax laws.”

    On September 5, Trump dismissed questions about the improper contribution, claiming “I never spoke to her.” News outlets have started to pick up on the story in the past week, with CNN’s Jeff Zeleny suggesting there is “more smoke here” than in other campaign controversies. The Huffington Post reported the donation as “ethically questionable,” and The Hill ran an article titled “Donald Trump’s $25,000 Pam Bondi problem.”

    Fox News, on the other hand, has yet to cover the Bondi donation story and instead spent Tuesday obsessing over Hillary Clinton coughing during a rally, bringing it up at least once every hour and raising unsubstantiated questions about the Democratic presidential nominee’s health. Fox hosts called it a “hacking fit,” “a really uncomfortable moment,” baselessly linked it to her 2012 concussion and questioned whether it could “impact voters.”

    According to a Media Matters analysis Fox News didn’t devote a single segment to the Bondi story during its 6 a.m through 1 p.m September 6 programming, with the only mention coming from guest David Goodfriend, a Clinton supporter, who briefly brought up the story during a segment about Bill Clinton’s role as an honorary chair at a for-profit college.

    The Trump Foundation’s illegal donation is just the latest in several controversies surrounding the Trump campaign that Fox has failed to report on. In September, 2015, Fox ignored the assault of a Hispanic man in Boston after the attackers cited Donald Trump as their inspiration.” Fox also ignored the report that Roger Ailes is acting as an adviser to Trump after being ousted as the network's CEO amid sexual harassment allegations. In June, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly ignored the most embarrassing aspects of the candidate’s FEC report, and most recently in August, the network failed to mention a Mother Jones report revealing that Trump’s modeling agency, Trump Model Management, “profited from using foreign models who came to the United States on tourist visas that did not permit them to work here.

    Methodology: Media Matters searched the Snapstream transcript database separately for the terms “Cough,” “Bondi,” and “Florida Attorney General” on Fox News Channel from 6 a.m. through1 p.m. on September 6.