Newsmax provides a haven for media figures with histories of sexual misconduct
Under the leadership of CEO Chris Ruddy, Newsmax has established a pattern of platforming powerful men with reported histories of sexual abuse and harassment, as demonstrated by the company’s recent hiring of former Fox News correspondent James Rosen.
Newsmax isn't the first right-wing outlet to harbor sexual harassers; Fox News also has a long history of employees reporting sexual misconduct by their colleagues. Newsmax has now endorsed six men with reported histories of sexual misconduct by giving them a platform on the network, including three former Fox News employees.
Fox’s chief Washington, D.C., correspondent was ousted from the network after sexual harassment reports surfaced against him. Rosen allegedly groped a colleague in a limo, tried to forcibly kiss a reporter in an elevator, and sexually harassed another reporter. There were also allegations that Rosen retaliated against the women he harassed by stealing their sources or by urging them to stay quiet. Despite his pattern of behavior, Newsmax announced on December 7 that the channel had hired Rosen as its new chief White House correspondent.
After becoming one of the network’s most fervent pro-Trump voices, Bolling started co-hosting a Fox show, The Fox News Specialists. However, he was soon fired after three female colleagues came forward and reported Bolling had texted them unsolicited pictures of male genitalia. (Bolling claimed that he never sent such images.) Fox News decided to “part ways” with him “amicably” after it conducted a review, although the network would not comment on whether the probe led to his termination. Bolling then hosted a weekly program on the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group that was canceled in January 2021. Newsmax’s Chris Ruddy hired him in June to host a show on the network, calling Bolling “a consummate media professional.”
A woman reported that Kelly raped her when he was an anchor of Good Day New York on the local Fox 5 New York channel. The woman told investigators that she became pregnant as a result. The charges were eventually dropped, and the woman was subsequently attacked by tabloids including the Murdoch-owned New York Post. Kelly continued to host Good Day New York until 2017. Newsmax’s Chris Ruddy then hired him and gave him a prime-time show that began airing early in January 2020, and Kelly has used the show to spread election misinformation. Kelly also hosts a daily two-hour show on WABC-AM, a conservative talk radio station based in New York City.
O’Reilly was a serial sexual predator during his tenure at Fox News. He reportedly propositioned multiple women for sex, made unwanted advancements, and had a noncensusual sexual relationship. He also retaliated against and silenced women who accused him of sexual harassment. Fox settled with at least six women who had reported O’Reilly for sexual harassment or verbal abuse, totaling $45 million. Even though Fox knew about O'Reilly's behavior for many years, it continued to employ him until the reports became public in 2017. The same year, Newsmax’s Chris Ruddy expressed interest in hiring O’Reilly, saying he thinks “very highly” of the former Fox host. Later, Newsmax simulcast O’Reilly’s new online commentary show, which now airs on streaming network The First.
Five women reported that Halperin sexually harassed them during his time as the political director at ABC News, forcing himself on them, groping them, or repeatedly making inappropriate physical contact and propositioning sex. The Washington Post’s reporting revealed that his behavior was an “open secret.” Halperin denied specific reports, but acknowledged his behavior was “inappropriate and caused others pain.” The reports surfaced in 2017, years after Halperin had left ABC and was making frequent appearances on MSNBC as a panelist, which subsequently ended. Newsmax hired him in 2020, and he hosts one of its weekend shows.
Ablow was a psychiatrist in Massachusetts and a Fox News contributor who repeatedly espoused bigoted and homophobic remarks on the air. His medical license was suspended after an investigation revealed that he repeatedly sexually exploited and abused his patients. According to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, “Dr. Ablow engaged in sexual activity and boundary violations with multiple patients, diverted controlled substances from patients, engaged in disruptive behavior, including displaying and pointing a firearm on multiple occasions in a manner that scared an employee, and procured his license renewal fraudulently.” At least three women filed malpractice lawsuits against Ablow, which were settled out of court. Ablow denied the allegations, claiming that he was a victim of cancel culture. Ablow spun this take into a regular Newsmax segment called “Cancel Contagion” that aired for several months in 2021. The segment’s website describes cancel culture as “spreading faster than coronavirus" and said it "threatens the survival of freedom and fairness around the world.”