Report: Employees At Fox “Knew About” Sexist Actions Against Former Host Gretchen Carlson
Politico reported that Fox employees “were aware of some of the things” that former Fox host Gretchen Carlson alleged in her lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and that staff of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends “knew about or saw” host Steve Doocy make inappropriate comments.
Carlson’s lawsuit alleges that Ailes “terminat[ed] her employment,” because she would not have a “sexual relationship with him,” and accuses host Steve Doocy of “creat[ing] a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way.” The allegations fit a longstanding pattern of sexism in Fox News' on-air programming, which Carlson herself has observed for years from her male colleagues. Ailes has also repeatedly made misogynistic and sexist remarks to his employees.
In a July 7 article, Politico reported on the “notable lack of major Fox News anchors and talk-show stars … stepping forward” to defend Ailes, and quoted a former Fox & Friends staffer saying, “Everyone on staff knew about or saw” Carlson’s former co-host Steve Doocy “make inappropriate comments.” Politico also noted that “Ailes has made public remarks in the course of his career that many classified as sexist,” and that “Carlson’s [lawsuit is not] the first suit to be brought against Fox News or one of its executives or personalities for sexual harassment.” From the piece:
There was a notable lack of major Fox News anchors and talk-show stars, many of whose careers were carefully molded by Ailes and are fiercely loyal, stepping forward to defend the salty-tongued executive, as they have done in the past when he has come under fire. The lawsuit went completely unmentioned on Fox News’s broadcast through the evening and during Carlson’s former 2 p.m. hour. (Howard Kurtz, host of Fox News’ media show “MediaBuzz,” published a story about the lawsuit on Fox News’ website on Wednesday evening.)
Several Fox News employees, past and present, said they were aware of some of the things Carlson claimed in her suit.
"Everyone on staff knew about or saw Doocy make inappropriate comments, but most people just rolled their eyes at it,” a former staffer for “Fox and Friends” told POLITICO.
Ailes has made public remarks in the course of his career that many classified as sexist. In 1994, appearing on the Don Imus radio show two years before the launch of Fox News, Ailes declared that Mary Matalin and Jane Wallace, co-hosts of CNBC’s “Equal Time,” were like “girls who if you went into a bar around seven, you wouldn’t pay a lot of attention, but [they] get to be 10s around closing time.”
Nor is Carlson’s the first suit to be brought against Fox News or one of its executives or personalities for sexual harassment, but they have never stuck — something Smith said informed her firm’s strategy for Carlson.