Roger Ailes ‘is the Bill Cosby of the media,’ claims Gretchen Carlson’s lawyer


As we covered last week, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and general lechery. Carlson had been fired/pushed out of Fox News following years of what she says was a culture of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and more. While Carlson’s claims weren’t shocking to anyone even vaguely familiar with the modus operandi of Fox News and/or Roger Ailes, it was surprising that Carlson was coming out swinging with a lawsuit detailing the extensive discrimination she had faced at Fox News.

Since Carlson’s lawsuit was filed, the proverbial sh-t has hit the fan. Fox News executives seem to be taking Carlson’s claims pretty seriously, and they’ve already announced that they’ve hired an outside lawyer to conduct an investigation into Carlson’s claims and any other reports of Roger Ailes’ disturbing behavior. As NY Magazine points out, the hiring of someone outside the Fox News/News Corp family could be seen as an attempted coup by Rupert Murdoch’s sons Lachlan and James, neither of whom like Ailes or the power he wields at Fox News. The end game for the Murdoch sons is to force Ailes out of Fox News and install someone A) less controversial and B) less disgusting to women.

Fascinatingly enough, it seems that Lachlan and James (and many in Fox News corporate) are open to the idea of widening the investigation depending on whether more women come forward with their own God-awful Ailes stories. Gretchen Carlson’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, has been giving interviews since the lawsuit dropped, and she says that her office has been inundated with calls from women with their own stories about Ailes’s sexual harassment, assault and generally offensive behavior. Smith is now on the record saying Roger Ailes is “the Bill Cosby of the media.” Smith told many of the women that they should come forward and tell their stories about Ailes openly, and New York Magazine ran another piece where Ailes’ victims did just that – go here to read the stories of six women who were harassed, threatened, bullied and assaulted by Ailes in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Ailes has had a long career in the media, and I strongly suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s a supercut of Gretchen Carlson being objectified and patronized by men over and over on Fox & Friends.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and WENN.

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28 Responses to “Roger Ailes ‘is the Bill Cosby of the media,’ claims Gretchen Carlson’s lawyer”

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  1. lisa2 says:

    hmmm.. I don’t see the same coverage as this as was for Bill Cosby. I wonder if celebrities will be tweeting and calling for boycotts. If the press will do the same as they did for Cosby. I don’t see that happening. I’m only seeing very scattered coverage and there are more women coming forth.

    • LinaLamont says:

      It’s early, yet.
      Also, harassment and assault do not rise to the same level.

      • Lucy2 says:

        This. As gross and wrong as the harassment is (and I’m hoping she takes him down for it) it definitely isn’t the same level as drugging and raping 60+ women over the last few decades. Ailes’ conduct should lead to him losing his job, paying a large settlement, and a change in policies there, where as Cosby’s should have landed him in a jail cell ages ago.
        Both awful men for sure, but at the moment the situations are not quite equal. Plus as you said, the story is just starting . It’s quite possible as this goes, he may end up with similar accusations.

    • Luca76 says:

      Bill Cosby is one of the most famous men in the world.
      Roger Ailes while arguably more powerful isn’t a household name.
      Also it was an open secret in Hollywood and entertainment that Bill is a rapist and creep so people in showbiz were supporting their colleagues based on accounts they’d probably heard for years.
      It maybe an open secret amoung journalists but they are based in NY and DC two completely different worlds.
      I’ve heard NPR do a story on it the other news outlets may not want to touch it because who knows what other skeletons are out there. Journalism is one of the last boys clubs.

      • Crox says:

        When Cosby news broke out (I didn’t know there were rumors about him being a rapist already floating around), I remember being shocked. He was this nice loving dad from TV that we all liked. Nobody knew much about his private life, but still nobody expected something this terrible. So it exploded in a reign of fire.

        Ailes, he’s a CEO. Few know his name, even fewer his face, and big businessmen are more commonly associated with being nasty people. So I think all of this makes it less interesting for many news agencies. he’s much less of a click bait than Cosby. What might help is who the victim is. AFAIK Gretchen Carlson is a respected woman within Fox News so she cannot be labeled nasty stuff the way Cosby’s victims were.

      • Bridget says:

        @Crox: word on Cosby had been floating around for years, but he was too popular and too valuable to NBC to go down, so they helped bury it. He even traded the story of his son Ennis to outlets so they wouldn’t run with the story of him being sued in the 90s. This didn’t come from nowhere, but it just turned out that Twitter can’t be pressured and leveraged the same way traditional media can. Not to mention the weird dichotomy of it being a man’s joke that helped bring this back into the collective attention span.

    • Bridget says:

      It took decades for the media to take the allegations against Bill Cosby seriously, and even then it’s because the story finally took on a life of its own through social media.

  2. HH says:

    His face gives me that impression. He has that “good ol’ boy” look. However, none of that holds up in court. Lol.

  3. Birdix says:

    It’s depressing that he can get away with this for decades and is only in trouble now because two other men are trying to force him out.

    • Naya says:

      I was also thinking how lucky Gretchen is that her issue coincides with a power struggle between Ailes and the Murdoch kids. I mean their biggest star, Bill O’reilly, has not only faced sexual harassment accusations evidenced on tape iirc but domestic violence allegations with his own children serving as witnesses against him. So those Murdoch boys are no allies. I worry that they will strike a deal with Ailes to leave Fox quietly in exchange for them burying her and other accusers. Its not like their brand benefits from a successful lawsuit. Watch your back Gretchen.

      • Tara says:

        I didn’t know that O’Reilly had DV allegations against him. I knew about the sexual harassment charges – who among us can forget the falafel? I’ve always said he looks, sounds and acts like an alcoholic prone to violence.

      • Naya says:

        Oh yeah. Look up the court papers from his recent custody case. His sixteen year old daughter told the judge she didnt want to live with him because she had seen him drag her mother by her neck among other things. Much to the childrens relief, the judge awarded his ex full custody.

      • Tara says:

        Naya, that’s awful. I’ve always had a bad feeling about him and thought he was a terrible bully. This is just so gross. What a hellhole it must be over at FOX for women.

    • Myrna says:

      I couldn’t agree more!!!
      That is exactly what I thought reading this.
      Oh, great, the Murdoch boys don’t like him so maybe the allegations will hold up and he’ll get his due?
      Sad commentary on a serious topic, isn’t it?

  4. lilacflowers says:

    In any sexual harassment suit, the respondent corporation will be asked if they had process to handle complaints, if the complainant complained and if they conducted an investigation, which the EEOA requires them to do. Failure to do so puts them in violation of the statute. So, Fox is just covering its procedural butt on that one.

  5. anna says:

    whoa. that youtube video is intense.

  6. Smokey says:

    Ah, yes, the moment the chickens come home to roost. Just as Trump is the result of Fox “news” so is Fox station’s business environment for women. They only appear to take it “seriously” to shift the focus, like street grifters with their “follow the ball” ball shell game.

  7. Lucy2 says:

    That video, ugh. They think they’re just “playing around” and she looks like she’s smiling through the desire to murder them.

    • doofus says:

      I faced some harassment from one or two of my fellow lifeguards when I was younger. I am busty and, when you have to war a bathing suit to work, it shows.

      whenever I got some vulgar comment, I responded with a “what’d you say, rice-d*ck?” EVERY time. no guy, especially 16-22 year olds, likes to be called “rice-d*ck” and it stopped fairly quickly.

  8. Bridget says:

    Couldn’t be happening to a nicer guy.

  9. Carol says:

    Yikes that video is pretty, pretty bad. Those 2 old men look like they are pining for the 1950s to come back.

  10. Taiss says:

    I read some of those testimonies last night on Jezebel so disgusting.
    I’m wondering the all these women who are currently working at fox, did they give him some sugar??

    • Tara says:

      I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion. Gretchen didn’t and she worked there a long time. Plus you know, I really don’t want those visuals in my head. But I bet they all have stories to tell huh?

  11. nicegirl says:

    Good luck, Gretchen. What a pig, Ailes. and Fox News.