Ailes: Tick Tock…
The New York Times John Koblin, Emily Steele, and Jim Rutenberg have new details on what went down and how…including some very pointed commentary from one Kirsten Powers who made a statement after Ailes left that may be the start of something larger internally at FNC…
Mr. Ailes was not there. Mr. Murdoch had barred him from the building starting on Wednesday, according to one person briefed on the matter. The person said Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, had learned Mr. Ailes was trying to get some of his on-air stars to criticize those who cooperated with investigators looking into accusations of sexual harassment against him.
Murdoch himself barred him? That says a lot to me. An awful lot.
Among those who cooperated with investigators looking into the allegations against Mr. Ailes was one of his on-air stars, Megyn Kelly. She had been among a small group of employees who resisted a campaign to rally support for Mr. Ailes, which came to be viewed as a “loyalty test,” according to several staff members, who declined to be identified.
Ms. Kelly told investigators that she received repeated, unwanted advances from Mr. Ailes, which she rejected, according to two people briefed on her account. The entreaties, which happened in the early part of her career at Fox, bothered Ms. Kelly to the point that she retained a lawyer because she worried that her rejections would jeopardize her job, though they ultimately did not.
During the investigation, led by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, around 10 women have come forward with stories of inappropriate conduct from Mr. Ailes while at Fox News, according to a person briefed on the investigation.
The campaign to rally support for Mr. Ailes ultimately became a problem for him. It included declarations casting doubt on Ms. Carlson’s charges from hosts including Greta Van Susteren, Jeanine Pirro and Neil Cavuto, who in an op-ed described the accusations as “sick.”
Several female staff members had said on Wednesday that they feared that campaign was making younger female staff members with their own stories to tell too frightened to speak with investigators — something the investigators feared as well, people briefed on their inquiry said this week.
A friend of Ms. Kelly, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Ms. Kelly resisted pressure to support Mr. Ailes, and cooperated with the investigation so that those other staff members would “feel more comfortable coming forward to tell the truth.”
And then we get to Powers…
On Thursday night, Kirsten Powers, a Fox contributor for 11 years, said: “While I understand loyalty, I was disappointed that so many senior members of Fox’s on-air team rushed to defend Roger in a way that seemed to prejudge an investigation into sexual harassment. I would hope that in 2016 people would know that just because you weren’t harassed, or didn’t witness harassment by a certain man, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”