This might explain why Gabe Sherman’s sources told him yesterday that Roger Ailes was going to be given two choices: be fired or resign.
Sherman is on the case again, and today he dropped the bombshell that Fox News star Megyn Kelly told investigators that Roger Ailes also sexually harassed her.
Sherman reported in New York Magazine that according to two sources who were briefed on the 21st Century Fox investigation, “Kelly has told investigators that Ailes made unwanted sexual advances toward her about ten years ago when she was a young correspondent at Fox. Kelly, according to the sources, has described her harassment by Ailes in detail.”
21st Century Fox waived the Non-Disclosure Agreements of the women they were talking to, so that they could answer questions without fear of being sued, a step that indicates just how seriously they are taking this probe.
Ailes’s strategy, Sherman reports, has been to attack Megyn Kelly in the press.
I consider myself an expert on sexual harassment, having been on the receiving end of it too many times. So the report that many females who worked for Ailes were coming forward in what seemed like a coordinated effort to defend him was no surprise.
When the man who gave them a career comes calling, rabid defense of him is in their best interest. It’s in everyone’s best interest to turn a blind eye to what’s going on, because money, power and fame are on the line.
Some people didn’t see the sexual harassment because it didn’t happen to them, while others willingly or unwillingly (neither makes the harassment okay) traded to advance their careers – either way, they see the women who come forward as the villains. No one wants to rock the Power, Fame, and Success boat.
For those to whom it happened and they were not OK with it but never came forward, fear of repercussion is huge and not unfounded. Powerful men like Roger Ailes have a million ways to make a woman pay for not giving in, and none of it is pretty. The saddest thing is that in saying no, a woman’s business reputation is often trashed. She’s blackballed.
The Fox News story isn’t unique, even if Fox News sells sexism in a way that obviously courts it. Sexual harassment in the entertainment business and politics is almost part of the job. The public never hears about it because everyone is invested in keeping the money machine going, and if they have to ride over women to get there, they do. It’s the way it is. It’s wrong, but it’s happening every day.
We will soon be treated to sexy pictures of Megyn Kelly as “proof” that she wanted to be sexually harassed. So to those people before they get started, newsflash: No one is entitled to sexual favors in return for the opportunity to do a job. It doesn’t matter how sexy she is. It’s also completely disingenuous to blame women for being sexy while demanding they be sexy and pose in sexy ways in order to raise their profile.
That is the world we live in, and it’s not Megyn Kelly’s fault.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.