Saturday, July 21, 2018

Globe Spit Shine

"Shine, Trump’s top communicator, was questioned by federal prosecutors" by Elizabeth Williamson New York Times  July 20, 2018

WASHINGTON — Bill Shine, a former co-president of Fox News hired this month as President Trump’s communications chief, brought conservative credentials and heavy baggage with him into the White House. Trump embraced the former and ignored the latter.

Shine, now struggling to limit the damage from Trump’s performance Monday with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, was ousted from Fox News last year in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal at the network.

Shine was never publicly accused of harassment, but he was accused in multiple civil lawsuits of covering up misconduct by Roger Ailes, the founding chairman of Fox News, and dismissing concerns from colleagues who complained.

Shine’s appointment to the White House job has drawn criticism from some women who worked for him at Fox News, and has brought new scrutiny of his record there.

In one previously undisclosed action, Shine was subpoenaed last year by a federal grand jury in New York as part of a criminal investigation into Fox News’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, according to a document viewed by The New York Times.

The questions about Shine’s tenure at Fox News are not the only issues complicating his early days in one of the most challenging jobs in Washington. (He is the fourth person in 18 months to hold the post under Trump, and others have filled in.)

His wife, Darla, was found to have made racially charged remarks on a Twitter account that has since been deleted. And he had barely settled in to the West Wing as deputy chief of staff for communications before Trump set off a storm of criticism over his stance toward Russia and Putin.

Shine was aboard Air Force One for Trump’s turbulent swing through Europe last week. But he steered clear of any public role in mitigating the turmoil, telling reporters that he had only been on the job a few days and that the trip was orchestrated “pre-me.”

Unlike Anthony Scaramucci, who a year ago lasted only 10 tumultuous days in the role, Shine has kept a low public profile. He has generally followed internal chains of command, two West Wing officials said, trying to work through the chief of staff, John Kelly.

To Trump, who was friends with Ailes and who wooed Shine for months, the Fox News connection is a huge positive. Shine is close to Sean Hannity, the Fox News commentator who is among the president’s highest-profile public supporters and private advisers.

Trump believes Shine keenly understands how to connect with the Fox News audience, considered a proxy for the president’s political base.

In hiring Shine, Trump ignored advisers who worried that Shine’s legal exposure in the harassment cases was not fully known, and that the hire could again draw attention to accusations from at least 19 women of sexual misconduct by Trump before he became president.

“Our president is telling the world he doesn’t care about creating a healthy work environment,” said Rudi Bakhtiar, a former Fox News correspondent who was fired after she reported sexual harassment by a colleague in 2007. She ultimately reached a $675,000 settlement with Fox News.

Accusations that Shine enabled or covered up Ailes’s alleged sexual misconduct were aired most prominently in civil suits as well as legal complaints that led to out-of-court settlements with Fox News and its parent, 21st Century Fox.....



"Former Fox executive Bill Shine joins White House as communications chief" July 05, 2018

WASHINGTON — Bill Shine, a former Fox News Channel executive, is joining the White House as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications. The job has been vacant since Hope Hicks resigned in February.

The White House said Shine ‘‘brings over two decades of television programming, communications, and management experience to the role.’’ He will be tasked with establishing the broader message and tone of the president’s agenda.

Shine, who started his two-decade career at Fox as a producer for the show ‘‘Hannity & Colmes,’’ was ousted from as copresident last year after lawsuits suggested he had enabled alleged sexual harassment by the network’s late chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes.

Shine had recently been seen at the White House and has met with President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He was spotted Thursday getting into Trump’s motorcade, according to CNN.

The move will bolster the White House’s messaging operation ahead of what is shaping up to be a fierce partisan battle over Trump’s choice for a successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, set to be unveiled next Monday. It also comes ahead Trump’s trip next week to Europe, where one of the most closely scrutinized items on the agenda will be the president’s one-on-one summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Yet the appointment is also likely to open the White House to attacks regarding Shine’s record at Fox, as well as the Trump administration’s response to allegations of sexual misconduct against officials within its own ranks. During his time at Fox, Shine helped to build the network into the media juggernaut it is today. But much like his mentor and patron, Ailes, Shine had a long tenure that was clouded by unsavory allegations and associations with darker chapters in the network’s history.

For decades, the daily ‘‘message’’ was Ailes’s job at Fox, and Shine was his dutiful lieutenant. While Ailes focused on the big picture — how to frame the day’s events, whom to attack or support — Shine managed the details of running the network.

He also managed some of Fox’s biggest stars, most notably primetime star Sean Hannity, a confidant with whom Shine sometimes vacationed. The primetime host set Shine on his path to the top at Fox; it was Hannity, too, who helped broker Shine’s White House job, said people familiar with the discussions.

The presidential appointment reunites Trump with Shine, who gave the then-businessman and reality TV star copious airtime on Fox to opine on a range of subjects. Among them was a regular slot on ‘‘Fox & Friends.’’ The weekly appearances helped burnish Trump’s political credentials, at least with more than a million viewers of the morning program.

Shine spent 14 months off the public grid after Fox ousted him. He briefly succeeded Ailes as the network’s top executive after Ailes was driven out by sexual harassment allegations.

Shine was never directly accused of harassment at Fox. But his latter years there were pockmarked by his association with Ailes. Shine has consistently denied any wrongdoing.....

Now it is guilt by association!