Thursday, July 14, 2016

Foxy News Ladies

"Gretchen Carlson sues Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for alleged sexual harassment" by David Bauder Associated Press  July 06, 2016

My print version was some pos by the NYT, and Ailes having problems with the sons heartens me.

NEW YORK — Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson sued network chief executive Roger Ailes on Wednesday, claiming she was cut loose after she refused his sexual advances and complained about harassment in the workplace.

Ailes, in a statement, denied the allegations and accused Carlson of filing the lawsuit in retaliation for her contract not being renewed.

Carlson, the former host of a daytime show at Fox who had worked at the network for 11 years, was abruptly let go on June 23. Nine months earlier, during a meeting with Ailes she called to address her feelings that she had been discriminated against, she alleged he told her that ‘‘you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.’’

Carlson is publicly taking on one of the most powerful men in the media business. Ailes built Fox News Channel from scratch in the 1990s, turning it into the top-rated television news network with a profound influence on politics. Fox is highly profitable for parent company 21st Century Fox.

The 50-year-old Carlson, who was Miss America in 1989, alleged in her lawsuit that Ailes, who is 76, ogled her, repeatedly commented about her legs, urged her to wear clothes that enhanced her figure and told her she was sexy but ‘‘too much hard work.’’

Carlson said she was fired as a host of the morning show ‘‘Fox Friends’’ in 2013, and her pay reduced with the transfer to a daytime slot, because she had complained about sexual harassment.

She said that one of her ‘‘Fox Friends’’ co-hosts, Steve Doocy, ‘‘had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way.’’ She said that when Ailes heard of her complaints, he called her a ‘‘man hater’’ who needed to learn to ‘‘get along with the boys.’’

21st Century Fox said that while it has full confidence in Ailes and Doocy, it has begun an internal investigation into the case.

Ailes said that Carlson began to ‘‘conveniently’’ pursue a lawsuit when she became aware that Fox was not renewing her contract, citing poor ratings. Ratings for her program, ‘‘The Real Story,’’ were lower than for any other show on the network in June, the Nielsen company said.

‘‘Ironically, Fox News provided her with more on-air opportunities over her 11-year tenure than any other employer in the industry, for which she thanked me in her recent book,’’ Ailes said. ‘‘This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.’’

There was no immediate comment from Doocy, the company said.

Carlson said that Ailes punished her by cutting back on political interviews that she conducted and ending a regular appearance she made on Bill O’Reilly’s prime-time program, generally Fox’s highest-rated show.

‘‘I have strived to empower women and girls throughout my entire career,’’ Carlson said in a statement. ‘‘Although this was a difficult step to take, I had to stand up for myself and speak out for all women and the next generation of women in the workplace.’’

In the lawsuit, Carlson alleges that Ailes did not provide her with anywhere near the network support and promotion provided to other Fox hosts ‘‘who did not complain about harassment and rebuff his sexual advances.’’ Carlson’s lawyer, Nancy Erika Smith, said she’d heard from other women at Fox who experienced similar behavior, but she would not identify them.

Smith said she had ‘‘very strong evidence’’ against Ailes that she looked forward to presenting in court.

‘‘I’m sure he feels untouchable,’’ she said. ‘‘I’m sure he feels that he’s gotten away with it all these years and he will continue to. What he’s going to find is that in America at least, and maybe around the world, the tide is turning on this kind of treatment of women.’’

In her 2015 memoir, ‘‘Getting Real,’’ Carlson talks about Ailes, calling him brilliant for the way he put opinion shows on prime-time TV. He noted that he gave her the chance to do a national morning show, which was her dream, when she couldn’t get that at her previous employer CBS.

She said that Ailes was ‘‘razor sharp and inscrutable and we seemed to have a real connection. He saw something in me that he liked, what he called my ‘killer instinct.’ He once noted that I would stop at nothing to do the job. He got me.’’

Carlson wrote a story for the Huffington Post in June 2015, where she said that while she had always considered herself strong, she had stayed silent on the issue of sexual harassment. She detailed three episodes where she had been harassed: by a television executive and public relations executive when she was trying to break into the business, and by a news photographer on her first day of work as a reporter in Virginia. The piece did not discuss experiences at Fox.

Two days after the June 12 mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, Carlson told viewers that she supported reinstating a ban on assault weapons. The next day, she revealed Fox viewers had profanely attacked her, and she read some of the cleaner responses on the air.

The lawsuit asks for an unspecified amount of payment for damages. The lawsuit was filed in New Jersey’s Bergen County, where Ailes owns a home.


RelatedLawyers for Fox News chairman want harassment suit in arbitration

"Noel Neill, 95, Lois Lane on early TV series" by Anita Gates New York Times   July 07, 2016

NEW YORK — Noel Neill, the petite film and television actress who played Lois Lane in 1940s “Superman” movie serials and on television in the 1950s, died on Sunday at her home in Tucson. She was 95.

Her death was confirmed by her biographer, Larry Ward.

Ms. Neill was 28 and a veteran of 40 or so films when she was first called on to play Lois, the breezy young reporter for The Daily Planet who disdains her mild-mannered colleague Clark Kent but suspects the truth: He is actually Superman, the dashing defender of truth, justice, and the American way.

In 1948, Ms. Neill was cast opposite Kirk Alyn in 15 episodes of the movie serial “Superman,” based on the comic books and radio show. Two years later, she reprised the role in the serial “Atom Man vs. Superman.”

In 1952, when “Adventures of Superman” was created for television, another actress, Phyllis Coates, was cast as Lois, along with George Reeves as Superman. But after one season, Coates left the show and Ms. Neill stepped into the role, where she remained until the series ended in 1958. There were plans to bring the show back, but they came to a halt in 1959 with Reeves’s death, which was ruled a suicide.

Ms. Neill’s Lois normally went to the office and on assignment in proper suits, little hats, and pearls, despite the likelihood that she would end the day tied to railroad tracks, trapped in a cave, or in some other form of deadly peril, until she was saved by her hero.

The low-budget “Adventures of Superman,” a hit during its original run, became a favorite in reruns and Ms. Neill became a heroine.

After “Adventures of Superman” was canceled, she largely gave up acting. Eventually she went into public relations and worked for United Artists.

By the 1970s, however, she had been rediscovered by young fans of “Superman” reruns, and she began to appear at fan conventions....


Look, up in the sky....

"Fate of embattled Fox News chief remains under review" by Jim Rutenberg The New York Times  July 19, 2016

CLEVELAND — This was supposed to be Fox News Channel’s big week, a time to flex its muscles and flaunt its ratings dominance as the long-reigning media king of the Republican National Convention.

Instead the cable news network has been buffeted by a whirlwind of speculation and the specter of a public relations debacle, as serious doubts were raised about whether its co-founder and chairman, Roger Ailes, would remain at the helm of the network.

It started with a report by New York magazine on Monday saying that Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James — the three men who sit atop Fox News’ corporate parent, 21st Century Fox — had come to the conclusion that “Ailes needs to go,” after accusations of sexual harassment by a former anchor, Gretchen Carlson.

That chilly comment set off alarm bells at Fox News and in the television industry at large for what it did not say. Several other Fox News stars have come out in support of Ailes, including anchors Greta Van Susteren, Harris Faulkner, Martha MacCallum, and Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto.

The idea of Fox News without Ailes is difficult to fathom. As the network co-founder, he has a personality that is ingrained in the network’s brash approach to the news, which he has described as an antidote to a biased mainstream news media.

That his future is now in doubt, but in voicing support for Ailes, several of his defenders questioned Carlson’s motives and wondered why she waited until her contract was not renewed to file a sexual harassment lawsuit....


Also see:

The power of Megan Kelly

She couldn't stop Trump, but....

Roger Ailes and Fox said to be negotiating his departure

Roger Ailes resigns from Fox

Sexual harassment lawsuit ends Ailes’s Fox tenure

"Gretchen Carlson settles lawsuit against Roger Ailes for $20 million" by John Kolbin and Michael M. Grynbaum New York Times  September 06, 2016

NEW YORK — The reasons for Greta Van Susteren’s departure remained murky, but people on both sides of the negotiations pointed to an icy meeting in July between her and Rupert Murdoch as a turning point in her tenure.

Days after Ailes left, Van Susteren met with Murdoch. The anchor, accompanied by her husband and agent, John P. Coale, requested more favorable terms in her contract — which was not immediately up for renewal — and cited an exit clause that allowed her to leave if Ailes was no longer chairman.

Murdoch was not impressed, both sides said. “It was tense,” Coale recalled Tuesday.

Late last week, Van Susteren informed Fox she planned to use her exit clause. But the anchor woke up Tuesday fully expecting to tape her prime-time show, “On the Record,” that evening. Instead, Coale said, “someone came to our house and delivered two letters” from the network. The message: “She’s out.”

It was so abrupt that a large poster of Van Susteren, who routinely beat the cable competition in her 7 p.m. time slot, was still displayed outside Fox’s Manhattan building when the announcement went out. (It was removed later Tuesday.) At the channel’s Washington bureau, newspapers sat untouched outside Van Susteren’s still-full office.

Van Susteren had initially defended Ailes, calling Carlson “disgruntled” and calling the timing of her lawsuit “very suspicious.” But on Tuesday, in a post on Facebook, Van Susteren wrote: “Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years.”

Coale, in an interview, echoed that sentiment. “There’s so much chaos” at Fox, he said. “It’s very hard to work there.”

Asked why his wife had exercised the exit clause, Coale said, “There’s more than meets the eye,” adding that there “might be litigation in the future.” He provided no details. Van Susteren, on Facebook, wrote that she had to leave now because of a time limit on her exit clause.

Brit Hume, a veteran Fox political anchor, took over hosting duties for Van Susteren’s show Tuesday and is expected to continue through the election. In a formal statement, Fox News co-presidents Jack Abernethy and Bill Shine wrote: “We are grateful for Greta’s many contributions over the years and wish her continued success.”

Although she has been a Fox fixture since 2002, Van Susteren does not command the same star power as Kelly or O’Reilly. Her departure was viewed by Fox officials on Tuesday as a less consequential development than the company’s settlement with Carlson....