The lawsuit that brought down Roger Ailes – and, I guess, drove him formally into the Trump team – has been a big story in the media about the media. It brought down one of the giants of the Right-leaning media, and it dealt a big blow to Fox News overall. The story brought to light a culture at Fox News that few knew existed.
New York Magazine has a story out this morning detailing just how it came to be, and reveals what appears to be the nail in the coffin, so to speak: Gretchen Carlson recorded Ailes’ sexual harassment.
Taking on Ailes was dangerous, but Carlson was determined to fight back. She settled on a simple strategy: She would turn the tables on his surveillance. Beginning in 2014, according to a person familiar with the lawsuit, Carlson brought her iPhone to meetings in Ailes’s office and secretly recorded him saying the kinds of things he’d been saying to her all along. “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way, he said in one conversation. “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to,” he said another time.
That’s what takes the story from disgruntled employee to legit grievance. It also makes folks like Sean Hannity, who attacked Carlson over her claims, look even more foolish. Hannity, in fact, said “The facts of the case look weak to me.” It is unknown if Hannity was aware of Carlson’s recordings, but if he wasn’t, his (and others’) need to go out and attack her filing the suit without knowing all of the facts of the case makes the argument look foolish.