The sordid drama over at Fox continues to unfold.
In the past year, both former CEO Roger Ailes and the king of cable news, Bill O’Reilly, have left due to allegations of sexual harassment. Both deny the accusations.
On Thursday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported that a growing investigation into the network has been taking place.
Federal authorities have interviewed current and former Fox News employees and on-air talent in a widening inquiry into the nature of sexual-harassment settlements and alleged intimidation tactics at the network, according to people familiar with the probe.
The prosecutors investigating Fox are in the securities unit of the U.S. attorney’s office, the people familiar with the probe said.
If prosecutors believed settlement payments were falsely recorded as other types of expenditures, they could also bring criminal charges under a rarely used provision of the securities laws requiring public companies to keep accurate books and records, the lawyers said.
The way in which settlements have been dealt with is only one aspect of the federal probe. The other involves determining just how the network worked to discredit women who brought allegations of sexual harassment against some of the most powerful men in media.
Bo Dietl is a former contributor at Fox News, and told the WSJ he was tasked with digging up dirt on accusers.
Mr. Dietl said in an interview with the Journal that he was used by Fox News to look into the pasts of Ms. Carlson and Andrea Mackris, a former producer who sued Mr. O’Reilly for harassment in 2004 and received a $9 million settlement from Mr. O’Reilly. Mr. Dietl said he was hired to find information that could discredit the women’s claims.
It’s clear that the whole story of what happened (and is happening) at the cable news giant has yet to be told.