Tags: Fox News | megyn kelly | wont | defend | roger ailes | gretchen carlson | fox

Megyn Kelly Still Won't Defend Ailes in Harassment Case

Megyn Kelly Still Won't Defend Ailes in Harassment Case
Megyn Kelly (AP) 

By    |   Friday, 15 July 2016 09:26 PM

Megyn Kelly has been silent about the lawsuit brought against Fox News chief Roger Ailes by former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment and discrimination — and many of her colleagues are not happy about it.

"Megyn is being selfish," one Fox News insider told The Daily Beast. "It’s pretty shocking actually."

The insider, who asked not to be named, then referenced how Ailes vigorously defended Kelly, 45, during the dust-up with Donald Trump after the first Republican debate last August.

"Here you have a leading presidential candidate getting into a fight with her, and the network stands up for her, cancels a debate, and sticks by her with a whole bunch of drama on her behalf," the person said. "Now, Roger’s got a problem, and every other woman in the entire place stands up for him except her. What’s that about?"

But Kelly's supporters told the Daily Beast that she was being "prudent and smart" and was working to maintain her own credibility and independence, particularly as the controversy unfolds.

"Sometimes, keeping your own counsel is the right thing to do, as long as you’re not being pressured to jump on the boss’s bandwagon and be rah-rah," a longtime friend of Kelly's said. "Just go about your work, maintain your equilibrium, and be quiet.

"Megyn is the most visible star on the network, so keeping her head down is probably just fine," added the individual, who also asked not to be named.

Carlson, 50, claimed in a lawsuit filed last week that Ailes, 76, a former Republican political consultant who built the Fox News Network into the most-watched U.S. cable news channel, took her off the "Fox & Friends" morning show in 2013 and lowered her pay because she refused to have a sexual relationship with him.

She also claimed that Ailes called her a "man hater" and that he criticized her for becoming offended in confrontations with male colleagues, including former co-host Steve Doocy.

Fox News is owned by 21st Century Fox, whose parent company is News Corporation. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, 85, owns the entities — and he is a "die-hard Ailes fan," the Daily Beast reports.

Murdoch named Ailes, also a longtime confidant, founding chief executive of Fox News Channel in 1996.

However, Murdoch's sons, Lachlan and James, are top Fox executives, and they "have clashed with Ailes in the past," according to the report.

21st Century Fox has said that it will conduct an internal review based on Carlson’s accusations.

"The company has seen the allegations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy," Fox said in a statement last week. "We take these matters seriously.

"While we have full confidence in Mr. Ailes and Mr. Doocy, who have served the company brilliantly for over two decades, we have commenced an internal review of the matter," the company said.

In his own statement, Ailes said that "Gretchen Carlson's allegations are false.

"This is a retaliatory suit for the network's decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup.

"When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit," Ailes added.

"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," he continued. "This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously."

Two days after Carlson's filing, Ailes' attorneys asked a federal court to send her action into arbitration. Her contract required all employment disputes to be settled this way.

Ailes was a media consultant for several Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. His television career began in the 1960s with "The Mike Douglas Show."

Neither Kelly nor Fox News responded to requests for comment from the Daily Beast.

Kelly is a former corporate attorney whom Ailes hired from a local television station in Washington in 2004. She is paid an estimated $15 million a year by Fox, according to the report.

Since Carlson filed her lawsuit, 10 more women have reportedly come forward to allege harassment by Ailes, several prominent women at Fox News have expressed support for the chairman.

They include Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo, Ainsley Earhardt and Harris Faulkner. Ailes has also been endorsed by such high-profile males as Bret Baier, Neil Cavuto and Bill O'Reilly, according to the Daily Beast.

Even Trump himself came to Alies' defense this week.

"I think they are unfounded, just based on what I've read," the presumptive Republican nominee told The Washington Examiner on Thursday. "Totally unfounded, based on what I read."

Trump's comments, however, brought this Twitter post later that day from Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard:

But Kelly's silence is also seen by some at Fox News as a way of protecting her own brand.
"I can only guess that she wishes to be a feminist icon and doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of it," the insider told the Daily Beast. "My impression is she doesn’t want to be on the opposite side of a woman, period.

"She really believes that she’s plowing new ground for girls and women," the person said. "It’s 'I am cable-show host, hear me roar.'"

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Megyn Kelly has been silent about the lawsuit brought against Fox News chief Roger Ailes by former anchor Gretchen Carlson alleging sexual harassment and discrimination — and many of her colleagues are not happy about it.
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Friday, 15 July 2016 09:26 PM
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