25 Fox Employees Come Forward: Forced Dates, Demands for Oral Sex

Gretchen Carlson has opened a floodgate. More than two dozen women currently or formerly employed by Fox News have come forward to tell sordid tales of the depraved atmosphere Roger Ailes cultivated at the network.  

The pervy infestation of Fox has brewed for two decades.  The man at the top, who once said he liked "having women on their knees", created a culture where you get stories like this:

In order to advance at work, the [female victims] were told they must perform sexual favors. Other women say they were subject to constant harassment, crude remarks and denigration of their gender by male staff at all levels.

Managers attempted to coerce junior employees into going on dates with men higher up in the company.   One woman said that in 2009 she walked into an office she thought was empty only to find a male senior manager receiving oral sex from a young female staffer.

This is way beyond just one man.  It’s happening at all levels.  Looking back, it shouldn't have been all that surprising.  Anyone who watches Fox for more than a few minutes can see how they objectify women.  The female anchors all have a certain, shall we say, "look".  As Brian Kilmeade once half-joked, "we go into the Victoria’s Secret catalog and we said, ‘Can any of these people talk?’ “

Then there's the questionable "news" segments, like the ones which were just an excuse to ogle women, (like this one or this one) , or the one that actually tried to justify cat-calling, or the one "proving" women can’t drive.  Just to name a few.

Then there's the infamous "no pants rule” and the requirement that female personalities--and even female guests--plaster on a ton of makeup that one guest called "Fox Glam”:

There you are, a renowned expert on nuclear proliferation/immigration policy/­the Middle East, obliged to regard yourself in the mirror and ask:Will I really go on national television looking like a cross between Captain Jack Sparrow and a waitress from Hooters?

But it was only recently that we learned how sick that network really is.  Most of us just laughed at how backwards they were in promoting their special brand of sexism.  Only now do we realize it hid something far more sinister.  Many of the women there have endured a personal hell I wouldn't wish on anyone, I don't care what your ideology is.

One former Fox personality is throwing away her nondisclosure agreement on the settlement she received, after being fired by Ailes, because she felt "emboldened" by Carlson's lawsuit.  Rudi Bakhtiar told the Times about her then-supervisor Fox News Washington Bureau Chief Brian Wilson:

In 2007, Wilson dangled the possibility of a promotion in front of Bakhtiar and when she said she’d be excited to take the job, he reportedly told her, “I’d like to see the inside of your hotel room.” He said that he wanted them to have a “friends with benefits” relationship.

Bakhtiar declined and says that immediately her career at the company went into free-fall. Her appearances were canceled and when she attempted to address the issue with other executives, they told her to go to Human Resources.  Within weeks she was fired. Ailes told her that it was for performance-related reasons.

Although I am more than happy to see Fox News self-destruct, I wanted it to be because it was intellectually dishonest about being a news organization when it was always nothing more than the mouthpiece for the republican establishment. (Not to mention blatantly dishonest, period.)

Yet  I never wished for anyone who worked there to get hurt.  Unfortunately, a culture that depraved won't change overnight, despite the spotlight.  No doubt there are still women there tolerating the intolerable.

I do still want Fox to go away, but now for a very different reason.

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