I think it’s long since been a fact that Fox News, the right wing news media giant, was never a safe place to work if you’re not a straight, (pseudo) Christian white male. And recent allegations of their behind-the-scenes fuckery helped to make it perfectly clear that having conservative views is not enough to be accepted into the old boys club. Having a penis, white skin, an attraction – albeit an unhealthy attraction – to women and phony-ass Christian morals, the kind that believes that women are the weaker sex is part of God’s word, is what makes you safe in a quagmire of white male privilege.
Before I continue, let’s be real. This is not, by a long shot, a sickness limited to Fox News. This toxic environment can occur anywhere in any business structure. Fox News just happens to have the spotlight for being exposed for harassment in what seems like epic proportions.
It all began in July of 2016 when former host Gretchen Carlson filed a law suit against Fox News’ former CEO Roger Ailes. Then, it continued on from there with Megyn Kelly’s similar allegations. Ailes bailed out with more allegations following. But he wasn’t the only serial harasser. Bill O’Reilly, popular commentator was revealed to have had five allegations against him, but he and the company paid those women to not press charges. As soon as advertisers got wind of this and was pressured into dropping their support for his show The O’Reilly Factor, they stopped all sponsorship killing the show’s revenue and dealing a serious blow to Fox News which ultimately led to old Bill’s dismissal.
Both men claimed that the allegations against them are unfounded.
As of now, yet another Fox News personality is coming under fire for sexual harassment with Sean Hannity under suspicion.
And then, of course, there’s the white supremacist dark side of the network that many of us already knew of, but were unaware of how deplorable it is. Right wing conservatism doesn’t shy away from their black inferiority complex on the air, and it shows that they delight in their practices which exhibit racist white behavior from the days of Jim Crow.
Former Fox News anchor Kelly Wright, a black dude, along with a dozen other employees, former and current, are suing the network for racial discrimination and harassment. Two names that appeared in their accusations were the company’s lawyer Dianne Brandi and former comptroller Judith Slater.
Of course, Bill O’Reilly’s name was given a nod.
According to attorney Douglas Wigdor, Slater was reported as making black employees say words for her and suggested that black people were extremely violent. She questioned whether the black employees had the same father. And even went on to discussed Chinese genitalia and called day laborers “cheap Mexicans”.
Wigdor also claimed that Wright alleged that O’Reilly didn’t want to have on-air discussions of racial reconciliation, but wanted him to sing the National Anthem instead at a Fox News town hall. He also claimed that O’Reilly rejected his positive stories of black people, because they portrayed black people in a “too positive” light.
The last part is not too surprising when you look at old Bill’s track record of racial comments concerning black people. Actually, none of this is shocking in the least. It’s deplorable as hell. But we always saw the atmosphere of 19th Century whiteness and maleness looming over Rupert Murdoch’s answer to CNN.
Will these lawsuits and allegations bring down Fox News? Skepticism based on how society deals with sexual harassment and racism is reasonable. The network will likely go on after damage control drawing in more conservative viewership from a population that sees its legal troubles as a conspiracy against the right by the left to silence their
anarchic free speech. Fake news will be ingested like a diet of potato chips and soda. And angry, fearful white males will be even more angry and fearful, afraid as hell that their freedoms are being stifled by whom they believe are the weaker sex and inferior race.