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Investigation, Turmoil At Fox News Over Sexual Harassment Suit Against CEO Roger Ailes

In a Sept. 29, 2006 file photo, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York. (Jim Cooper/AP)
In a Sept. 29, 2006 file photo, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes poses at Fox News in New York. (Jim Cooper/AP)

An internal investigation is underway at Fox News into allegations of sexual harassment against the network’s co-founder and CEO Roger Ailes.

New York Magazine reported Monday that Rupert Murdoch and his sons, who run 21st Century Fox, had already decided that Ailes is done at Fox; a short time later, the company released a statement saying, “This matter is not yet resolved and the review is not yet concluded.”

Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti gets the latest from NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik.

Interview Highlights: David Folkenflik

On what women who say Ailes harassed them have said:

“There’s a consistency in some of the threads in the stories. They say that Ailes would be cordial. He’d talk about cultivating careers. He’d indicate interest in their professional progress, and then he’d, at various points, and this according to the women who’ve made these allegations, often off the record or at least not by name, and then he would said their ability to progress would be predicate on their willingness to sort of assent to his sexual requests, to give him favors.”

“That is as textbook example of quid pro quo sexual harassment as you can imagine in the workplace. It’s odious, the allegations. These allegations span decades. There have been more recent ones that have come to light.”

On reports that Megyn Kelly was harassed:

“If Megyn Kelly is testifying to this outside inquiry conducted by a major new York City law firm, Paul Weiss, and she says he sexually harassed her, I think it’s ball game over. And indeed, it looks like it’s going toward that rapidly indeed.”

“Roger Ailes’ views of the world seem to be set in an earlier era and that’s no surprise to anybody who knows him. At the same time, this kind of harassment can’t really be papered over. And as the company is now being led by Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, sons of the patriarch Rupert Murdoch, they are not of a mind to sort of let that go. They could open up the corporation to all kinds of significant legal liability if they were to find there were all kinds of harassment going on from the CEO of their most important divisions and they look the other way.”


David Folkenflik, NPR media correspondent. He tweets @davidfolkenflik.

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