The right-wing BS machine that is otherwise known as Fox News encountered a major problem a couple of weeks ago when former host Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment suit against Fox boss Roger Ailes. In the intervening time period, several other female on-air personalities have come forward to support Ailes, including Kimberly Guilfoyle and Jeanine Pirro. But one voice has been conspicuously missing — that of network golden girl Megyn Kelly. According to a report in New York magazine, we may soon know why.
New York reports that sources say Kelly has claimed she was also harassed by Ailes about 10 years ago when she was an up and coming legal reporter for the “fair and balanced” network. The information comes from an outside investigation of Ailes being conducted for Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox. Investigators for the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, that was hired to look into Carlson’s allegations, interviewed Kelly. Two separate sources who have seen the report confirm that she told those investigators that she too was the subject of Ailes’ unwanted attention. New York says that Kelly described her treatment at the hands of Ailes “in detail.”
The New York story says that Fox overlord Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan are all in agreement that Ailes must go. Sources also report that 21st Century Fox has given Ailes a deadline of August 1 to either resign or be fired with cause. As of this writing, neither Ailes nor his legal team has responded.
Ailes and his allies have been waging a small war against Kelly in the media for her failure to step up and defend her boss. An anonymous Fox insider told The Daily Beast, “Megyn is being selfish” because she wouldn’t join the other employees who are coming to Ailes’ defense.
There has also been rampant speculation about the possible reasons for Kelly’s silence. Some have observed that she is in the middle of contract negotiations. It has also been posited that she doesn’t want to offend the Fox hierarchy because Bill O’Reilly has hinted at retirement, and she would probably be first in line for his job. Still others think that Kelly’s lack of comment on Ailes was due to the fact that she has become something of a “feminist icon” after being trashed by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, and she didn’t want to be seen as challenging the allegations of another woman. But if the report in New York is accurate, we now know why we have yet to hear from her.
If Ailes is forced out at Fox News, he can always return to his Republican roots. It is starting to look like Trump will need someone as a campaign advisor who actually knows what he is doing as the general election season approaches. Given the recent allegations, when it comes to their interactions with women it sounds like Ailes and Trump may have a lot in common.
Featured image via Frederick M Brown/Getty Images