When Donald Trump was on Meet The Press last Sunday, he was asked about his thoughts on Roger Ailes, the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Fox News and of the Fox Television Stations Group. Recently, Ailes was forced to resign from the network due to a sexual harassment scandal.
This was before New York Magazine published an account of more sexual harassment allegations brought on by a former booker for the network, Laurie Luhn, claiming that she had been sexually harassed by him for 20 years.
What she says offers some insight into what it was like for someone who felt they had little to no choice but to comply and what the people working at the network knew.
But the question Donald Trump was asked on Meet The Press was if Roger Ailes was going to be running his campaign now that he was no longer with Fox News. Trump responded by saying how “sad” it was that the women he helped had turned on him.
“I think they are unfounded just based on what I’ve read. Totally unfounded, based on what I read.”
The discussion in the press about the possibility that Roger Ailes could start working for Donald Trump’s campaign is entirely possible since he already has a history of working in politics during the Nixon administration, and is even given more credibility in a recent Washington Post article that talks about their close relationship and the ways Roger Ailes could help Trump.
One assumption as to why Trump has come to defend Roger Ailes, saying that the accusations were “unfounded” in June and “sad” in July, is due to their history as friends.
We only have months of public records of how Donald Trump has promoted himself for his campaign to know this is true, where he’s gone after women during the early debates like he did with Rosie O’Donnell on live television, along with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who also accused Roger Ailes of harassment after Gretchen Carlson filed her lawsuit.
The week during the RNC Convention, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was there asking various journalists, anchors and reporters in the business about their thoughts of Roger Ailes being let go when the news broke.
Shepard Smith is the only one from Fox Network who appeared to “clam up” about Ailes’ exit. However, back in January, the Inquisitr reported on an exchange between Shepard Smith and the then-newcomer Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, known simply as “Kennedy” back in the 90s when she was on MTV. In response to her asking him for advice about what she should do for her new show, Shepard suggested she wear less clothes and told her what else was on his mind.
“The thought of you on your knees is a wonderful one.”
This would suggest that the recent reports of the kind of environment Roger Ailes created at the network are correct. One report by Forbes describes how he focused on the women’s looks in order to boost ratings for the network. It also shows how loose the exchange between those who work there were, or even still are. For instance, Fox & Friends tweeted out an image they took of news anchor Heather Nauert — courtesy of Raw Story — but then deleted it right after Roger Ailes was forced to resign.
And there have been times when an exchange between female and male anchors has been caught on the air, which have been at the very least tense, and a reason why the pressure has been building up to Ailes’ exit.
It might be too early to tell if the network is going to change, but most likely Roger Ailes’ exit is an attempt to purge the network from misogynistic behavior. If Donald Trump wants to hire him, it’s simply because Donald Trump’s campaign is far more robust and shielded from attacks over accusations of misogyny, in which case Roger Ailes would fit right in.