From the very beginning there was something about the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against Fox News head honcho Roger Ailes that just didn’t sit right with me. First all Fox News is his baby, when he retires he will always be known as the man who created and built Fox news into the highest rated news network. Why would a man brilliant enough to create FNC, be stupid enough to proposition any of his on air personalities?
In the past 24 hours Ailes received support from both Greta Van Susteren and Jeanine Pirro, but perhaps the biggest hole poked into Carlson’s lawsuit is a series of memos by Ailes and Carlson written almost immediately after what was seemingly the ugliest incident described in the Carlson law suit.
In a Sept. 16  meeting to discuss the discriminatory treatment she believed she suffered, Carlson alleges Ailes told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.”
According to Carlson because she turned Ailes down, he denied her opportunities including “severely curtailing her appearances as a guest commentator on prime time shows” and “blocking her from appearing as a substitute host on prime time or daytime panel shows.”
However according to memos released to Lawnewz by Fox not only did Ailes want to boost her career after that September meeting, but Gretchen Carlson responded with friendly sounding notes that did not seem like they were from someone who had just been harassed.
Rather than try and cut Gretchen appearances, in a memo written a few days after his meeting with Ms. Carlson, Roger Ailes asks Bill Shine, Fox News’ Senior EVP programming to get O’ Reilly’s feelings about putting Greta’s “Culture Warrior” segment back in his show. He also suggested putting her on Fox & Friends to promote Carlson’s her afternoon show, and find out if there are ways to use her in radio.
Now I have to be honest here, it’s been 15 years since I worked for a TV network and even when I did I was only a V.P., it is very possible the buzz words have changed especially for the most senior levels. Perhaps it is some new double secret special TV executive code, because to me the memo he wrote to Mr. Shine doesn’t seem like a jilted Roger Ailes is trying to destroy Gretchen Carlson’s career, it actually looks like he was trying to save her career.
Gretchen sent a memo responding to the meeting (hand-written) and in those notes she thanks Roger Ailes and not once says anything about being harassed.
In the fist of the notes in the pack below, she says, “Thanks for meeting with me last week. I’m happy my show continues to do well and that you are open to help me like a show like ‘Outnumbered’ with promotion and media PR to really see what I can do.”
Now I’ve never been an on-air personality but unless “Thanks for meeting with me last week,” is a secret code for “you bastard you hit on me last week,” the note does not seem like it was written by a woman who was harassed just days before. I happen to believe that Gretchen Carlson is a very bright women, if she was harassed she would have mentioned it in the note (or suggested it) to make sure Roger Ailes gave her career the boost she wanted.
Subsequent notes in the Gretchen package below also seem as if she had no harassment issues with Roger Ailes (unless of course there was a secret code).
Look, for the past few days the reports in the media press have proclaimed Roger Ailes guilty without a trial. The sad thing is that it’s much harder to prove a negative, that someone didn’t do something than ruin someone’s reputation with accusations. I don’t know what happened in Roger Ailes’ office last September, but I can tell you that the evidence released so far suggest that Gretchen Carlson is angry that her contract was not renewed so she threw some slime at Roger Ailes.
If he was such a pig why would someone like Greta Van Susteren ( a strong woman who doesn’t really need the job) defend him? Why is it that other female on-air personalities like Megyn Kelly or Kimberly Guilfoyle (both are attorneys) speak about Mr. Ailes almost with a reverence?
Just like any other news item, it is important to judge by the evidence. So far the evidence seems to say that the harassment charges against Roger Ailes are fiction.