Until then, the network had largely mocked birtherism as a conspiracy theory. Its coverage of the Benghazi debacle —a tragic embassy ambush not unlike others that had claimed American lives in previous Administrations—devolved into a relentless attack on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In certain instances, however, Fox executives enforced journalistic limits.
At the height of the Tea Party rebellion, Ailes reprimanded Hannity for violating the line between journalism and politics. Hannity had arranged to tape his evening Fox show at a Tea Party fund-raiser in Ohio. When Ailes learned of the plan, only hours before the event, he demanded that Hannity cancel his appearance.
Such niceties no longer apply. In November, Hannity joined Trump onstage at a climactic rally for the midterm elections. That was an egregious mistake. It was way over the line.
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Although Ailes paid occasional lip service to journalistic integrity, Fox News was hardly fair and balanced under his leadership. Sherman has reported that, when the network hosted the first Republican Presidential debate, in August, , in Cleveland, Murdoch advised Ailes to make sure that the moderators hit Trump hard. This put Ailes in an awkward position.
Trump drew tremendous ratings and had fervent supporters, and Ailes was afraid of losing that audience to rival media outlets. Bannon , was generating huge traffic by championing Trump.
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They had lunch shortly before Trump announced his candidacy, and Ailes gave Trump political tips during the primaries. Someone Ailes could not bully or intimidate.
Trump had hung up on Kelly after she ran a segment about his divorce from Ivana Trump, which noted that Ivana had signed an affidavit claiming that Trump had raped her. Against this strained backdrop, at the debate in Cleveland, Kelly asked Trump a famously tough question. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect President? Fox received a flood of e-mails, almost all of them anti-Kelly.
It also kicked off a feud between Trump and Fox, in which Trump briefly boycotted the channel, hurting its ratings and forcing Ailes to grovel. Trump has made the debate a point of pride. Two of those sources say that they know of the tipoff from a purported eyewitness.
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In addition, a former Trump campaign aide says that a Fox contact gave him advance notice of a different debate question, which asked the candidates whether they would support the Republican nominee, regardless of who won. These claims are hard to evaluate: Ailes is dead, and they conflict with substantial reporting suggesting that the rift between Trump and Fox was bitter. A Fox spokesperson strongly denied the allegations, and declined requests for interviews with employees involved in the debate.
They would have you out of business. The network apologized to Carlson, and paid her a twenty-million-dollar settlement. Murdoch was slow to see the gravity of the sexual-harassment issue, but his two sons—James, the C. His demand forced the company to take action, since the notes of the meeting created a public paper trail.
Ailes also began developing a plan to go into business with Trump. Ailes was so excited that he was willing to forfeit his severance payment from Fox, which was attached to a non-compete agreement. He asked Bannon to join the venture and to start planning it as soon as Trump lost the election. For years, Ailes had been the focus of liberal complaints, and so when Fox pushed him out many people thought that the channel would change.
They were right. Now Fox is just Trump, Trump, Trump. If you look historically, when you get rid of a Saddam in Iraq, or a Qaddafi in Libya, the place falls apart.
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After Ailes was ousted, Murdoch, then eighty-five, assumed the title of acting C. For months, people close to the family say, he was in very bad shape, convalescing at home in L. When it came to numbers, like ratings, revenues, G. When Shine assumed command at Fox, the campaign was nearing its end, and Trump and Clinton were all but tied.
That fall, a FoxNews.
Diana Falzone, who often covered the entertainment industry, had obtained proof that Trump had engaged in a sexual relationship in with a pornographic film actress calling herself Stormy Daniels. Falzone had even seen the contract. After getting one noncommittal answer after another from her editors, Falzone at last heard from LaCorte, who was then the head of FoxNews.
But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go. Falzone pitched this story to Fox, too, but it went nowhere. In January, , Fox demoted Falzone without explanation. That May, she sued the network. Her attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, declined to comment but acknowledged that a settlement has been reached; it includes a nondisclosure agreement that bars Falzone from talking about her work at Fox.
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Ken you are such a LIAR. This story got killed by FoxNews at the highest level. I know, because I was one of your sources. Shine was liked by most of the on-air stars he managed; they describe him as well organized and forthright. Shine, who is tough-looking, with a doughy, dented face, is the son of a New York City policeman. Colleagues say that Shine knew how to coach talent to look good on TV, and how to drive ratings. He was the one who would give you the lucrative contract.
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He controlled the narrative that way. They allegedly compiled a dossier on Gabriel Sherman as he worked on his Ailes biography, and obtained the phone records of another journalist, Joe Strupp, in an effort to find out who was leaking to him.
click here Separately, Ailes and a small group kept a close eye on internal talent. These people often get burned themselves. But at least four civil lawsuits against Fox have named Shine as a defendant for enabling workplace harassment. The suit faults Fox for spending fifty-five million dollars to settle such claims out of court. The use of company funds for payoffs prompted a criminal investigation by the U. In , Shine was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, but instead he agreed to be interviewed by prosecutors. A copy of the confidentiality agreement shows that Shine co-signed it.
The day that Ailes left Fox, Luhn broke her silence. She had sexually serviced Ailes for years, she said, in part because he had blackmailed her with compromising videotapes. A spokesperson for Shine has denied this account, and has said that Shine was unaware that Ailes and Luhn had a sexual relationship. She has since left NBC. Shine soon followed him out the door. Hannity proposed Shine as a top communications official, or even as a deputy chief of staff. A year later, Shine was both.
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By the time Trump was elected, Murdoch had adeptly improved ties with him.