In April 2016, FOX News’ Andrea Tantaros, co-host of The Five and Outnumbered, mysteriously disappeared from the air. The official story from FOX was that there was a contract dispute but now Tantaros has issued a scathing allegation against former CEO Roger Ailes.
Just like Gretchen Carlson, Tantaros says she was a victim of sexual harassment by Ailes beginning in 2014.
New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that, according to Tantaros, she went to senior FOX executives to complain about the harassment she was experiencing from Ailes. Rather than addressing the issue, she was pulled off the air. Her attorney states he believes the actions were retaliatory.
According to Tantaros’s account, Ailes began harassing her on August 12, 2014. During a meeting in Ailes’s office, Ailes allegedly asked Tantaros to do “the twirl” so he could see her figure. She refused. Then, in mid-December of that year, Ailes made another advance, Burstein says. “Ailes asked her to turn around, and then he said, ‘Come over here so I can give you a hug.’” Tantaros rebuffed the advance, Burstein says.
In February 2015, Tantaros was pulled off the 5 p.m. program The Five and demoted to working full-time on the midday show Outnumbered. In February 2015, according to Burstein, Ailes allegedly harassed Tantaros again in his office, asking about her workout routine because her body “looked good” and mentioning that she must “really look good in a bikini.”
Tantaros says that after she filed a formal complaint in April 2015, she was further intimidated by FOX News executive vice president Bill Shine who she says told her allegedly told her, ‘Roger is a very powerful man’ adding that she should not fight this.
In early July 2016, Gretchen Carlson announced that she was no longer with FOX News. Although she did not get into specifics, her announcement coincided with the news of a lawsuit filed against Roger Ailes by her attorney for constant and pervasive sexual harassment followed by retaliation due to her complaining.
Although many female on-air talent at FOX News defended Ailes, including Jeanine Pirro, Greta Van Susteren, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, there was one person who has been noticeably silent. That person is the one who is largely seen as the “face of FOX News” — Megyn Kelly.
There has been speculation that Kelly’s silence is due to sexual harassment that she also experienced at the hands of Roger Ailes, who was ousted from FOX News by Rupert Murdoch and his sons at the end of July.
It turns out her silence may be related to testimony she reportedly has given to attorneys conducting the investigation that Roger Ailes made unwanted sexual advances towards her 10 years ago when she was beginning her journalism career. On Wednesday, Dan Adams,the founder of Mediaite and a legal analyst, appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and shared even more damning allegations about Ailes, who is reportedly being forced out of the network by Rupert Murdoch and his sons.
Despite these allegations, Donald Trump appeared to take a page out of Hillary Clinton’s nuts and sluts campaign, the tactic she used to discredit the victims of her husband’s unwanted sexual advances and those who alleged such advances, including rape. In defending Ailes and FOX News, Trump attacked the victims.
Trump continues to praise Ailes in light of these allegations. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” he explained in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I’ve always found him to be a very, very good person. So I feel very badly.”
Trump went on to imply that at least some of the women were lying.
“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining…when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him.”
Gretchen Carlson’s attorney has said there are more current and previous FOX News hosts who will be coming forward in the sexual harassment lawsuit with their testimony. Today, we have Andrea Tantaros. Who’s next?