Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Is Roger guilty. Because the Fox TV Network viewers really wants to know.


Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly. | Brian Ach/AP Images for The Hollywood Reporter
Fox News' 13-day war

Final shots ring out across media as a company and its founding guardian tear each other apart

By Kelsey Sutton, Peter Sterne and Hadas Gold
07/19/16 09:24 PM EDT

Is Roger Ailes finished?

Between segments covering the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon, that’s what all the on-air talent and producers were checking their Twitter feeds, refreshing The Drudge Report and flipping through their inboxes and Slack channels to find out — to little avail.

If the Fox News CEO and chairman had plotted to distract attention from the coronation special in Cleveland in a sacrifice play for some other end, he couldn’t have done better. But Ailes, for once, is plotting only part of the story.

Ailes, and his Fox News, are embroiled in an increasingly bitter war against parent company Twenty-First Century Fox, controlled by the family of longtime Ailes ally Rupert Murdoch, and the battlefield is the entire rest of the media. It’s messy.

Whatever was going on behind the scenes at Fox — and reports were that an independent investigation by a white-shoe Manhattan law firm into claims of sexual harassment against Ailes made by former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson in a lawsuit filed in New Jersey State Supreme Court were not going well for the septuagenarian media mastermind — the war to control the media’s take on the situation was carried out in full public view. It reached its apotheosis during 45 intense minutes Tuesday afternoon as the journalists who cover the media business found themselves subjected to a dizzying barrage of spin and counter spin.

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