Spy games

Ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson turned tables on Ailes in successful bid to bring him down

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson (Getty Images).

For two decades, Roger Ailes ruled Fox News with an iron fist, fostering a culture of fear and then allegedly exploiting many of his female employees’ fear by subjecting them to unwanted sexual advances, according to lawsuits and numerous reports by New York magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman. One of the ways Ailes was reportedly able to establish such a forceful culture of fear was to actually spy on employees, surreptitiously recording their conversations. For years, his system worked — until former Fox News Gretchen Carlson had had enough. In 2014, Carlson’s attorney had an IT specialist install stealth recording software on her iPhone, according to an anonymous source cited by Sherman. Carlson then began taking the iPhone into meetings with Ailes and secretly recording the conversations. The recordings went on for more then a year, and when all was said and done, she’d captured numerous instances of Ailes making inappropriate remarks, the report reveals. Some of the nuggets she secretly recorded were, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” and, “Sometimes problems are easier to solve” with sex, and, “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to,” according to Sherman’s report.

Some 15 days later, Ailes was gone from Fox News, albeit with a handsome severance package. But obtaining the audio evidence was just one of the major hurdles Carlson’s legal team had to jump. Another was a clause in her contract that stated any dispute arising between employees must be settled through private arbitration. Carlson’s lawyers had a plan for how to get over that one too.

Read the full story at New York magazine.


Watch a 2-minute clip of Gretchen Carlson listening to co-hosts comment on her appearance

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Former “GMA” executive producer says Roger Ailes propositioned her, too

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