AP NEWS

Sex, lawsuits and Fox News go togethers

August 8, 2017 GMT

When disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was crushed under the weight of the problems resulting from his sexting scandal, nobody laughed louder or harder than the men of Fox News.

Weiner last year was caught in the inexcusable act of sexting with a 15-year-old girl, marking the fourth time Weiner, obviously a sex addict, has been busted. It has cost him everything from his marriage to to his political career. And in September, when he is sentenced – he is facing 10 years but likely will do minimal time thanks to a plea bargain – he will lose his freedom.

Weiner’s problems began in 2011, when his Twitter account, which he said was hacked, displayed a lewd picture of him in his underwear. That year, incidentally, was the same year that President Donald Trump became somewhat of a cult hero with his ignorant and baseless dog whistling about former President Barack Obama needing to show his birth certificate.

What, you might be wondering, does Weiner’s sexual deviance have to do with the men — I used this term loosely — at Fox?

No one parroted Trump’s idiotic pied pipering about Obama being a foreigner more than Fox. Never once did they point out the obvious – that the human resources department in the White House had certainly vetted Obama’s place of birth before handing him the keys to the White House. Instead, they followed Trump’s lead, hoping that the former president’s beautifully rhythmic name would exploit the gullibility of the uninformed, now his political base, and he was correct.

Years later, they are once again following Trump’s dangerous lead, the only difference is that they are replicating his twisted behavior with women. However, while Trump is not being held accountable for admitting that he likes to grab women in their private areas without consent, a move that would get most arrested, his sycophant frat-boy followers are getting called on the carpet for their primitive behavior towards women and Trump couldn’t care less

They are collateral damage in all of this – used by Trump to spread his nationalistic vitriol. And now that he’s been elected their services are no longer required, Trump knows they can be easily replaced at Fox, which is basically state sponsored television for him.

Ring leader Roger Ailes, the creator of the Fox format, died earlier this year at 77, but not before Gretchen Carlson, fired by Ailes, ruined his legacy with harassment allegations that forced his removal in 2016. At least nine other women, including former Fox star Megyn Kelly, came forward to accuse Ailes of harassment.

Bill O’Reilly was the biggest star at Fox and a favorite of Ailes. However, Fox is reported to have spent upwards of $15 million covering up his predacious nature with women going back to 2004. In one suit, former Fox host Andrea Tantaros alleged that O’Reilly, who has since been canned, attempted to lure her to Long Island, where he told her it would be “very private” and that she could show him “her wild side.”

Charles Payne, an African-American host of one of Fox’s business shows, was suspended after it was alleged that he harassed a news analyst after breaking off an extramarital affair with her. And not to be left out, Jamie Horowitz, the president of national networks, was fired as part of an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at Fox Sports.

Lastly, and ironically, Fox just suspended anchor Eric Bolling for allegedly texting pictures of male genitalia to at least three co-workers. During Weiner’s ordeal, no one spoke more sanctimoniously and condescendingly of Weiner than Bolling, who just signed a lucrative contract extension that he may never see.

That’s a mouthful. And it’s also a sign of a deep problem. It’s clear that the culture of objectifying women at Fox was fostered by Ailes and existed long before Trump ever wearied of making guest appearances for the WWF, had wearied of reality television and had a cursory interest in the presidency, a job I maintain he never really wanted.

The perverted behavior of the Fox analysts is being rewarded, when justified, with punitive actions. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Trump.