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It’s here and now , it’s been a busy week in the world of media Steve Bannon leaves the right wing Breitbart as do investors President Trump says he wants tougher libel laws after a disparaging book is published about him. NPR’s media correspondent David Falk and focus here to take a look . I did .
It’s been bananas avoid.
It has , hasn’t it. But there’s also the news that you’ve broken . We must start there . That is , that James Rosen one of Fox’s top DC reporters and a legendary report in his own right , left the network quietly after repeated harassment , claims that the network seem to know about for a while , no on-air announcement for assault . You spoke to many of his former colleagues more can you tell us .
Well I wanna be clear in one of the 3 cases of an explicit sexual harassment alleged by the EU colleagues and I talk to you one of those. There was a complaint made in 2 others they weren’t in part because at least in the , in the first case . I’m told that the person , the woman who experienced it thought that it was sadly almost par for the course in this was the culture . So you know what I would say is that Fox you know corporately was not informed about these things become a 3 incidents in one case a back in the winter of 2001-2002 Rosie in a cab back from a meal grouped an equal up here of another reporter who was female he grabbed her breast in a second case this less details known but if a roof producer working for the network at a covering the State Department complained of harassment in order to get around any public kind of complaint who’ve worked out a deal to extend her visa so she could continue to work in this country . She was a foreign national time .
I just. I don’t know I don’t open there say before you go to the 3rd one . This is a deal with Fox and that seems particularly odd because you could say that the Fox News Network , at least , is very much against that kind of deal for immigrants . But in a get looks like an exchange for her not making her complaint public they extend her stay in the US .
You might see that as an ideological things she’s she’s from Britain. So you could argue that they have less problem with people here being here from the UK but it is utterly consistent with the network’s pattern from its founding CEO and chairman of settling one thing after another painting at things out or arranging things to take care of prominent male figures at the network from in to insulate them from allegations including and especially that founding CEO and chairman himself Roger Ailes . The 3rd incident and rough involving a James Rosen was very recent . It was late last spring involved in junior female reporter , you know , not nearly as experienced as Rosen he tried to kiss her an elevator on the way back from a meal , and when she rebuffed him keep forcibly tried to kiss her a second time , and these were instances where people describes that you know . James was a particularly aggressive in flirting but at other times it things were outright harassed .
Look almost every network has been touched by the sexual harassment , claims , including NPR , but Fox. You could say started the wing move and has struggled to get out from under the shadow of its former chief executive the late Roger ills accused by more than 2 dozen women or Bill rally for that matter and would seem to be problematic here is that Fox chair Rupert Murdoch in mid December said this to Sky News .
There’s a problem with our chief executive sort of over the APEC nation’s city. We have actually therapy without the players and I was welcome 3 photos and nothing else is then .
It was actually hear details was out in Fort in 13 days but that there’s been nothing else. Since then , how does that square with what we know about when Rosen .
Virtually nothing out of Murdoch’s mouth was true I one be very clear : I don’t know if he convinced himself. It was true . He knew that he was saying something that was false , but nothing that came out as not that’s thickness right deals words you know Fox News paid off $3 million to settle a case where a woman alleged that he had coerced sex from her for more than a decade . You know very troubling case it was alleged . Back in 2011 Bill 0 Reilly paid off many millions of dollars high 8 figures in order to keep me high 7 figures I should say in order to settle the claims of producer Andrea mattress , who had sued him in court and that was over a decade ago , you know , Riley has repeatedly paid off . Most recently we learned last year of a case in which he put it agreed to pay $32 million to a former Fox contributor to settle her claim that she was gonna file a lawsuit if he didn’t quit alleging a non consensual sex . Now that sounds a lot like Rick to a lot of people . We don’t know more about the details than that but an executive Francisco Cortes was was fired after allegations that he tried to force a woman to perform oral sex on among the very troubling stuff and let’s remember these acts were perpetrated against people working for Fox News . You know this is a culture that Fox executives privately say right now , look , we’re working hard to reverse . You know come somewhat sadistic culture controlling culture a dysfunctional culture that was built up for 2 decades by Roger Ailes were trying to reverse it . Now it’s going to take time . They would argue the James Rosenberg’s ouster , even if quietly done at the end of the year toward Christmas is example of proof that they’re working to do that . People there say you know what took him so long .
And when asked about Steve in the questioning down as executive chair Breitbart news because of the , all the comments that he made in the fire and fury book and the fire in theory that came out him from the White House and President but also because investors just were fleeing Breitbart. What does he do now .
You know what he’s gonna do is look for another billionaire patron he the Mercer family had been major backers of the Breitbart in its iteration under B&N Steve Bannon after the death of its founder Andrew Breitbart took at more nationalistic he made it even more incendiary and more conservative than it already was and he was in returning from the White House , he clearly gotten a political taste in its mouth of wanting to be a king maker in politics , you know he dabbled Alabama Senate race and screwed it up for the Republicans , ensuring Roy Moore would be the candidate and and he went down in flames. The Democrat their surprise victory for the Democrats . The Mercer said pulled away from him , it seem to damage their brand in finance Robert Mercer basically resigning major role of this he fund that he helped to lead his daughter denouncing Ben and although she is when the controlling owners of Breitbart he’s gonna have to find a new patron . Otherwise , I think he’s very much alone in the wilderness . Right now I think that you know you seeing Banon’s fever dreams of being able to create a new much more nationalist republican party and and to prop up that win against Mitch McConnell’s of the world these establishment Republicans but I having trouble seeing .
And one of upright Breitbart had become you know a home to white supremacists. As you said nationalists . It also was a you know a conservative voice . What happened to Breitbart .
I mean , Breitbart you know under began in Breitbart flirted with racism and not just flirtation at times out misogyny homophobia anti-immigrant. You know , real bashing there really gotten even more problematic and incendiary than it had been before and , and what it Breitbart as an institution has done is with Trump against then in the wake of this just flagrant split in the in the Michael Wolf’s book but it’s hard to know where they go right now . I mean they can be adamantly pro Trump but they seem to be weak without their propelling the engine that then . And you know that that role that Bennett had served for them in the last week , they seemed mobilized in covering the Michael Wolf’s book and if the fallout of the ban and Trump split . They now have an another path , but they’re not trashing Bannon , it’s not clear to me whether they’re going to capture the proton voice in the way that they have for the past call it 2 years or whether you know , they may be supplanted by other new firefighters we weren’t talking about Breitbart this centrally . You know , 3 , 4 years ago on the political discourse . Not , not quite as much . We may not be again in the years to come .
It’s so interesting run and 80 was vaulted to power by Breitbart and now he takes it down. I again as we will at the Washington Post celebrating its second consecutive years a profitable company hiring more people office stays on record subscription numbers what what are they doing right they have a good movie about them , but what are they doing right .
Well , Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep aside , I think it’s always a good business strategy to be owned by one of the richest people ever to walk the Earth. Jeff Bezos pick them up and gave them an incredible lead time it had space and funds to figure out what to do that , said they’ve done 2 things they’ve really you know that a lot of money on the idea of using the analytics which fueled so much of Jeff businesses fortunes at Amazon in applying it to digital usage . They put a paywall in place and what they’ve really done is and that’s a lot of money and a lot of quality as well .