After the fall of such Fox News “luminaries” as Bill Shine, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling, and now Charles Payne, it’s hard to imagine how so many good Christian conservatives still tune in the network. Making a mockery of family values is big business, however, and they balance their indiscretions with things that Republicans are okay with, like racism and war-mongering.
But the latest allegation against Mr. Payne, recently reinstated at Fox Business News after accusations of “mere” sexual harassment, has taken a darker turn.
Scottie Nell Hughes, a Trump fan who bounced back and forth between CNN and Fox during the 2016 election, filed a lawsuit on Monday in the Southern District of New York against Fox News. She claims that the network retaliated against her a few years after she accused Payne of raping her in 2013. Payne’s return to the network took only months, which strikes a serious underline on the charge that Fox protects its male employees even when they are accused of sexual misdeeds.
But that’s no secret. There is a culture of “good old boy” handling of serious charges against male network employees and on-air talent. What’s new is the actual charge of rape. After Payne was reinstated, Hughes bravely admitted that it was her who had made the initial accusation against him. The retaliation came, she says, in the form of reducing her appearances and eventually banning her from the network.
Her lawyers, Douglas H. Wigdor and Jeanne M. Christensen, issued a statement:
On behalf of Scottie Nell Hughes, today we filed an action against Fox to hold it accountable for yet another case involving sexual harassment and retaliation inflicted by Fox executives in order to protect male, on-air talent. We intend to aggressively litigate Ms. Hughes’s claims and hold Fox accountable to the fullest extent under the law.”
The regularity with which Fox faces allegations like this run the risk of normalizing the underlying behavior. Even the headline I used for this article sounds a little too much to me like I’m used to it. But then again, today ends in “Y,” which means disgusting conservatives are doing something to distract you from them ruining your life.
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