In the wake of former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson suing network Chairman Roger Ailes over what she deemed “severe and pervasive sexual harassment” that culminated in her firing, several other women have come forward with claims of Ailes’s impropriety.
According to the lawsuit, filed last Wednesday morning, Carlson was frequently approached by her boss with discriminatory remarks and lewd come-ons. The suit further reputes that during a meeting to discuss her complaints, Ailes suggested to Carlson, “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 that the executive terminated her contract after she denied his advances.
And while the controversy has made national headlines, it’s also commanded local precedence, as Ailes, a Garrison resident, has ties to a media enterprise located in the Hudson Valley. Between 2008-’09, Ailes purchased the Cold Spring-based Putnam County News and Recorder and Putnam County Courier, both of which are now owned and published by his wife, Elizabeth. And before long, reports surfaced alleging that Ailes provoked his staffs at the county papers, even having them surveilled and followed. He also found himself embroiled in constant conflict with area competition and, at one point, even threatened to sue five citizens of Cold Spring who staunchly disagreed with his publications’ conservative agendas.
So while the outcome of Carlson’s pending suit against Ailes—and its implications on Fox News—has yet to be determined, the result could have an equally seismic, reverberating impact on our region’s media landscape.
What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding Ailes, and does it change your view of his family’s local publishing empire? Feel free to share your comments below.