Former Fox News CEO and chairman Roger Ailes — who's been accused of sexual harassment by several of his employees — has reportedly hired a very controversial lawyer, prompting speculations of a possible lawsuit against New York Magazine.
The exposé added more alleged details related to the sexual assault scandal, including how former Fox host Gretchen Carlson purportedly recorded her meeting with Ailes.
Unsurprisingly, Ailes did not respond well to the piece and has since hired attorney Charles Harder, who recently represented Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel against Gawker Media.
In case you were hiding under a rock during that controversy, Hogan and Thiel won $140 million from the suit and bankrupted Gawker.
Harder was also hired by Melania Trump to help her sue the Daily Mail for publishing a story that alleged she had once been an escort, which led to the publication issuing an immediate retraction.
Harder is making quite the reputation for himself as the go-to attorney for silencing the media. After seeing how he took down Gawker, other news organizations aren’t in the best position to try their luck against him.
Neither Ailes nor Harder has formally announced that a lawsuit against New York Magazine is in the works, but the two of them joining forces certainly raises questions.
According to the New York Times, Harder also wrote a letter to the magazine on Ailes’ behalf about the scathing exposé.
“Mr. Harder has written to New York magazine to take issue with articles about the former Fox News chief by Gabriel Sherman, who has chronicled Mr. Ailes’ downfall following sexual harassment allegations made by female Fox employees … It is unclear if Mr. Ailes will ultimately sue Mr. Sherman or New York magazine,” the Financial Times reported.
“Mr. Sherman declined to comment but a spokeswoman for New York magazine confirmed the publication had been contacted by Mr. Harder, adding that Mr. Sherman’s stories had been ‘very carefully reported,’” they noted.
Regardless of whether Ailes actually files a lawsuit, he’s sending a loud and clear message to New York Magazine and Sherman to back off.
His alliance with Harder indicates that he wants the magazine — and all other media outlets — to know that he has the resources to pull the plug on them whenever he wants, so they should think twice about what they publish.
Not only does this scare tactic speak to Ailes’ affinity for abusing his power, but it also points to a lack of integrity as a media professional.
Ailes was the head of Fox News, which is not known to be a very credible outlet and has endured its share of criticism. With that said, not much integrity is expected of him, but it’s still very discouraging to see a media professional resort to censorship just because he doesn’t like what’s being said about him.
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