By Kathy Crest:
The attacks have been brutal against male reporters at Fox News over the past couple of years, but today it was announced that a veteran reporter at ABC News has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women whom he worked with.
Journalist Mark Halperin has apologized for his actions, that include unwanted kisses, propositions of sex, grabbing a woman’s breast, and pressing himself against women’s bodies while fully erected. Halperin has denied the allegations but came out with this statement to CNN: “During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me. I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
These types of accusations are coming out of the woodwork against those in high positions. Well known Fox News reporter, Bill O’Reilly recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for a staggering 32 million dollars. Lis Wiehl, a 15-year analyst on Fox News, accused O’Reilly of misconduct, claiming he repeatedly harassed her and forced a non consensual relationship upon her. She also said he sent her sexually explicit material, including gay pornography.
In an interview with Matt Lauer, O’Reilly was steadfast he’d done “absolutely nothing wrong” during his time at Fox News. “This was a hit job. A political and financial hit job.” He still maintains his innocence.
The same types of attacks were issued against Sean Hannity of Fox News, but those allegations fizzled out as Hannity chose to fight the charges. But others weren’t so fortunate and were forced to step down from their positions, including and beginning with Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel. He was accused of sexual harassment with a former anchor at Fox, Gretchen Carlson. He, too has denied the claims, but was forced to resign.
A Fox News contributor, Charles Payne, was also accused of misconduct by another contributor, Scottie Hughes, who claims she was forced to have sex with him to keep her job. Payne would find himself engaged in a lawsuit with Hughes claiming she was blacklisted from her position at the network after she broke off the unwanted relationship.
Eric Bowling, another Fox News reporter, was also the recipient of sexual abuse accusations, and was suspended from his position on “THE FIVE” pending an investigation. He has since filed a $50 million dollar defamation lawsuit against a reporter whom Bowling claims defamed his character in a Huffington Post article, and vehemently denies the allegations. Reports claim he texted illicit material of men’s genitalia to at least 2 women at Fox Business, and one at Fox News.
Many believe these attacks against Fox reporters were nothing but a contrived effort by the left to shut down Fox News. This is hard to prove when most of these cases are settled out of court due to the high costs of a trial, and the fact that most of those accused, and their employers, do not want to sensationalize these stories. But there does appear to be a common thread to all of these cases. People of influence are using their positions to force women into unwanted relationships. Some are truthful, others are frivolous. Separating truth from fiction is often problematic. But one thing is for sure, we are seeing more and more women coming out of hiding to expose themselves as victims of sexual harassment. There is strength in numbers, and this seems to be the case with these allegations.[totalpoll id=”6774″]