Monday, July 25, 2016
The good news is that sexism is dead, so we have that
Michelle Cottle addresses Hume:
To be fair, Hume is not alone in his musings. Lots of folks have been muttering (some more snidely than others) about why Carlson waited so long to come forward. Men in particular seem dismayed that a woman would not have immediately spoken up about this kind of mistreatment. And if the woman didn’t bother blowing the whistle at the time, then it must not have been that big of a deal, right?
Sorry, guys, but this is more treacherous terrain than you might think. Way too many women still find themselves putting up with way too much inappropriate nonsense from bosses for all kinds of reasons. Certainly, I’ve had colleagues who were impressively willing to call bullshit the second a boss stepped over the line. But not everyone wants to kick that hornet’s nest. (And it’s always a hornet’s nest.) Some women are loath to come forward lest they be labeled a troublemaker or—as Carlson says happened when she complained to Ailes about her Fox & Friends cohost, Steve Doocy—an uptight “man hater” who doesn’t play well with “the boys.” Others don’t want to do anything that might endanger their jobs and figure that they can defuse/deflect/manage the boss’s occasional skeeziness on their own. (Been there. Done that. Many times.) If the guy is a great leader in other ways—as so many people assure us that Ailes was—that makes women all the more hesitant to raise a stink. What if no one believes them? And even if they make their case, they’re still marked as the person who brought down a beloved leader.
Is there an ideal approach for handling out-of-line bosses? Probably not. In an ideal world, bosses like Ailes would keep their grubby mitts and pervy propositions to themselves.
This is not to say that women are the only ones to find themselves in awkward to-tell-or-not-to-tell positions. All whistle-blowing entails risks—chief among them that the company will trash the whistle-blower as a disgruntled employee. In many cases, this may be 100 percent true. But disgruntled doesn’t necessarily mean dishonest, nor do an employee’s motivations change the wrongness of the behavior they are reporting.
And here's what tends to happen when you do report:
As the New York Times is also reporting, the incident that Bakhtiar describes allegedly took place around Thanksgiving 2006 at the George Hotel, near the Fox bureau in Washington. At the time, Bakhtiar was going back and forth between New York and D.C. Wilson, who was about to be promoted to bureau chief, asked to meet Bakhtiar — “'off-campus' is how he put it” — to tell her about his new position. In the lobby of her hotel, he said he would make her a full-time Washington correspondent, which was her dream job. “Oh my God, Brian, that’s wonderful!” she recalls saying. “And he says, ‘Well, you know what that means for you.’ I said, ‘Brian, I won’t let you down. I’m going to bust my ass for you. You’re going to be so proud.’ And he says, ‘Yeah, I know. You’re great at that. But you know how I feel about you, right, Rudi?’ And all of a sudden I’m like, Uh oh. I said, ‘Well ... I really respect you, too. I think you’re wonderful at what you do.’ And he says, ‘No, no, no ... do you know how I really feel about you?’ I went from ecstasy to my whole body freezing. I said, ‘No, I’m not following, Brian.’ He said, ‘Well, let’s just say I want to see the inside of your hotel room.’”
Bakhtiar tried to get out of the situation as gracefully as possible.
“I just thought, Choose your words carefully, Rudi. He’s the next bureau chief, and you really want this job. So I said, ‘Brian, I have tremendous respect for you. If I’ve done anything to make you think that I feel that way about you, I apologize, because I thought we were friends, and we have a professional relationship, and I’m sorry, but I just don’t do that. I’ve never had to do that for a job. This is not okay with me.’ And he says, ‘What’s wrong with being friends with benefits?’” Bakhtiar again told him no. “‘I’m engaged. I’m in love with my fiancé. I really want this job, but there’s no way that I’m going to show you the inside of my hotel room.’” She ended the meeting as quickly as possible.
Reluctantly, Bakhtiar agreed to meet with Fox News’ vice-president for human resources, Maureen Hunt, to tell her about what had happened in D.C. and its effects on her career. She felt that Fox was making efforts to marginalize her by assigning her frivolous stories on the afternoon news show hosted by John Gibson, according to internal documents obtained by New York...
When she finally met with Fox general counsel Dianne Brandi and other Fox representatives, “They kept asking me, ‘Are you pressing charges? Are you pressing charges?’ And I kept saying, ‘Are you going to give me the job? I want the job. I don’t want problems. All I want is this Washington, D.C., correspondent’s job.’”
Not long afterward, Ailes called her into a meeting. “We’re letting you go, Rudi,” she remembers him telling her. “I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘John Moody doesn’t think you’re a good reporter.’ And I said, ‘Excuse me? I broke news for you in Iran. I was the only reporter able to get into Iran for you guys. You know as well as I do that this has everything to do with Brian Wilson, because I didn’t play ball.’” Ailes replied, “Oh no, come on! It had nothing to do with that.”
And then the inevitable:
In the end, the mediator ruled in Bakhtiar’s favor, instructing Fox to pay the $670,000 remaining on the three-year contract she signed with the network on July 13, 2006. Additionally, Fox had to cover Bakhtiar’s legal fees, “which were enormous,” she says.
For years after leaving Ailes’s channel, Bakhtiar says she couldn’t find equivalent work in television. She went into public relations for a while and is now a producer at Reuters in Washington. She says she decided to speak about her experience at Fox in the wake of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual-harassment lawsuit because she believes Fox’s culture of harassment extends far beyond Ailes, and women are afraid to talk about it. She thinks there are many good people at Fox but they are subjected to abusive behavior by senior managers, whose attitude about sexual harassment, she says, is that “it’s only a problem if you complain about it.”
It's not just Roger Ailes or Fox, this crapola happens in workplaces all over the country. (Try working in Hollywood for awhile.)
But see, sexism is dead, women are perfectly equal and there's not reason for all of us bitches to be so sensitive about everything. Which is great. So let's all relax. Donald trump is going to be president and everything will be just fine. Oh by the way, here's what he had to say about it:
Well, I don't want to comment. But he's been a friend of mine for a long time, and I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he's helped them. And even recently, and when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.
And now all of a sudden they're saying these horrible things about him. It's very sad. Because he's a very good person. I've always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he's done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he's going to run my campaign.
Bitchuz are liars, amirite???
digby 7/25/2016 03:00:00 PM