A Fox News executive, who was forced out amid changes the company made following sexual misconduct allegations against several people at the network, has come to the defense of former boss Bill Shine, and to a certain extent, the network itself.
Shine’s firing came after one of the network’s top hosts, Sean Hannity, claimed that an “innocent man” was being framed by people at a high level within the Fox News organization that could spell the “end of FNC as we know it.”
Many speculated that Hannity would leave the network following the ouster of Shine, but he put those rumors to rest when he addressed the media “lies” on his program.
Ken LaCorte, who held the position of Western Region Bureau Chief, National Director of News Editorial and Vice President of Fox News Digital, said Shine was one of the people responsible for his ouster at Fox News.
LaCorte said he and Shine were “friendly, but not really friends,” and maintained in a telling op-ed for Mediaite, that there’s a media onslaught against his former employer and boss.
While admitting he doesn’t know inner workings and relationships of everything that happened at the network, he said the overall atomosphere was “professional” and says after two decades of working at the network he can count on one hand the amount of harassment claims filed. A small amount compared to Fox’s biggest rival CNN.
By comparison, a single racial discrimination lawsuit at CNN has attracted 175 likely plaintiffs, a number more than 10 times higher than all of the current lawsuits facing Fox, yet how many stories have you read about that?
LaCorte said after several years of working with Shine he doesn’t believe he’s an enabler of sexual harassment, but a rather a victim of a media witch-hunt.
I am convinced that Bill Shine wasn’t an enabler, but rather, a victim of what has truly become a toxic atmosphere of accusations, greed and corporate politics. I would even call it sexual McCarthyism.
I worked closely with him for decades and had never heard a mention of sexual harassment or even a consensual affair during that entire time. Most of my former colleagues have said the same.
He said that while there are many stories being spun that claim Fox News executives were complicit in covering for sexual harassment, there is “very little evidence to support it.”
“No one has ever alleged Bill Shine kissed anyone besides his wife. Or made a sexually harassing comment to anyone. Yet he’s now unemployed with his tattered reputation strewn across the media,” LaCorte said.
“Some of the women suing (or who threatened to sue) Fox are victims who deserve our sympathy and outrage, while I believe others are opportunists who deserve none. In the media buzz, however, they are all evidence that the Fox News Channel was, and is, a horrible place.”
LaCorte blamed Fox News, and the Murdochs, for not defending its employees and caving to public pressure as well. Which he believes may be a strategic move to soften the company’s public persona.
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