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8 Jan, 2014 17:16

Fox News boss offered employee raise in exchange for sex, biography claims

Fox News boss offered employee raise in exchange for sex, biography claims

The impending release of a new book on Fox News executive Roger Ailes brings allegations that the media executive asked for sex from an employee in exchange for a raise, among other things.

The upcoming book, titled “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” is written by New York magazine writer Gabe Sherman and presents a critical look at Ailes, who is described as a powerful figure with an explosive temper.

In a preview of the book, the New York Times highlighted various situations that reportedly unfolded between Ailes and his staff members, including this one from Ailes’ tenure at NBC during the 1980s:

“Former employees cited in the book talked of Mr. Ailes’s volatile temper and domineering behavior,” the Times preview reads. “In one anecdote, a television producer, Randi Harrison, told Mr. Sherman that while negotiating her salary with Mr. Ailes at NBC in the 1980s, he offered her an additional $100 each week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”

In a separate instance at NBC, Sherman claims that Ailes used an anti-Semitic slur against another rival executive, David Zaslav. While Sherman notes evidence from an investigation that the derogatory term was uttered, both Ailes and Zaslav have denied the allegation.

In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson marked both of the anecdotes mentioned by the Times as false.

“These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”

While it’s taken over three years for the book to arrive, Fox News has sought to undermine its credibility essentially since Sherman began his work. The author has managed to gather other scoops on Ailes in the past – including one which mentioned the executive thought former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is “stupid” – but Fox has repeatedly noted that Sherman has not fact-checked much of his reporting with the network.

Of course, Fox News has become somewhat infamous for its secrecy in these types of situations. Just last month, RT reported that former Fox News executive Brian Lewis had been paid $8 million to keep quiet about the inner workings of the network. Lewis was fired by Ailes in 2013, allegedly in part because he believed Lewis to be the source for some of Sherman’s reporting.

Still, Sherman said he interviewed more than 600 individuals for the book, and that he stands by his work.

“I consider Roger Ailes to be one of the most fascinating, consequential figures in contemporary American life. I wrote this book to shed light on the full scope of his talents and power, which have found their fullest expression at Fox News.”