Former Fox executive rebuts media narrative advanced by network’s competition

by WorldTribune Staff, May 7, 2017

Fox News is not the “wild frat house” plagued by rampant sexual misconduct that is being portrayed by its competitors, a former executive who was at the network for 20 years said.

“I obviously can’t speak for every employee or know what happened in every closed office, but the overall Fox environment was professional. In nearly two decades managing many Fox employees, I can count on one hand the number of harassment claims filed in my division, and I’m convinced they were all handled well,” said Ken LaCorte who worked as Los Angeles Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President at FoxNews.com from 1999-2016.

Bill Shine. / Reuters

Of Fox News co-president Bill Shine, who resigned on May 1, LaCorte said he was “convinced that he was not an enabler of sexual harassment, but a victim. Was Bill Shine complicit in helping enable sexual misconduct? Accusers and the press have certainly spun it that way, but there’s very little evidence to support it.”

Shine “was one of the people who forced me out of my job of 20 years at Fox News,” LaCorte wrote in a May 5 op-ed for Mediaite.

“From my many years of working with him, 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. 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 wrote that “a common refrain among talking heads is that senior Fox executives ‘must have known’ about ‘rampant’ sexual misconduct. It’s easy to believe, but it’s wrong.”

“Have you seen any serious reporting about the facts behind the many accusations against Fox?” Lacorte asked.

“All I’ve seen is the repetition of charges under the now-routine headline, ‘Another woman accuses Fox of misbehavior’. 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 continued: “To be clear, I don’t deny that truly bad behavior has occurred at Fox. In a company with thousands of employees, people do improper and stupid things, but the image that Fox was some sort of wild frat house has mainly been created by those with an agenda and repeated by many journalists eager to believe it. That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, it does mean that regardless of the veracity of the allegations, it certainly wasn’t common knowledge among executives at Fox.”

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