Fox News Settles With Gretchen Carlson For $20 Million, Apologizes

Back in July, Megyn Kelly broke ranks and supported Gretchen Carlson by telling Fox News investigators that she’d also been harassed by Roger Ailes and his gross raw hamburger balls. And while the conventional wisdom is that Megyn’s support is what brought down Ailes and almost definitely led to today’s announcement of Gretchen Carlson’s $20 million settlement and public apology, it turns out there was an element that no one in a thousand of years would’ve predicted: Gretchen Carlson is actually smart? Via NY Mag:

A memorable Daily Show clip showed Carlson saying she needed to Google the words czar and ignoramus. But television is a deceptive medium. Off-camera, Carlson is a Stanford- and Oxford-educated feminist who chafed at the culture of Fox News. When Ailes made harassing comments to her about her legs and suggested she wear tight-fitting outfits after she joined the network in 2005, she tried to ignore him. But eventually he pushed her too far. When Carlson complained to her supervisor in 2009 about her co-host Steve Doocy, who she said condescended to her on and off the air, Ailes responded that she was “a man hater” and a “killer” who “needed to get along with the boys.” After this conversation, Carlson says, her role on the show diminished. In September 2013, Ailes demoted her from the morning show Fox & Friends to the lower-rated 2 p.m. time slot.

Taking on Ailes was dangerous, but Carlson was determined to fight back. She settled on a simple strategy: She would turn the tables on his surveillance. Beginning in 2014, according to a person familiar with the lawsuit, Carlson brought her iPhone to meetings in Ailes’s office and secretly recorded him saying the kinds of things he’d been saying to her all along. “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago, and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better. Sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way, he said in one conversation. “I’m sure you can do sweet nothings when you want to,” he said another time.

After a year of recording a man who famously kept a gun in his desk and controlled one of the most powerful news networks in the world, Gretchen Carlson met with an employment attorney, and here we are. Ailes is out, Gretchen’s not only $20 million richer but vindicated in the public eye, and anyone who followed this story now has to think about old man testicles whenever they make burgers. Which was yesterday. And probably later today. They were on sale!

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