Of Course Gretchen Carlson Was Sexually Harassed At Fox News….So Why Didn’t She Sue Before She Was Fired?

Ex Fox Blonde Gretchen Carlson and Fox stud-muffin Roger Aisles

Ex-Fox Blonde Gretchen Carlson and Fox stud-muffin Roger Ailes

Gretchen Carlson is suing Fox News Chair Roger Ailes for retaliating against her for refusing his sexual advances. I don’t know whether her allegations, which are disturbing to say the least, are true. The most sensational of them is her claim that Ailes, when she came to him to complain about sexual harassment from her co-hosts on “Fox and Friends,” said, “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.”

Cowabunga.

Ailes denies her account, but then, he would whether it was true or not, for that statement is pure, unadulterated sexual harassment by all by itself.

Indeed, a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox by Carlson once would be such a slam dunk that it is interesting that she never brought one. I stopped watching “Fox & Friends” in part because Carlson was harassed almost every day by co-hosts Seven Doocy and Brian Kilmead, and it made me angry, and to some extent angry at Carlson for putting up with it.

In 2009, Carlson  complained to a supervisor that Doocy “had created a hostile work environment by regularly treating her in a sexist and condescending way, including by putting his hand on her and pulling down her arm to shush her during a live telecast.”  Indeed he had. You can see examples of this repeated and juvenile conduct here and here. In her suit, Carlson says that her co-hosts had been “mocking [Gretchen] during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show, and generally attempting to put her in her place by refusing to accept and treat her as an intelligent and insightful journalist rather than a blonde female prop.” To this, Ailes reportedly told Carlson that she was a “man hater” and “killer'”and said  that she needed to learn to “get along with the boys.”  Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Above the Law’s Joe Patrice

[C]onsensual relationships with adults don’t seem like a big deal. Sure, the conflict of interest of sleeping with someone in your class is deserving of discipline, but, really, in a state where you can marry your sister, is it a fireable offense to hookup with a twenty-something attorney-to-be? Obviously, if there were more serious allegations that would be another matter, but so far we’ve only learned of this more benign brand of misconduct.

—-Above the Law writer Joe Patrice, commenting, incompetently, on the firing of Virginia University College of Law Professor Arthur Rizer, for having sexual relations with multiple students.

Professor Rizer, the Sam Malone of West Virginia University College of Law...

Professor Rizer, the Sam Malone of West Virginia University College of Law…

This commentary, from a regular writer for a website that covers law schools, is so ethically obtuse and legally ignorant that he should be fired. “Not a big deal”? Sexual harassment at law firms is a very big deal as well as a very big problem, and a law professor who flagrantly violates an anti-harassment policy like the prohibition against professors treating the student body as their own personal dating bar is teaching that seeking sex with subordinates is culturally acceptable in the legal profession. It isn’t. It never has been.

The professor’s conflict of interest is the least of his self-created problems. First, there is no valid consent in such cases. The professor has real and perceived control over students’ academic success and legal career viability. This is classic inequality of power that gives a professor implied leverage over a student’s “consent” to sexual relations. Moreover, the knowledge that a professor is having sex with students constitutes third-party sexual harassment. Do other students assume that they are expected to have sex with the professor if he requests it? Is the professor looking at female students as mere sex objects? Are students that provide sexual access more likely to get high grades? What happens to students who say “no”? This creates a hostile environment for study and education. Continue reading

The Greensboro College “It Stops Here” Ethics Train Wreck

Everybody’s unethical here.

As usual, however, it starts at the top.

It Stops HereGreensboro College in North Carolina  adopted a new policy on student sexual misconduct, and it requires all first year students to attend a performance of  a one hour play, “It Stops Here,” written and directed by student Michaela Richards, based upon “accounts of sexual assault submitted by survivors.”

Ethics Foul 1 (Greensboro): A female-authored play based on “survivors” accounts is a one-sided, biased and ideological work by its very nature. Do we know that the real incidents are being fairly represented, or would the claims of a “Mattress Girl” be included? Presumably proof of “sexual assault” is being validated by the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter from the Obama Administration that has led to multiple examples of male students being harshly punished in violation of basic due process principles.  It is entirely written from a woman’s/alleged victim’s point of view, and thus certain to be received as hostile and unfair by male students.

Ethics principles violated: Responsibility, honesty, fairness, competence.

Ethics Foul II (Greensboro): Using a work of fiction to inform students about a policy is incompetent. Fiction is always infused with the viewpoint, agendas and biases of the playwright; in this case, such a work is bound to be political. A sincere effort to instruct students on policy should have no political content at all.

Ethics principles violated: Abuse of power, responsibility, respect, competence.

Ethics Foul III: Forced viewing of a work of art isn’t instruction, but indoctrination. In a play, any audience member should have the option of walking out. This is especially true of a play written and performed by amateurs. “The student actors on stage are telling stories of an extremely sensitive nature that should be viewed in a respectful manner,” the president of the college said. “We expect no less of our students, who should know better than to make light of an extremely serious subject that affects us all.” WRONG. Forcing students to watch a play consisting of a slanted view of the sexual assault issue on campus is not respectful. It is, in fact, an insult and a provocation.

Ethics principles violated (Greensboro): Abuse of power, respect, fairness, prudence, regard for personal autonomy.

When people, especially young people and especially American young people who, thank heaven, are still imbued by the culture with a natural detestation of arrogant authority and the courage to defy it, are commanded to do something they shouldn’t be, like to watch an agitprop play, they tend to resist. They did, too:

Members of the audience frequently heckled the cast and shouted sexually explicit remarks.“Many of the boys started calling out ‘She wanted it, it’s not rape,’ and making masturbation noises,” stage manager Claire Sellers told a local news station. Sellers said the remarks were so excessive that cast members “became physically ill and vomited after the show because they were so vulgar.”

Continue reading