Now the company has agreed, on behalf of Ailes, to settle Carlson’s suit for a stunning $20 million, according to three people familiar with the settlement. To reinforce their seriousness about creating a new culture in a post-Ailes world, the company offered Carlson a public apology as part of the settlement. "We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve,” the statement noted. (The company, according to two people familiar with the discussions, has also reached settlement agreements with two other women.)It was initially believed that Ailes might have to pay some of that himself. That's what Ellison reported:
Though Carlson’s case is against Ailes personally, Fox is essentially his insurer for any settlement, according to two people familiar with the arrangement, and discussions between Ailes’s legal team and 21st Century Fox’s legal team became very tense regarding how much Ailes might pay in a settlement. (At press time, it was unclear how much Ailes was personally on the hook for.)But Gabriel Sherman has expressed doubts about that, first in a New York magazine blog post ...
According to reports, Ailes will pay a portion of the sum personally. Ailes’s lawyer Susan Estrich says that that is inaccurate. A spokesperson for 21st Century Fox declined to comment.... and then in a tweet:
A 21st Century Fox executive confirms Estrich comment. 21CF is paying the Carlson settlement. Ailes does not have to pay.— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) September 6, 2016
So, as Charlie Pierce and others have noted, Carlson gets $20 million for being harassed -- and Ailes gets twice that, a $40 million golden parachute, for being a harasser. And now it seems clear that that $40 million is free and clear. Sweet deal for Roger.
But here's something I'd like to know: When it was announced that Ailes would be leaving his position at Fox, we were told that he wouldn't be leaving altogether. Here's what The Wall Street Journal reported:
Mr. Ailes will get an exit package worth more than $40 million, according to a person familiar with the matter, and will be a consultant for Mr. Murdoch.Bloomberg said this:
Ailes will become an adviser to Murdoch, who at 85 becomes chairman and acting CEO for Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.But NPR's David Folkenflik said:
FWIW Am told Ailes *not* considered consultant to 21stC Fox or Fox News but will "make himself available" to advise Rupert during transition— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) July 21, 2016
In that case, does the company regard "the transition" as still ongoing? Is Ailes still consulting or advising? A company that's effectively acknowledged multiple instances of sexual harassment by a onetime executive shouldn't continue to employ that executive in any capacity, full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid. Right?
So, what's up, Fox? Have ties to Ailes been severed completely, or only kinda-sorta completely?