NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 6:15 PM
As Fox News Channel continues to roil and rock, some folks there insist there’s nothing to see here — so please move along.
The network weathered two major woes Tuesday and the news came fast and furious: First Fox announced a $ 20 million settlement with former anchor Gretchen Carlson and minutes later, longtime host Greta Van Susteren abruptly quit.
Fox News Channel sources warned The Daily News Tuesday not to imply that there was any relationship between the events, but it’s hard not to imagine some kind of link.
Some internal Fox News boosters, who would not go on the record, claim that everything at the network is just great and say that to imply otherwise would be wrong.
One even suggested mentioning such a thing in a column like this one would be “bad journalism.”
Fox News Channel personality Greta Van Susteren abruptly quit after 14 years.
But Van Susteren, one of Fox’s most celebrated and respected hosts, had been among the first to publically defend former chairman and founder Roger Ailes when Carlson slapped Ailes with a sexual harassment suit in July.
By settling quickly with Carlson and issuing an apology, the network rightfully took full responsibility for the climate of abuse that thrived under Ailes.
It also makes Van Sustern and others who defended Ailes look like fools.
Van Susteren’s move Tuesday proves that it’s been anything but business as usual since Ailes’ sudden departure in July.
Former Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes.
(Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Politico and Buzzfeed reported that she left over a financial disagreement.
But by all accounts, this entire Ailes situation has been a humiliating affair for Fox News, and maybe for Van Susteren too because she’s on the record ripping Carlson as a bitter ex-employee and a liar.
“I read that her show wasn’t being renewed and, being a lawyer, I thought she got angry,” Van Susteren told People magazine in July. “I deal with Roger Ailes often. I’ve often been alone with Roger Ailes in his office over the course of 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like what I’m reading about in the papers and the magazine.
“People come to me because I’ve been there so long,” she added. “That’s why this doesn’t have any ring of truth to me. I would have heard it. People don’t keep things silent.”
Former Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson was paid $ 20 million by Fox to settle her sexual harassment suit against her former boss, Roger Ailes.
(Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)
She was either wrong, or lying.
We’re guessing the first, because since that interview, around 25 women have come forward to accuse Ailes of sexual harassment.
As a lawyer, Van Susteren knows that Carlson was very specific in her lawsuit: She sued Ailes personally, not Fox.
Tuesday’s settlement takes Ailes off the hook. After Fox agreed to pay Carlson and she dropped her suit.
That leaves Van Susteren, a longtime Ailes ally with a bruised reputation. And that’s sad, since she had been one of the more balanced voices on the network.
For this veteran cable host, leaving the chaos at Fox News behind is a good first step.