The Media

Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Dispatched Staffers to Date His Targets

The report that former Fox News chief Roger Ailes used the network's budget to hire operatives to follow his enemies was apparently just the tip of the shitberg.

CNN media reporter Brian Stelter revealed this morning that Fox News actually sent a young staffer to date him and report back.

via Media Matters:

STELTER: About ten years ago I had a crush on a woman at Fox News. She was a low level staffer. I was in college at the time. So I was going out on what I thought were dates. Chris, I thought these were dates. These were not dates. She was actually reporting back to Fox News about me. She was reporting back about what I thought of her and about CNN and MSNBC and Fox. Because I was a reporter on the beat, they were actually spying on me that way. Now I didn't think that was a big deal at the time. I thought it was the way Fox operates. Fox is a political organization. But now we know they were actually sending out private investigators. They were tailing other reporters.

To what extent were the young women Ailes dispatched on these missions also personally accosted by Ailes himself? Did he use his leverage over them to coerce them into becoming his spies? What level of intimacy were they expected to commit to on their missions?

Did Fox executives know he was sending young staffers to date the competition? Did the CFO who approved Ailes' black ops budget know exactly what it was being used for?

The primary concern of Fox executives right now is the cost of legal settlements and bad exposure, but before the full story of Roger Ailes is told they may need to worry if any criminal statutes were broken. I'd be very surprised if the state's attorney is not keeping a close eye on this.

  • muselet

    Just when I thought the Roger Ailes story couldn’t get any creepier …

    –alopecia

    • Vic78

      It might. We haven’t heard the recorded phone calls yet. He might be as weird as O’Reilly.

  • I can’t get over the fact that Stelter thought it was no “big deal” at the time. His employer was spying on him and he had done nothing wrong. Furthermore, he was a reporter but he KNEW he was working for a “political organization”. And as a journalist he was A-Okay with that!? No wonder he went to work at Fox, he had no professional standards anyway.

    • JMAshby

      Stelter does not work for Fox, he works for CNN. A Fox staffer sent by Ailes went on dates with him and reported back to Ailes.

      • Oops, I got the impression from the excerpt that they were spying on their own people, which would be weird enough.

  • Aynwrong

    I mentioned yesterday how much this reminds me of Scientology’s habit of surveiling their critics or former members of the “faith.” I know it’s a meme on the left to refer to Conservative politics as cult like bit this is really starting to live up to that description.