Upcoming Roger Ailes biography alleges sexism and anti-Semitism from the Fox News tycoon

The man responsible for Fox News may be even worse than you think

Published January 8, 2014 2:02PM (EST)

Roger Ailes
Roger Ailes

An upcoming biography alleges that Fox News' Roger Ailes once offered a female employee a raise in exchange for sex and was once investigated by an employer for harassing a co-worker with an anti-Semitic slur, according to a report in the New York Times.

The book, written by New York magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman, purports to be an expansive look at the mysterious and controversial visionary behind the Fox News empire. Alongside the shocking allegations of workplace harassment, Sherman's book also alleges that Ailes looks down on Fox News superstar Bill O'Reilly — “a book salesman with a TV show” — and once told a group of Fox News executives that he wanted "to elect the next president.”

But it's behavior from Ailes' earlier days as an executive for NBC that has drawn the most attention. According to the Times report, Sherman's book features former Ailes employees who describe the man as "volatile" and "domineering." One former employee, a television producer named Randi Harrison, told Sherman that while negotiating her salary, Ailes said he'd give her $100 more per-week “if you agree to have sex with me whenever I want.”

Further, the book alleges that Ailes was once investigated by NBC for abusing a fellow NBC executive with an anti-Semitic slur. Sherman quotes Bob Wright, a former chairman and chief executive at NBC, as saying of the affair: “My conclusion was that he probably said it.” The person on the receiving end of the slur, however, says he and Ailes are now friends, and that the allegation is "false."

Sherman's book will be released on Jan. 21.

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Anti-semitism Fox Fox News Gabriel Sherman Randi Harrison Roger Ailes Sexual Harassment The New York Times