6 Fox talking heads who aren't buying Gretchen Carlson's story: "People get upset and disgruntled”

Carlson's former Fox coworkers seem to think her accusations against Roger Ailes were a retaliatory act

Published July 13, 2016 8:58AM (EDT)

Roger Ailes          (Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Roger Ailes (Reuters/Fred Prouser)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.


It’s been less than a week since former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against head honcho Roger Ailes, alleging, among other things, that Ailes “sabotaged her career” in retaliation for refusing his sexual advances.

As many predicted, the Fox propaganda machine went into full spin mode after news of the lawsuit broke, but while network hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Megyn Kelly have been suspiciously silent in reporting Carlson’s lawsuit, that hasn’t stopped the channel’s other talking heads from putting their two cents in about their former colleague's claims. Here are some of the most moronic reactions to Carlson v. Ailes by Fox hosts.

1. Kimberly Guilfoyle

The former prosecutor and co-host of Fox’s "The Five" told Adweek “nobody believed” Carlson’s claims (not including, for some strange reason, the six women who contacted Carlson’s attorneys to corroborate her claims after hearing about the lawsuit). She also suggested the suit may be a reaction to Carlson’s contract not being renewed.

“This is a tough business and you’re asked to do a job,” Guilfoyle Fox-splained. “And part of doing that job is to rate and to do well and to perform and at certain points, when people are unable to do the job they’re hired to do, what happens is people are let go.”

Uh, duh.

“Their contract is not renewed,” she continued. “This happens every day in this business and then what you see in certain situations like that is retaliatory and people get upset and disgruntled and take certain measures to express themselves.”

2. Greta Van Susteren 

Guilfoyle wasn’t the only Fox host to suggest Carlson was acting out of anger over her contract not being renewed. While tediously pointing out that most people “would give anything” to have Carlson’s exposure, the host of "On the Record" told People magazine her former coworker was “a very unhappy employee that lost her job.”

“Of course, the first thing that occurred to me is that, unfortunately, we have a disgruntled employee, a colleague,” she said, “I read that her show wasn’t being renewed, and being a lawyer, I thought she got angry.”

It's a little unclear why she tossed in the "being a lawyer" card, or how exactly that gives her some deeper understanding of the situation. But Van Susteren also had this startling non-insight: "I sort of feel bad for Gretchen Carlson because it’s a weird thing that she’s done."

3. Maria Bartiromo

While she stopped short of suggesting Carlson was targeting Ailes out of spite, the "Mornings With Maria" star defended her boss in a lengthy interview with Variety.

“Nobody wants to see anybody have any bad experiences,” Bartiromo said. “It’s just not in keeping with what I know and my experience at Fox.”

Apparently, for Bartiromo, it's all been hunky dory.

“I’ve known Roger Ailes for 25 years since he first hired me at CNBC and hired me again two and a half years ago,” she noted. “I’ve known him to be nothing but a professional. I’ve learned so much from him and continue to grow.”

4. Jeanine Pirro 

The former judge and rabid right-winger, who covers legal stories for Fox on "Justice with Judge Jeanine," called Carlson’s allegations “absurd” and “ridiculous” in an interview with the Wrap, insisting resources would be better spent on “real victims.”

“When I read what was clearly absurdities in this complaint, I said to myself, how sad that you’ve got this woman who is making these complaints when there are real victims out there," said Pirro, who has appointed herself the only true arbiter of "real victims."

“This whole complaint and the allegations are absurd,” she later added. “The idea that Roger Ailes sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances… are you kidding? This guy is doing eight million things a day. You really think that he’s chasing her around?”

Pirro also took issue with the notion that Ailes requires women at Fox to wear dresses and skirts instead of pants.

“I have never, ever heard that. Never," she ranted. "Most of the women look great, they want to look great, they work out, there's a certain self-esteem. I've seen women wear pants. You don't see it on most television stations. Most women, across the board irrespective, wear dresses. You don't even think about it."

So, as long as you work out, "look great" and have great legs that look nice in a short dress, you're good.

5. Sandra Smith

Smith, who stars on Fox’s dominant female panel show "Outnumbered," said she was “very surprised and a little bit confused” by Carlson’s lawsuit. She also lamented the criticism levied against Fox for the network’s focus on aesthetics.

“Amazing, a television executive who cares what his television screen looks like,” Smith said sarcastically. “I mean, this isn’t a shocker.”

“[I’ve] never been instructed on the length of my skirt or the color of my lipstick,” Smith told Hollywood Reporter. “It doesn’t happen. I do work with women who do like to look good and feel good. Many of us are athletes and we work out, some of us work out together. That’s just the environment we’re in. We do care about not just what we sound like and what we know, but what we look like. And image is important, believe it or not, when you’re on a television screen.”

6. Sean Hannity

Unsurprisingly, Hannity has loudly denied sexism in the Fox News ranks, taking to Twitter to attack journalists reporting on the allegations. He also called the lawsuit, “all BS.”

By Elizabeth Preza

MORE FROM Elizabeth Preza

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Alternet Fox News Gretchen Carlson Roger Ailes Sean Hannity