Sean Hannity said losing executive Bill Shine would be "the end" of Fox News. Shine has now resigned, as the network's toxic misogyny and racism claims another major figure who helped to create it.
Fox News co-president Bill Shine, who helped network founder Roger Ailes cover up the serial sexual harassment of multiple women, has “resigned” from his job. Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox parent 21st Century Fox, said in a memo to staff that Shine was “respected and liked by everybody at Fox News.”
This characterization seems unlikely, based on what is known about Shine and how he operated. According to multiple figures who worked at Fox, Shine was a key actor in Fox News’ misogynistic and racist office culture, in which women were sexually harassed for years on end and ethnic minorities were singled out for ridicule.
Days ago, reacting to rumors of Shine’s pending ouster, Fox host and right-wing radio blowhard Sean Hannity said that if the story was true, “that’s the total end of the FNC as we know it.” He also tweeted the hashtag “#Istandwithshine.” Hannity speculated that “somebody high up and inside” Fox was “trying to get an innocent person fired.”
There has been constant speculation that Murdoch’s sons Lachlan and James are trying to make Fox more respectable, though there is little evidence they are actually doing so. When serial sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly was finally forced out, for example, his time slot was given to Tucker Carlson, who counts neo-Nazis among his most vociferous fans.
Shine was part of the team that has helped Fox News’ internal culture mimic the hateful right-wing propaganda machine that has polluted the public discourse for over 20 years. His replacement, Suzanne Scott, was part of the toxic culture cultivated by the racist network founder and Donald Trump confidante, Ailes.
When Fox quietly paid settlements to women who said that network star O’Reilly had sexually harassed them, it was Shine who presided over the process. CNN also reported that Shine is “said to have sided with O’Reilly when Megyn Kelly complained that O’Reilly’s public defense of Ailes could have a chilling effect on other would-be accusers.”
Former Fox News booker Laurie Luhn said that Shine made travel arrangements for her meetings with Ailes in order to facilitate his ongoing sexual harassment of her over several years.
Fox contributor Julie Roginsky said Shine retaliated against her for not being a team player when the network lined up its on-air talent to defend Ailes against the sexual harassment allegations that eventually led to his downfall.
When former Fox co-anchor Andrea Tantaros told Shine how Ailes had sexually harassed her, she said he held up a magazine cover with Ailes’ face and said, “Don’t fight this.”
Former Fox News anchor Kelly Wright, who is suing the network for discrimination, said in his complaint that Shine “has demonstrated an obsession with race” and frequently asked the anchor, “How do Black people react to you?” and “How do you think White viewers look at you?”
Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and now Bill Shine are all out at Fox News, after being exposed for enabling and promoting an atmosphere of sexual harassment and mistreatment. The damage has long since been done from the hateful network, but karma now apparently has begun extracting a price, and if Hannity’s prediction is true, we may be watching the long-awaited and overdue end of Fox News.