Fox contributor Tomi Lahren might want to examine her own network's history of excusing and covering up sexual assault and harassment.
In a staggeringly tone-deaf interview Sunday, Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren accused NBC News of covering up the sexual assault scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein.
Lahren was following in the footsteps of many of her male colleagues at the network, who have gleefully exploited the story and the victims for attempts at partisan gain, and who have inadvertently called for their own company to be shut down.
And in her own desperate attempt to politicize the issue, Lahren — who made the baseless accusations while sitting in the same studio once owned by Roger Ailes and previously occupied by Bill O’Reilly and Eric Boiling — apparently failed to consider that her comments would only draw more attention to her own network’s lurid history of sexual assault scandals and cover-ups.
“I have no doubt” NBC covered up the Weinstein story, Lahren told host Jesse Watters in an interview on Fox News Insider, citing the NBC’s business connections to Weinstein as the basis for her unfounded accusation.
“The only way we’re going to get the answers,” Lahren said, “is to keep asking the questions: ‘When did you know?’ ‘Why didn’t you report on it?’ ‘Why did it take you so long?'”
Lahren went on to blame Weinstein’s alleged predatory behavior on everyone but Weinstein himself, pointing the finger at Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party, and the “liberal elite” in Hollywood.
“They knew about it and they kept quiet because it didn’t fit the narrative,” Lahren said. “It didn’t fit the agenda. It didn’t fit their idea of what Hollywood is supposed to be, and that is be quiet and let ‘em do what they want to do.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 15, 2017
Apparently Lahren never learned the important lesson that those who sit in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Despite her desperate attempt to spin the story, Lahren’s words were overshadowed by the fact that she herself works for a company that is embroiled in its own ongoing controversy involving decades of allegations of sexual misconduct, hush money, cover-ups, and a sickening culture of harassment.
Fox News is currently under federal investigation, which began with a probe into “settlements made with women who alleged sexual harassment by former Fox News boss Roger Ailes, and questions about whether Fox had a duty to inform shareholders about the settlement payments,” but later grew to include an investigation into potential financial crimes, as well.
Ailes, a close friend of the Trump family, was publicly accused of sexual misconduct by ten different women and privately accused of misconduct by at least twenty more.
In the midst of the federal investigation, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was fired from the network after a New York Times report revealed that he had paid out at least $13 million in hush money to settle multiple sexual harassment lawsuits filed by at least five different women.
Months later, longtime Fox News host and avid Trump fan Eric Bolling was ousted following revelations that he had sent unwanted sexually explicit text messages to female colleagues.
Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News host, was among those who accused both Ailes and O’Reilly of sexual harassment. In August 2016, Tantaros filed a lawsuit in which she slammed Fox News for “masquerad[ing] as a defender of traditional family values” but operating “like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny,”
Fox News responded to the lawsuit by saying Tantaros was “not a victim” but rather “an opportunist.”
The allegations against Fox News sound an awful lot like what Lahren is accusing others of doing — so perhaps we should take her advice and keep asking questions until we get answers.
How many stories did Fox News run about Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment settlements, which date back over a decade?
How many interviews did Fox News do with the women who were accusing Roger Ailes of sexual harassment?
How much coverage did the network devote to the sexually explicit messages that Eric Boiling allegedly sent to employees and guests at Fox News?
After all, failing to ask such questions would make it look like Fox News may even be engaged in its own cover-up. Surely Lahren doesn’t hold her own network to a different standard — right?