We tried. We took about a month off following our last post, "Forced Arbitration Closes Out Our Summer." While we were away, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rule deadline passed and tons of letters came in supporting CFPB's rule to ban class action waivers – including one signed by 280 consumer groups! (We would have written about this at the time but we were busy luxuriating in our secret hot tub in the woods.)
But as soon as we returned, the biggest “arbitration hypocrite” story ever showed up!
Today, Fox and Roger Ailes agreed to settle Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit for $20 million and an apology, after Fox and Ailes argued for months that the case should be buried in secret arbitration and kept out of court. As reported just recently by Erik Wemple in the Washington Post:
[T]he leading cable news outlet is asking the New York state Supreme Court to push the case into a shadowy proceeding under the control of the American Arbitration Association (AAA). “After shopping her supposed harassment story directly to the media without much success, she decided simply to ignore her obligation to proceed in arbitration, just as she ignored her other contractual commitments at Fox News, leading to her suspension,” reads the motion drafted by attorney David Garland, who is representing Fox News and executives Dianne Brandi, Irena Briganti, Suzanne Scott and Bill Shine.
That’s not exactly hypocritical. Here’s what is. The very same day that Mr. Ailes gave in, he apparently threatened to sue the New Yorker magazine in court for supposedly defaming him:
Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News who left the company amid accusations that he sexually harassed women, has indicated that he and his wife might sue New York magazine, the magazine confirmed Monday.
“New York Media and Gabriel Sherman were contacted by Charles Harder on behalf of Roger and Elizabeth Ailes, asking that we preserve documents related to the Ailes, for a possible defamation claim,” a spokesperson for the publication told POLITICO in a statement. “The letter sent by Harder was not informative as to the substance of their objections to the reporting.”
This reminds me of the time when now Fox Business host (and former 20/20 correspondent) John Stossel sued a pro wrestler who hit him after Stossel implied pro wrestling was fake. This came after years of Stossel railing against people who file lawsuits (“We all have pain and suffering in our lives. And if each time we hang onto it until we get some kind of compensation, society can’t work"). Stossel accepted $200,000 for his pain and suffering.
We last wrote about this in a post we called “Hypocrisy, thy name is John Stossel.” Let's make it simple. Change to: “Hypocrisy, thy name is [insert name of current or former Fox honcho].”