New York Magazine‘s cover story on the women who took down former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes chronicles, in astonishing detail, the surveillance tactics Ailes used to facilitate his long history of inappropriate behavior toward women and to create a corporate environment where he was essentially untouchable.
Ailes, who resigned from the conservative-leaning U.S. TV network in July after being sued for sexual harassment by former anchor Gretchen Carlson, was known for monitoring Fox employees’ emails and phone conversations and even went as far as hiring private investigators. The story says he instructed Fox’s head of engineering to install CCTV cameras so he could keep an eye on Fox’s offices, studios, greenrooms, and entrances, and he used Fox’s corporate resources to retaliate against workers he deemed disloyal. One Fox contributor wrote a hit piece against targets selected by Ailes, and another was tasked with following a former producer after she sued host Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment. There was even a 400-page opposition-research file on the writer of the NY Mag story, reporter Gabriel Sherman.
But the biggest bombshell of the piece is the way in which Ailes was ultimately ousted: Carlson reportedly used her iPhone to secretly record conversations in which he solicited her for sex, meaning Ailes was finally felled by getting a big taste of his own medicine.