When Fox News presenter Gretchen Carlson sued Fox News for sexual harassment, I wrote, "Don't know if her allegations are true, but I have a feeling Ailes will retire soon."
That has come to pass. Ailes built a ratings and profit juggernaut by challenging orthodoxy and the establishment. Now Murdoch's heirs will spend the money and credibility he amassed.
The first two moves were announced today.
The first made business sense. Paying $20 million to settle the Carlson lawsuit is chicken feed. One week's profit. This is a billion-dollar-a-year profit center, mainly through cable fees.
The second made political sense. Firing Greta Van Susteren. She was too Trump-friendly and anti-Hillary. Sean Hannity is more so, but Greta Van Susteren posed a bigger threat because she is a woman almost Hillary's age. Democrats want her out. Sir Rupert Murdoch has invested too much money in Hillary to allow a wild card like Trump become president. Why, he might not return Murdoch's phone calls.
This leaves veteran and venerable journalist Brit Hume in the awkward position of taking over. His journalistic credibility is impeccable. He wrote the book on the Jock Yablonski murder, was tailed by the CIA for his coverage of the ITT scandal, and covered the White House with a laid-back long-run look. Fools rush in. Not Hume.
My advice to him is to continue giving Trump a safe space. Trump's side of the story goes untold. Surely Hume knows that Trump is being ganged up by social justice warriors with bylines. One does not have to agree with Trump or even like him or his policies to realize someone somewhere has to give the man a fair shake. I also think Hume should eschew commentary. In a world of pundits, a real journalist is revered. Look at Jake Tapper.
On Election Day we will learn that 60 million to 70 million Americans voted for the guy. Do they not deserve to have their champion treated fairly and impartially?
Hume gave the network its motto: Fair, balanced, and unafraid.
As a fan of Van Susteren, I will give Hume a fair hearing, because I am a bigger fan of Hume. We shall see how this works out.
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