On the Friday before Christmas, Fox News confirmed that its chief Washington correspondent, James Rosen, had left the network. He had worked there for 18 years and become something of a legend. The U.S. Justice Department under the Obama administration was so frustrated by his reporting on U.S. intelligence about North Korea that it conducted a leak investigation into his sources.
The network cited no reason for Rosen’s exit and did not announce it on the air. According to Rosen’s former colleagues, however, he had an established pattern of flirting aggressively with many peers and had made sexual advances toward three female Fox News journalists, including two reporters and a producer. And his departure followed increased scrutiny of his behavior at the network, according to colleagues.
This story is based on interviews with eight of Rosen’s former colleagues at the Fox News bureau in Washington, D.C., just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. Rosen declined to comment to NPR after it set out in detail what it intended to report.
Rosen’s behavior was drawing attention from Fox News at a time when its controlling owner, Rupert Murdoch, declared there had been no allegations of sexual misconduct at the network since the ouster of the late Fox News chairman and CEO, Roger Ailes, in July 2016.
“There was a problem with our chief executive, sort of, over the years, isolated incidents,” Murdoch said in a mid-December interview with Sky News, another news outlet in which he has a controlling stake. He then said Ailes was gone in three or four days after complaints were made. (Murdoch actually ousted Ailes 13 days after former host Gretchen Carlson filed suit against Ailes on July 6, 2016. Five years earlier, Fox News had paid $3 million to settle allegations from a former network booker that Ailes had coerced sex from her. The Murdochs say they were not aware of the payment at the time.)
Murdoch went on: “There’s been nothing else since then. That was largely political because we’re conservative.”
Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Fox’s parent company, had to issue a statement cleaning up the damage caused by those remarks among outraged female employees. Many female former Fox News journalists other than Carlson had come forward to attest to sexual harassment by Ailes (all of which he denied through his lawyer before Ailes’ death in 2017).
(Excerpt) Read More at: NPR