Ailes Lawyers Attack Journo Covering Scandal As ‘Real Enemy Of Women’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Lawyers for Roger Ailes are lashing out at a journalist who has long chronicled Fox News’ conservative media empire and been a thorn in Ailes’ side, calling the reporter a “virus” who has a “vendetta” for the ousted network chairman.

“Gabe Sherman is a virus, and is too small to exist on his own, and has obviously attached himself to the Ailes family to try to suck the life out of them,” attorney Mark Mukasey said of New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman in a prickly interview with the Daily Beast published Tuesday.

Sherman authored a biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” and has reported on the network for years. After fired Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes sparked an inquiry into his alleged behavior, Sherman broke the news that several other female anchors, including Megyn Kelly, said they also had been sexually harassed by the media mogul.

Sherman is expected to publish a blockbuster exposé on Ailes’ troubled history with women in next month’s issue of the magazine, according to the Daily Beast.

Perhaps in an effort to discredit Sherman’s reporting, Mukasey and fellow Ailes attorney Susan Estrich have gone after him.

“Gabe Sherman has made clear that nothing will stand in the way of his vendetta against Roger Ailes, and he will use any woman he can find—no matter how clearly and deeply troubled she is—to try to concoct allegations against Mr. Ailes,” Estrich told the Daily Beast.

Estrich was referring to a lawsuit filed by suspended Fox anchor Andrea Tantaros against Ailes and four other Fox News executives whom Tantaros alleged covered up a “Playboy-Mansion like cult” at the network.

“Gabe is running out of women he can use and abuse. Ultimately, it will be clear that the real enemy of women is Gabe Sherman,” Estrich continued.

Lawyers for Fox News dismissed Tantaros as “an opportunist” and “wannabe” in a court filing responding to her lawsuit.

Through his lawyers, Ailes has denied the allegations of sexual harassment.

As for Sherman, he told the Daily Beast he didn’t take the attacks “personally.”

“I’m going to keep my head down and continue to report,” he said.

CNN’s Brian Stelter reported this week that he had received a 400-page opposition research file on Sherman that was compiled while he was working on the Ailes biography.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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