“HuffPost cited a dozen anonymous sources”
What in the world is going on at the FOX News channel? In the past year, Megan Kelly and Greta Van Susteren left the network. Roger Ailes was forced out and Bill O’Reilly left when it looked like he was going to face an investigation.
Eric Bolling has now been suspended over an allegation that he sent lewd text messages.
Jacey Fortin reports at the New York Times:
Fox News Suspends Eric Bolling After Report of Lewd Text Messages
Fox News suspended Eric Bolling, a longtime host at the network, on Saturday pending an investigation into reports that he sent lewd photographs to three female colleagues via text message.
Fox News learned about the allegations against Mr. Bolling after an inquiry from HuffPost, the network said in an emailed statement.
In an article published Friday night, HuffPost cited a dozen anonymous sources who said Mr. Bolling “sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.”
It said the messages were sent several years ago and on separate occasions.
A lawyer for Mr. Bolling, Michael J. Bowe, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Saturday. Mr. Bowe told HuffPost that “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
The law firm Paul, Weiss will handle the investigation, the network said on Saturday. It added that a rotation of substitute hosts would fill in for Mr. Bolling on “The Fox News Specialists,” where he is currently a co-host.
There are two aspects of this story which seem highly suspicious. First, this is the same thing that brought down Anthony Weiner. Bolling seems like a smart guy, too smart to do the same stupid thing.
Second, the Huffington Post report which prompted Bolling’s suspension relies on over a dozen anonymous sources. Take a look at the story here (emphasis is mine):
Fox News Host Sent Unsolicited Lewd Text Messages To Colleagues, Sources Say
Eric Bolling, a longtime Fox News host, sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News, a dozen sources told HuffPost.
Recipients of the photo confirmed its contents to HuffPost, which is not revealing their identities. The women, who are Bolling’s current and former Fox colleagues, concluded the message was from him because they recognized his number from previous work-related and informal interactions. The messages were sent several years ago, on separate occasions.
The women did not solicit the messages, which they told colleagues were deeply upsetting and offensive. One of the recipients said that when she replied to Bolling via text, telling him never to send her such photos again, he did not respond. Four people, outside of the recipients, confirmed to HuffPost they’d seen the photo, and eight others said the recipients had spoken to them about it.
For this story, HuffPost spoke to 14 sources in and out of Fox News and Fox Business, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity either because they currently work at the networks and aren’t allowed to speak to members of the press without prior authorization or because they have confidentiality agreements with Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox.
This is also part of a troubling pattern. Anyone in media who is openly pro-Trump is being targeted for destruction. Hannity fought off accusations this spring. Bill O’Reilly was definitely open to giving Trump a chance before he left the network. Bolling has openly advocated for Trump, first on The Five and later on his new program the FOX News Specialists.
If the allegations turn out to be true, so be it. Until then, people have every right to be skeptical.
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