In calls to the Daily Beast to attack New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman — author of the Roger Ailes biography The Loudest Voice in the Room — Roger Ailes’ attorney Susan Estrich called her client’s alleged harassment victims “deeply troubled” fabulists who Sherman is exploiting for his own personal gain.
The Beast’s Lloyd Grove reported on the calls he received from Ailes supporters when word got out that he was preparing a profile on Sherman — who is currently working on a follow-up to Loudest Voice that deals with the reported culture of sexual harassment and deeply entrenched misogyny at Fox News.
“This is Gabe Sherman’s last stand, and it falls flat,” Estrich said. “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.”
With no apparent sense of irony, Estrich said, “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.”
After former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment suit against the network and against Ailes in particular, the Fox News head — a former Nixon aide and longtime TV impresario — hired attorney Susan Estrich. Estrich is known for her feminist bona fides. She is a survivor of sexual assault and is credited with redefining contemporary legal jurisprudence on what constitutes rape, making it easier for sex assault survivors to press charges and have their day in court.
Since Carlson came forward, dozens of women have spoken on and off the record about the “frat house” atmosphere of sexualized bullying and intimidation at Fox News. Ailes has denied all charges against him and his team has taken pains to belittle other survivors like ex-Outnumbered host Andrea Tantaros as “wannabe sexual harassment victims” peddling baseless lies.
In her calls to Grove, Estrich painted Sherman as a fame-hungry predator who is taking advantage of a bunch of hysterical women who either don’t know what they’re talking about or are digging for money.
The rotten culture of bullying, harassment and intimidation extended throughout the company, say sources. Ailes had a “black room” dedicated to opposition research on his and the network’s ideological opponents. The dirty tricks group tailed multiple reporters who aroused Ailes’ ire, compiling a 400-page dossier on Sherman designed to smear and discredit him.
Sherman, for his part, told the Beast, “I don’t take it personally. I’m going to keep my head down and continue to report.”