Fox News’s Jabba the Hutt isn’t dead: Another News Corp. atrocity

Last week, Rupert Murdoch announced he would take over as CEO of Fox News with the resignation of Roger Ailes in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Since the announcement of a lawsuit against Ailes by former “Fox and Friends” anchor blonde Gretchen Carlson, 25 women have described similar sexual harassment that goes back to the 1960s.

So people think the story is over as far a control of Fox News is concerned. Ailes is out. Rupert is in. So why does this seem slimy?

Roger Ailes, the founder and chief executive of Fox News, has resigned from his position under fire, but will remain with the company until 2018 as a consultant, Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, said Thursday.

Ah … the fine print … so why is 2018 significant?

With the scandal erupting rapidly, Fox executives began negotiating the 76-year old executive’s departure. Ailes’ severance package includes about $40 million of payment, or roughly the amount he was owed for the duration of his contract that was set to expire in 2018, according to a person briefed on the matter.

So, Ailes is getting at least $40 million, and Rupert is going to follow his advice until 2018, when Ailes’s contract was going to expire anyway.

roger-ailes-jabba-the-hutIn other words, it’s just cosmetics. Nothing changes. Ailes will still call the shots, but the words will come out of Rupert’s mouth.

Has this ever happened before?

Rupert Murdoch acted with characteristic ruthlessness by closing the News of the World, Britain’s best-selling Sunday newspaper, in a desperate attempt to limit the political and commercial fallout from the phone-hacking affair engulfing his media empire. …

There was immediate speculation last night that the paper will be replaced by a Sunday edition of the Sun which could be produced by staff at the daily. The domain names TheSunOnSunday.co.uk, TheSunOnSunday.com and SunOnSunday.co.uk were registered two days ago.

The News of the World was shut down in 2011 when investigators revealed the paper was hacking phones of celebrities, royalty and dead people, including a girl who was murdered. In the murder case, the hacking actually led police to believe the girl was still alive, throwing off the investigation.

So Rupert closed News of the World, a Sunday paper, and then immediately added a Sunday edition to the Sun, one of his other papers. So where do you think he found a staff fast enough to open a new Sunday edition?

It’s all smoke and mirrors, but it gets worse, according to TPM:

Trump said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that, at first, he didn’t want to comment on Ailes. Ailes announced he was leaving Fox last week amid sexual harassment allegations.

“But he’s been a friend of mine for a long time. And I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him,” Trump said.

“And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person,” Trump continued. “And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he’s going to run my campaign.”

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