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Is Fox News a media company with a harassment problem? Or is it a clubhouse for slimy perverts who finance their groping habit by shouting word salad at aging Boomers? We are just asking! Because those Fox accountants sure found a lot of creative ways to siphon off Cialis ad revenue without tipping off the shareholders. Now that Roger “Raw Hamburger” Ailes and Bill “Falafel” O’Reilly are out, what kind of accounting fuckery is going to shake loose in the lawsuits and ongoing federal probe? Was it All of Them, Katie, or were these two guys just bad apples in an organization of boy scouts and good samaritans?

Spoiler Alert: Nope. Shady shit, top to bottom.

It Ain’t Beanbag!

The boys at Fox do not play nice. In 2013, Fox fired Ailes aide Brian Lewis for alleged “financial irregularities.” Lewis’s attorney Judd Burstein immediately released a statement reminding Fox executives that his client knew where a lot of skeletons were buried.

First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp [sic] or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp [sic] have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.

Burstein is reported to have gotten Fox to fork over $8 million for Lewis’s silence. That is some very expensive silence!

So when Andrea Tantaros sued Fox, Ailes and short-tenured Fox co-president Bill Shine (hey-o!) in 2016, she hired Burstein to come out swinging. He filed a complaint alleging, “Fox News masquerades as defender of traditional family values, but behind the scenes, it operates like a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency, and misogyny.”

Tantaros auditioning for Roger Ailes. ALLEGEDLY.

This February, in open court, Burstein told the judge that two of his clients had received subpoenas from the Justice Department to testify about financial shenanigans at Fox.

“Once I saw that it was the securities prosecutors I understood immediately what was going on here, which is that what Fox has done is enter into agreement, after agreement, after agreement, with victims of sexual harassment, not reported them in any of their SEC filings,” Burstein said.

Burstein appears to believe that the issue is related to the way Fox has been structuring settlements and keeping recipients as employees to avoid reporting obligations under securities law.

Tantaros lost her bid to take her case out of arbitration. But before the blanket of confidentiality came back down, Burstein made sure to let the world know that Fox was under investigation for securities fraud because it hid harassment payouts from its shareholders. Judd Burstein does not play nice either.

Preet Bharara. Remember that guy?

After Burstein spilled the beans ooopsie! that the Feds were investigating Fox for hiding payouts from shareholders, the company was forced to admit they had been cooperating with investigators from Preet Bharara’s US Attorney’s office in New York. Maybe Fox’s shareholders were entitled to know about all those millions of dollars of payouts? Maybe the shareholders had a right to know that the network president and its biggest star were running the place like their own private Bunny Ranch? Preet Bharara was just asking questions! But then Roger Ailes’s bestie Donald Trump made the entirely coincidental decision to fire Bharara and stop him sticking his nose in everything. Trump is reported to favor replacing Bharara with Marc Mukasey, an attorney who has represented both Roger Ailes and Jared Kushner’s family. Because of course he has.

Creative Accounting

Trump’s attempt to intimidate the Justice Department by firing Bharara was totally ineffective. Sad! The New York office continued its deep dive into the Fox cesspool. They were especially interested in the $3.15 million severance package given to Laurie Luhn, a woman alleged to have engaged in a twenty-year relationship with Roger Ailes. (Ewwwwwwwww!!!)

Luhn’s case is of particular interest to prosecutors because of the unusual nature of her severance. One of her settlement checks is signed by a corporate executive based in Los Angeles who had no direct involvement with Fox News, according to people who spoke about the investigation anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak on the record.

Luhn worked primarily at Fox’s headquarters in New York, not in Los Angeles, so the executive’s signature has raised questions about where the funds for her severance came from. Investigators have been looking into whether some of the cost of her settlement was attributed to another Fox-owned entity to minimize the impact on Fox News’ financial statements.

So, Fox buried a $3 million payout to Ailes’s mistress by spreading payments across multiple divisions of the company. Sounds legit!

“Friends of Roger”

You know you’re in deep shit when even the mailman is after you! In April, CNN’s Brian Stelter broke the news that the US Postal Inspection Service is also investigating Fox.

Mail fraud and wire fraud cases are part of the USPIS purview. […]

Investigators have also been asking questions about mysterious confidants of Ailes — people who were known inside Fox as “friends of Roger.”

Ailes, through Fox News, employed a number of longtime friends as consultants, for purposes that remain unknown. One of the consultants earned $10,000 a month by submitting a monthly invoice to Fox.

When Ailes was forced out of Fox News last July, some of the consultants were also dismissed.

“Longtime friends of Roger’s dating back to the ’70s are beginning to exit the building,” a source told CNNMoney in August.

Some of the people interviewed by investigators have been asked about these “friends of Roger” and what they did behind the scenes at Fox.

Hmmmmm. What is Brian Stelter getting at here? Is he suggesting that Fox is being investigated for wire fraud because “friends of Roger” were paid for no-show jobs? We are just asking, so do not sue us! But is the Mailman mad because Roger Ailes got his random buddies added to the payroll and used the Postal Service to deliver the checks? Because that would be defrauding Fox’s shareholders, which is a federal crime. It must be nice to have a friend like Roger, ALLEGEDLY!

[WaPo / Hollywood Reporter / Politico / NYTimes / CNN / Gawker / Tantaros v. Fox, via Hollywood Reporter]

It’s going to be a crazy week! Maybe drop a dollar in the kitty to keep your Wonkette humming!

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  • RobKanC

    Damn liberals. Why can’t they just let rich people waste investor money in orgies.

    • Turgid Love Skwerl

      I was told by a conservo-libertarian that CEO’s always look at ways to cut costs. I sent him a bill for a new keyboard.

  • TJ Barke

    Burn, baby, burn!

  • Michael Smith

    “Longtime friends of Roger’s dating back to the ’70s”

    G. Gordon Liddy?

    • The Wanderer

      (looks) Fuck, Liddy isn’t dead yet, but at 87 he must be on the Reaper’s speed-dial.

      • puredog

        I don’t know, he’s a tough hombre. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get up close to 100, even beyond.

        • Contemplative Ron

          Only the good die young.

  • Nounverb911
  • Nounverb911
  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Grift, wire fraud, sexual abuse, vendettas…no wonder Republicans love Fox.

  • Wow! They all seem really nice!

  • arglebargle

    Clinton got a hummer in the oval office, so both sides do it. Libtards.

    • alwayspunkindrublic

      Obama accepted a speaking fee as a private citizen. He’s just as bad.

  • memzilla Ω

    Possibly-apocryphal but relevant:

    When Al Capone saw the charging papers in his tax case, he said: “‘The People of the United States of America versus Al Capone?’ What the hell kind of odds are those?”

    • Mehmeisterjr

      I like it but the odds are shorter now.

  • TheGrandWazoo2

    Looks like my requests for Fox to go fuck themselves is about to come to fruition after all these years.

    • MynameisBlarney

      I guess there’s a lot of forms to fill out for such requests.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        They bury you in the paperwork!

  • alwayspunkindrublic

    Who would’ve thought that a right wing corporation made up of gross, fat, misogynistic old white men would be capable of this?

    • Lance Thrustwell

      Dammit, beat me to it.

      • Daisyacutler

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  • The Wanderer

    One way or another, I think Fox may be headed for a fall. Either sex or money, Rupert’s Kids – your choice.

  • schmannity

    I don’t really have a lot of sympathy for Fox/Newscorp investors. Couldn’t they invest in something less destructive like opiod manufacturers?

    • Mehmeisterjr

      It’s like asking or even begging to be ripped off.

      “I’m putting my money into a company that has no sense of honor, decency or financial restraint, because I am sure they will rip off other people and share the money with me.”

      It’s how Paul Ryan gets elected.

  • ManchuCandidate

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sVt1GEk0nqk/TbHQdITwQ7I/AAAAAAAAAEI/lyv__mZJmM0/s1600/Boba_Fett_2.jpg
    Roger said it was okay that I got paid 10K a month for hunting down smugglers who displeased him. Shit, losing my easy money and being hunted down by the Feds is even worse than being digested over a thousand years in some desert anus.

  • Michael Smith

    This kind of behavior is exactly the kind of “political incorrectness” that got the GOP elected to the White House! In today’s America, this should only help Fox’s business. I mean, sure they do the sexual harassing, but at least they are white and stupid and proud of it! That’s all that matters.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    When can the left wing have its own orgiastic funhouse news network? But ours will be consensual and fun, not rapey and tragic like theirs.

    • Michael Smith

      Because that would represent the moral decay of America. Fox News is traditional.

      • Beowoof14

        Traditional PT Barnum Bullshit.

    • janecita

      I’d watch the living hell out of that channel!

    • Mehmeisterjr

      We have it already.

      It’s called late night comedy, the most reliable source of information in America.

  • memzilla Ω

    Defrauded investors Faux did, you say? Who are mostly large institutional investors? Here’s my prediction:

    Just like we saw in Bernie Madoff’s case — and just like we didn’t see in the 2008 collapse — if you steal RICH PEOPLE’S MUNNIEZ, you’re going to jail!

  • Beowoof14

    Schadenfreude, Should I be enjoying this so much. Yes, yes I should. Their lying shit show for years has been selling BS to conservatives and the reality looks very different from the image. Now the accounts are getting a fair balancing and Fox and Rupert are hating it.

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    So, Fox buried a $3 million payout to Ailes’s mistress by spreading payments across multiple divisions of the company.

    Probably charged it against that atrocious Fantastic Four reboot in 2015. Gotta love Hollywood Accounting…

    • Anna Elizabeth

      Aren’t some of these shady dealings approaching RICO predicates?

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        I believe that they are, and that may be what finally brings the entire reichwing crashing down.

        • Anna Elizabeth

          I’ll take it. :)

  • rosenbomb

    Won’t someone think of the rich misogynists?!?

    • The Wanderer

      I do. I think of them being beheaded, hanged, or impaled in front of their corporate offices, with sharp and pointy votes.

      • alwayspunkindrublic

        Somebody needs to invent a vote guillotine.

        • Ghenghis McCann

          Ballot paper cut?

        • sgt. jmk of the résistance

          Mlle Le Pen has felt the vote guillotine already.

          Seriously. She came in third in a two-candidate race.

          Out of 47.5 million registered voters:
          Macron – 20.8 million votes
          Non-votes & spoiled ballots – 16 million +
          Le Pen – 10.6 million votes

          That’s some powerful sucking.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/french-election-results-2017-marine-le-pen-third-spoiled-ballots-abstentions-emmanuel-macron-a7723711.html

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            OTOH-taking my job as Mr. Glass-Half-Empty very seriously-she got twice as many votes as she did last time.

          • sgt. jmk of the résistance

            There is that… it’s highly disturbing that her vote totals set a record for the Front National.

            It’s still funny to see her come in third in a two-way race, though.

          • alwayspunkindrublic

            Oh, believe me, it’s great news that she got shellacked. I compared her loss the other day to the severed head of a fer-de-lance….still venomously dangerous. Nice to know though, that the French electorate is not yet as ignorant and credulous as our own.

          • Mehmeisterjr

            There was a huge Russian-led attempt to smear Macron at the last minute, actually two last-minute attempts. but they both failed badly.

            He will have to build a working coalition, since his newly-founded party certainly can’t field a majority field of candidates for the Chambre des Deputés. (Election in June.)

            Here’s hoping that he will less hapless than Hollande, who dropped the ball repeatedly. Another failure will bring Le Penisme right back.

      • rosenbomb

        Those are the only thoughts they deserve.

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        Is anyone else watching “Wolf Hall” on PBS? Last night was the beheading of Anne Boleyn and it was amazingly well done. (I mean – oh, you know what I mean.) The actress playing her did an incredible job – you’d almost have believed she was going to be beheaded for real.

        • sgt. jmk of the résistance

          Ohhhh Claire Foy is an astonishingly good actress.

          I’ve got last night’s episode recorded… but I watched it last time it was on, and I remember how amazing she was.

        • Notreelyhelping

          I watched the first run, and it’s brilliant: I went into withdrawals when it ended. Hilary Mantell’s books are even better. And Mark Rylance kicks ass just by standing still and letting you–somehow–read his poker face.

  • PubOption
  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    May I just say that the image above, of Carrie Fisher in a bikini and chain, squicked me the fuck out when the movie premiered and has the same effect now? I find it disturbing on every possible level, and not in a good way.

    • Me not sure

      To be truthful, I never understood what kind a of sexual gratification an entirely different species, much less one that looks like dog turd with a mouth and tongue, could possibly get out of that. In my mind, it’s more likely she would have been treated like lunch.

      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        I was about 17 when that movie came out and even then I understood that the image was there to excite my fellow teenagers (the boys, of course, as back then we were not yet admitting that there were women who might be turned on too), but I found it then, and find it now, disturbing that the makers of the movie thought it was a good idea to encourage young men to find sexual slavery exciting.

        • Me not sure

          I think that they were trying to visually reference a whole genre of sci-fi pulp fiction covers showing beautiful young women being threatened or being held captive by aliens. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1910355052dab4dda4f18c3c4dc03d328d9b9c83dadc3b6d58af82fa6a19eb08.jpg

        • MizzMazz

          I was a young teen then too, and that costume squicked me out too. Like Frank Frezzeta (sp?) art of the day. I just wonder if it was supposed to do that, to make one think about the slavery of Leia, or just for the tittlation of the boys.

    • rosenbomb

      I can’t believe how tiny she is. Makes me sad knowing she was asked to lose a substantial amount of weight to get there :(

    • Skeptical_thinker

      Just remember what use that chain was put to

  • Me not sure

    Sexual harassment is one thing, but don’t let it get in the way of payouts to shareholders. That’ll get you in trouble.

    • Andrew Rheinheimer

      Good old capitalism at work, eh comrade?

    • Hobbes’ Evil Twin

      IOW, fuck the poor, the ladies, the minorities, the un-informed: Good Work, Here’s a pile of cash!”
      Fuck Wall Street, go to jail.

      See, e.g., Madoff, Bernie.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Serial Killer or Mass Murderer?

    https://www.democraticunderground.com/10029029621

  • janecita

    OT, but I thought that we were supposed to be the snowflakes! Why do they have their fucking panties in a bunch, over Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher’s jokes?

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      It’s always projection with these assholes. Always!

    • MynameisBlarney

      Well, because, WATB’s.

      • janecita

        Every, single, one, of, them.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Today, they are all Putin’s cockholsters.

  • puredog

    The funniest thing about all this is that the defenestration of Roger Ailes — widely seen as betokening a welcome, albeit belated, realization by Fox and the Murdochs that Rog was a grabby old lech who was mean to the wimmenz — in reality probably just reflected their horror that he was a fucking crook. Oh well.

  • Suttree

    “These people are no longer here. Therefore we are totally innocent.” Press release coming in 5,4,3……

    • Ghenghis McCann

      Ooh, deja vu. It’s just like when Rupe closed down the News of The World in the UK after the phone hacking scandal. He got rid of the “bad apples”, then replaced the NOTW with a new Sunday paper, the Sun on Sunday, still printing the same old shite.

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    Y’all, we may need to re-count the “achievements” of Twitler’s first 100 days in office. I would certainly give him credit for taking down Faux, were that to happen, regardless of whether he deserves all the kudos or, as usual, is just taking kudos that belong to someone else.
    By my figures, that makes one (1) achievement. Well done, you massive sack of crapulous incompetence.

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    This properly belongs on the earlier post, but may I just say that, while I expected the Twitler family to be grifty as all fuck, I expected them to be stealthy at it? This open grifting, from the offer of citizenship for money to charging the secret service to protect the “president” to promoting Ivanka’s shit on government websites, has my What The Actual FUCK meter pegging.

    • therblig

      it’s almost as if they’re both corrupt and incompetent.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Sounds like Fox is a wee spot of trouble. Too fucking bad.

  • Red Bird Ω

    It might be just me but I wish all of this came out sooner, like back when Bush was President. Seeing them fail now does nothing for me since Fox has already accomplished its goal of being the mouthpiece of the GOP for decades. They even helped get a Trump elected. So, meh.

    • Proud Liberal

      They are officially Trump’s state owned news outlet now. They set the narrative and report alternative facts. It should be against the law, but with the justice department we have now, nothing will happen.

    • Claire

      Never too late to get rid of them. It might not help much, but it would be pretty satisfying.

    • MizzMazz

      Yep, too little too late. Hey, remember when we still thought Hillary was going to win, and the whole Trump campaign was for Trump TV?

  • natoslug

    “You had me at ‘us piss’.” — Donald J. Trump.

  • beatbort

    There must be a lot of money in propaganda. Otherwise, Newscorp (sick) would be News Corpse by now.

  • William
    • snigsy

      The Three Amigos.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        The USA is not sending their best people.

    • JustDon’tSayFlatEarth

      Easy there, stomach. Settle down, take it easy. No need to do anything drastic…

    • SpideySenser

      Trifecta of sleaze.

      • SpideySenser

        And “just EWW”, also, too.

  • Jenny

    This is clearly the librul media targeting conservative views and trying to silrnce the REAL TRUTH! WAKE UP SHEEPLE! Its the Illuminati! OBAMA’S SECRET GOVERNMENT IS COMING FOR US!

    • Duke

      Need to investigate Huma. Actually, I wonder about that woman.

    • jesterpunk

      You didnt want to do that.

      https://xkcd.com/1013/

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    There’s no way the entire smarmy, criminal lot of the vast right wing conspirators, from Fox to Heritage to the Kochs to Congress to the Trump campaign and admin can ever be adequately prosecuted.

    • Proud Liberal

      Nope. The Fascists have taken over.

  • Ricky Gay

    “…who finance their groping habit by shouting word salad at aging Boomers?” Yes, they are Salad Shooters.

  • Brad H

    Let’s see, grift on an unbelievable scale, sexual harassment, frequent outbursts of goofy hyperbole. No wonder the so-called President likes Faux News!

  • Ducksworthy

    Verily, Faux News was the leading wedge of Putin’s invasion of America.

  • John Thorstensen

    “a clubhouse for slimy perverts who finance their groping habit by shouting word salad at aging Boomers” —-

    Come for the snark, stay for the great writing!

  • SpideySenser

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of fellahs.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      A nicer bunch of Goodfellas, even.

  • Professor Fate

    I keep waiting for the payments for the high priced ‘escort’ services to surface. Logic would suggest have to part of the stew that Fox was making. sometimes merely abusing the female members of the staff isn’t enough.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    Maybe the shareholders had a right to know that the network president and its biggest star were running the place like their own private Bunny Ranch?

    BUNNY RANCH LIBELZZZZ!!!!!!!111,,111,1!!!1!

    It sounds more like the Behind-the-Scenes reel from the unexpuragated print of Penthouse’s Caligula, starring Roger Ailes as Pepe the Frog.

    Burstein is reported to have gotten Fox to fork over $8 million for Lewis’s silence. That is some very expensive silence!

    Could he get me a measly $1 million to keep my opinion of Fox News quiet? (My opinion: It is a shithole operation, run by sociopaths, for sociopaths.)

    On a serious note, for once. Attorney Burstein sounds like my kind of attorney and I hope he has personal security in place because Putin’s cockholster has already announced that wants to shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and thinks he can get away with it.

  • Jeff Mc Donald

    Just so I understand, you’re not suggesting that the worst stuff Fox “News” has done is financial fraud and such? Because that just doesn’t seem to give credit to the enormous effort the whole company has put into their production of sleaze. Surly an organization that puts such hard work into assholery, has committed more serious crimes than that! We need to find it, expose it, and see they get the credit they deserve!

  • i’mjustaskingthequestion

    I really have this weird sort of kind of emotion / feeling / sensation. Half of me is reeling in horror at what is unfolding. Any one thing would have been enough to create a hail storm of controversy, driving politicians into obscurity…in the politics of the past. The sheer enormity of the tsunami of shit is suffocating. The ability to take it all in is too much…

    The other half…or some other smaller fraction, don’t hold me to anything…sits in self-righteous glee. The display of utter fucking stupidity is so satisfying to my sometimes pompous left-wing ass that I actually feel some guilt.

    Then whatever is left over asks why the fuck I need to “reach out” to the utter fucking dumbasses that voted for trump. Those same fuckknobbers who STILL think trump is the bees knees? How can I bridge that gap? Gap? Its the fucking grand canyon for gods sake.

    What these people really need to do if they love America so fucking much is grow old and die.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      That isn’t going to do it.

      I am an Oldz. I ran out of patience with these assholes ages ago.

      My mother is an even older Oldz and, despite being a lifelong Republican, despises Trump and voted against him.

      But Fox News has done a great job of ramping up the Dylan Roof generation.

      We’re going to have to deal with this for fucking ever.

  • Heyzeus Ahchay

    Yeah, looking at that photo, I’m guessing he ate my friend. Then burped.

  • SkinlessGenderlessMan

    “Is Fox News a media company with a harassment problem harrassment organization with a media problem?”

    No slander or libelz at Hashers, but why did “OnOn” suddenly pop into my head?
    “A drinking club with a running problem!”

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