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Intercultural
Lexicon

Anti-semitism

The use of the expression anti-Semitism to indicate hostility towards the Jews – only the Jews and not as generally thought towards all “Semitic” people – dates back to the second half of the 19th Century, when the word, a neologism derived from linguistics, was spread throughout...

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Revolution

Though its semantic origins are pre-modern, revolution has been a fundamental category of the interpretation of modern times.

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Freedom

The philosophical justification of the idea of freedom is one of those enigmas all great philosophers have addressed, often concluding their imposing attempts by acknowledging the impossibility to access a firm Archimedean point placing freedom on a incontrovertible theoretical pedestal..

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Refugees

Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal.

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Tolerance

After the Nineties of the 20th Century tolerance returned to the centre stage in political thought, returning to fashion a concept that has certainly been central within the framework of political thought in modern times, but that appeared to have become a closed book with the French Revolution that...

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Reset
A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Press and Tv
Friday, 29 July 2016

Roger Ailes, the hawk who created Fox News, brought down by sexual harassment allegations

Chiara Galbersanini

Sexual harassment allegations by female employees have proved to be the downfall of Roger Ailes, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Fox News. They have resulted in his resignation after 20 years. Sexual harassment had been going on for a long time and, until now, kept under wraps.


The first allegations came a few weeks ago from former Fox News correspondent Gretchen Carlson and were denied by Ailes’ legal team. He himself brushed off the matter, describing the journalist as a rancorous, vindictive employee capable of fabricating a story as revenge for being dismissed. Ailes’ indignation and the answers provided by his legal team were not, however, enough to stop other colleagues from finding the courage to step forward and, in just a few days, present a series of  additional allegations. They reported sexual harassment and intimidation inflicted by Ailes. The scandal broke with the most recent allegations coming from America’s most famous anchorwoman, Megyn Kelly, who spoke out stating that she too had been the victim of a man who could be described as a serial abuser.

According to Kelly, sexual harassment started right at the beginning of her career, as has emerged from reports published by the New York Times. And while for a less-known Carlson the idea of revenge may have appeared plausible, the same can certainly not be said about Megyn Kelly, a journalist at the peak of her success and known to all as the protagonist of an unforgettable clash with Donald Trump during one of the first televised debates between Republican presidential candidates, in which the journalist accused him of machismo, putting him in a difficult position. 

Ailes’ lawyers have denied all allegations stating that the Fox News CEO would never have sexually harassed or threatened his employees. However, following initial uncertainty in regards to his position, Roger Ailes ended up by resigning as confirmed by Rupert Murdoch himself.

In a statement Murdoch thanked Ailes for his work over the past 20 years—without mentioning the sexual harassment scandal—adding that he himself would temporarily replace Ailes so as to guarantee continuity during the months of the election campaign. Ailes, a brilliant spin doctor who initially worked for Nixon, then Reagan and finally Bush Senior, had transformed Fox into a channel very close to the Republicans, almost a reference point for the party. He achieved this using specific communication strategies, based on the logic of antagonism and militancy “against”. As Roger Cohen wrote in the New York Times, describing Trump’s rhetoric and “the end of reality”, “Volume trumps reality, as Roger Ailes understood at Fox News, before a downfall that coincided with the apotheosis of his post-factual world.”

Translated by Francesca Simmons

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