A journalist who once worked at Fox News is echoing some of what former host Gretchen Carlson has said about the culture of the organization, calling it a “good ol’ boys’ network” that put a premium on the way women looked.
Diane Dimond, best-known for her coverage of Michael Jackson as a reporter for “Hard Copy” in the 1990s, worked for Fox News covering terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The stint lasted about eight or nine months, she told The Dana Pretzer Show Wednesday.
Dimond said Ailes was the one who called her about the job, since she had known him a bit for years. She was paid quite well, but ultimately she didn’t like the way the network expected her to look on air.
“There is a good ol’ boys’ network thing there at Fox,” Dimond said. “There was when I was there. ... It’s a boys’ shop. You do not complain. You’ve got to wear your skirts short and your heels high, and you’ve got to put lots of makeup on if you’re a woman.”
Dimond said in the last month she was at Fox News, the hairdresser asked her if she would go blonde. When she asked the woman who told her to ask that question, the hairdresser wouldn’t say.
“I wasn’t into the false eyelashes and the short short skirts,” she added. “I’m a little older than the rest of them.”
A Fox News spokesperson said that no such edict exists on what women are required to wear. Some female Fox News hosts do occasionally wear pants on air, including Greta Van Susteren, Maria Bartiromo and Megyn Kelly.
“I wasn’t into the false eyelashes and the short short skirts.”
On Wednesday, Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, accusing him of long-running pattern of abusive behavior. She alleged that he ogled her in his office, asked her to turn around to view her backside, commented frequently on her physical appearance and demanded sex ― then fired her when she turned him down.
She also accused Steve Doocy, her “Fox and Friends” co-host, of engaging in a “pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment” that included “mocking her during commercial breaks, shunning her off air, refusing to engage with her on air, belittling her contributions to the show.”
Ailes has denied Carlson’s allegations, calling her lawsuit “retaliatory” because the network would not renew her contract.
“This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously,” he said in a statement.
Since Carlson’s lawsuit, other women have also told The Huffington Post about the harassment they’ve faced from Ailes. One employee said Ailes told her she could wear only dresses on air.
“He asked me to turn around so he can see my ass,” said another female Fox News contributor.
Dimond said she had no idea what happened to Carlson, but she applauded her for stepping forward.
“If what she said is true ― and I’m not doubting it ― she’s one brave cookie,” Dimond told The Dana Pretzer Show. “I’ll tell you what ― Roger Ailes is a guy who doesn’t conduct a clean fight all the time, and I daresay that she probably hammered the nail on her career. I don’t know that anyone will hire her again after this.”
Dimond said she’s seen high-profile women in the TV business file a sexual discrimination or age discrimination lawsuit, and they end up not working in the industry every again.
“So it must fairly bad for her to take this step, I would think, but again I don’t know all the details,” Dimond added. “But it didn’t surprise me.”