Glenn Beck Explains "Friend of Roger," Offers Insight on Fox News Culture
Beck says it would be interesting to see if the same incidents have happened at other media outlets: "This is not a conservative disease, it's not a Fox disease, it's a male disease."
Glenn Beck gave his radio audience an insider's perspective of working at Fox News in the era of Roger Ailes, explaining the benefits of being friendly with the channel's former head man and how, in his opinion, liberal activists are now on a "witch hunt" to smear conservatives there as sexual harassers.
Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy and Gretchen Carlson "hated each other," Beck said Monday, but Doocy was an "FOR," a term known to Fox News insiders that meant he was a Friend of Roger. Carlson, on the other hand, sued Ailes for sexual harassment, which started a chain reaction leading to Bill O'Reilly's ouster last week, also amid allegations he harassed women.
"Bill O'Reilly has been maligned," Beck said. "He had absolutely the means and the motives because, quite honestly, we worked with some very beautiful women, and we went on tour with Bill O'Reilly. Everyone said the same thing: 'That guy is so buttoned-up. … Never did we ever hear him make a crude remark, an easy joke about something. Never.'"
The allegations against Ailes, though, seem more reasonable, Beck said Monday after playing audio of CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota claiming on air that Ailes had harassed her.
"That guy is the funniest, the smartest, the most charming. I mean, he was a master chameleon," Beck said of Ailes.
"Ailes snowed me like nobody's business," Beck said. "He was very funny, then at other times he was uncomfortably — one of those guys you just knew, or at least you felt, that that's the way he was deep inside."
"This is a witch hunt. Now they're going after Hannity," Beck said Monday in reference to the claims of conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel, who accused Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room and then never inviting her back on his show when she declined. (Hannity threatened to sue her for libel, and it appears Schlussel is backing down from her claim.) "I got news for you. Hannity and I don't necessarily get along all the time, but I can't imagine that's true. Hannity is like Mr. Family Guy."
Beck also said the first time he heard the term "FOR," it was in reference to a guest on his former show who didn't come off looking too well during his segment.
"He was such a dope, and I threw him off my set. It was a great segment," Beck said. But then someone Beck referred to as "the wee little one" took him into the hallway and whispered: "He's an FOR."
"What the hell's an FOR?" Beck asked.
"A Friend of Roger," the wee little one told him.
"I don't care. We're gonna run it," Beck said to the person.
"Within five minutes, my producer got a call from Roger and said, 'It won't go over well if Glenn decides to run that.' And it wasn't worth losing my career over, so we never ran it," Beck said.
He also said Carlson only hinted at problems with Ailes and Doocy.
"She would only talk to me in code, and half the time I didn't know what the hell she was even talking about. But she told me how hostile that environment was on Fox & Friends, and I always felt bad for her," he said.
"He was a big FOR," Beck said of Doocy. "There were a few people there that were FORs. … There were those protected people, and Doocy was one of them, and I could never understand what Roger saw in Steve Doocy, but Doocy was one of them. That doesn't mean he did anything, it just means he was in that little club."
Beck ended with an admonition to the competitors of Fox News "who are making hay" of the sexual harassment complaints.
"Are they that confident that this hasn't happened at their place of work?" asked Beck. "I don't know if this has ever happened at CNN, or MSNBC or The New York Times. Wouldn't it be interesting to see, because this is not a conservative disease, it's not a Fox disease, it's a male disease."