- The Washington Times
Thursday, August 10, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Eric Bolling, suspended Fox News hosting star, has launched a $50 million lawsuit against journalist Yashar Ali for defamation, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

And all the Fox News watchers and viewers go — sigh. When will it all end?


Ali’s story, originally written for the Huffington Post, alleged more than a dozen sources said Bolling sent “an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.”

Fox News, suffering under the weight of several previous sexual harassment claims, settlements and scandals, suspended Bolling over the weekend, pending the outcome of an investigation. Bolling’s shows, “Fox News Specialists” and “Cashin’ In,” were taken over by special fill-in guests.

Ali on Twitter revealed he’d received a summons from Bolling — but that he stands by his reporting, and will also stand by his 14 sources and protect their names.

Bolling’s suit seeks damages and relief, and says Ali’s reporting was aimed at injuring his character through “intentional and/or highly reckless publication of actionable false and misleading statements,” THR reported.

The Huffington Post has rallied behind Ali, though, and called him a “careful and meticulous reporter.” Editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen further said that though Ali is a paid freelancer, not staffer, the company has “no hesitation about standing by him financially in this case.”

Yashar’s Twitter account also indicates he’s a writer for New York Magazine and Mother Jones.

Bolling’s suit doesn’t name the Huffington Post.

“[H]e is coming after me personally,” Ali tweeted. “I’m a big boy … but very telling.”

What to say — Fox has been in the news way too much lately for sexual harassment scandals. Fox Business host Charles Payne is currently suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into his own sex harassment charges. Fox Sports chief Jamie Horowitz was just fired over harassment allegations. And of course, there’s the whole unwinding of sexual harassment charges, some of which were settled out-of-pocket, involving Bill O’Reilly and the now-deceased Roger Ailes.

Either way you see it — true, untrue or somewhere in between — fact is, the situation is sad and sorry and a stain on Fox’s reputation, and one that everybody in the conservative world at least wishes would dry and disappear. Come on, Fox — we’re rooting for you. You’re just not making it very easy.


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