I'm not surprised to learn that former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has filed a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment by Bill O'Reilly as well as Roger Ailes. But they're not the only men Tantaros describes as harassers. There's also this guy:
One instance of particularly egregious alleged conduct involved former Massachusetts Senator, and current Fox News contributor, Scott Brown:
On or about August 18, 2015, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown (“Brown”) appeared on Outnumbered. Brown made a number of sexually inappropriate comments to Tantaros on set, including, and in a suggestive manner, that Tantaros “would be fun to go to a nightclub with.” After the show was over, Brown snuck up behind Tantaros while she was purchasing lunch and put his hands on her lower waist. She immediately pulled back, telling Brown to “stop.” Tantaros then immediately met with Shine to complain, asking him to ensure that Brown would never be booked on the show again. Shine said that he would talk to Scott. Thereafter, Shine and Scott ignored Tantaros’s complaint, and continued to book Brown on Outnumbered.
Gosh, and I thought Scott Brown was the most sensitive straight guy in America -- the perfect husband and father. At least, that's the impression created by ads he ran in his 2012 Senate race against Elizabeth Warren, as described in this Newsweek article by Michelle Cottle:
In [one] spot ... —titled, simply, “Dad” -- Brown’s wife, Gail Huff, gushes about how, during her years as a Boston reporter, “Scott did all the morning routine. Get the girls up. Get them fed. Get them dressed. Get them off to school. He did everything with the kids.” (Talk about mommy porn!) Her pitch in the similarly gauzy “Husband” is even more blatant: “Scott’s always been the one that encouraged me professionally -- encouraged me to have my own life, to have my own identity ... He is by far the most understanding of women probably of any man I know.”
Some Democrats thought the ads were a bit much, at which point, as Cottle notes, Mr. Nice Guy turned rather nasty toward the woman he was running against:
At a breakfast gathering of Massachusetts Democrats at this month’s national convention, state party chairman John Walsh joked that Republican Sen. Scott Brown had “spent a couple million dollars folding towels on TV to prove he’s an honorary girl” in his race against Elizabeth Warren. The dig referred to a Brown campaign ad, targeting women voters, in which the senator is shown doing laundry.
Team Brown’s response was fast and furious. They blamed the Warren campaign for the “negative attacks” and tied Walsh’s remarks to Warren’s comment that same week that in her ads “you probably won’t see me folding laundry.”
Angela Davis, chairwoman of Women for Brown, fired off this zinger: “It seems Professor Warren and her spokesman can’t decide if they are just too good to fold laundry, or if household chores are suitable only for women.”
Within hours, Walsh apologized. But no way the senator’s people were letting go of this bone. Davis promptly sent both Warren and Walsh a gift basket of laundry supplies, along with a note (thoughtfully posted on Brown’s campaign site): “With all the mudslinging Elizabeth Warren and her allies have been doing, we thought these laundry supplies would be a useful gift. We might never see Professor Warren fold her own clothes, but she does need to clean up her act and stop with her dirty politics.”
What a sweetheart.
Did Brown do what Tantaros said he did? We can't be sure. I can tell you that this isn't the first time Brown has faced charges like this, although the last time it happened the accusation was dropped quickly:
Gawker has a scoop of sorts about Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and it wants to know why no one else got there first. On the face of it, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan, the reporter, has a case, since what he dug up was an old defamation suit against Brown that involves charges of sexual harassment.
In 2000, Brown was sued by Jennifer Firth, who was then serving on the Wrentham, Mass. Board of Selectmen, a position Brown had held earlier. In the suit, Firth said that she’d volunteered on Brown’s campaign for the state Senate, and that during her work for him, he’d harassed her. Afterwards, she said, he had defamed her, telling law enforcement and others that she’d sent him anonymous hate mail....
[But as] Nolan himself acknowledges, within days of her filing the suit, Firth moved to dismiss it. On top of that, her lawyer moved to withdraw his appearance on her behalf, saying he’d learned that the allegations in the suit weren’t supported.
It's hard to tell what really went on in that case. Brown accused Firth of harassing him, and Firth acknowledged that she'd sent Brown "provocative" emails:
She did say that during his campaign for state representative that she sent him notes she intended to be humorous.
“ My humor tends to be provocative, and I think Mr. Brown misinterpreted my humor,” she said in a telephone interview.
Later, she issued a formal statement saying she deeply regrets the misunderstanding.
Brown said today there is nothing funny about the harassment he and his family have been subjected to over a two-year period.
“ I had a feeling she would try to spin this somehow. I do not find her actions humorous at all. It was a calculated pattern of harassment and inappropriate correspondence, e-mails and letters to me,” he said.
We'll see what emerges in the current case. We know that
Walker Brown is a nasty guy who looks like a nice guy. His campaign against Warren was ugly. Is he a sexual harasser? That remains to be determined.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog