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Fox News Will Pay $1M Penalty For Human Rights Violations

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In 2021, Fox News' legal troubles have included not only a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, but a human rights lawsuit too. And Fox News, as journalist Lloyd Grove reports in the Daily Beast, has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to settle that lawsuit.

Grove explains, "Despite Fox News' claims to have repaired the company's toxic workplace culture since the firing of founder and chairman Roger Ailes in July 2016, Rupert Murdoch's media empire has effectively admitted to ongoing misconduct that includes sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation against victimized employees, and has agreed to pay a million-dollar fine for what New York City's Commission on Human Rights called 'a pattern of violating of the NYC Human Rights Law.'"

According to Grove, "The settlement agreement, reached last week with the Human Rights Commission, contains the largest-ever financial penalty assessed in the agency's six-decade history, and also requires Fox News to remove mandatory confidential arbitration clauses from the contracts of on-air talent along with other employees and contributors for a period of four years when they file legal claims under the city's human-rights law outside of the company's internal process."

Labor attorney Nancy Erika Smith, who represented former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson in a sexual harassment lawsuit, described the lawsuit settlement as "monumental."

Smith told the Beast, "I'm not aware of any government agency requiring an employer to stop silencing victims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and that's what NDAs and arbitration do: They silence victims. So, bravo! Finally! The government is seeing that silencing victims protects harassers."

During a 2019 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Suzanne Scott, chief executive of Fox News Media, claimed that she has been working hard to change the work environment at Fox News for the better and fight sexism in the workplace. In a statement, the company defended its progress under Scott, saying, "No other company has implemented such a comprehensive and continuous overhaul, which notably, earned FOX News Media recognition as a 'Great Place to Work' for the first time in its existence, a testament to the many cultural changes that Ms. Scott has instituted during her tenure as CEO."

But Smith is highly critical of Scott, telling the Beast, "Suzanne Scott has always been instrumental, since the beginning of Fox News, in a culture founded on misogyny and enabling harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. So, anybody who thought she changed it in any way is extremely naive or uninformed."

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

For the first time more Americans identify as "socially liberal" than conservative, revealing a huge double-digit swing over the past two decades.

Gallup reveals 34 percent of Americans now say they are socially liberal, 30 percent conservative, and 35 percent identify as moderate.

But as the pollster notes, in 2001 "social conservatives had a clear advantage over social liberals -- by 12 points, on average." That started to change in 2013, and now socially liberal has pulled ahead, representing a huge 16 point swing from 2001 to 2021.

Americans' "self-described economic views," Gallup finds, "have remained predominantly conservative over the past two decades."

In a separate report this month Gallup looked at views on sex and marriage, finding Americans increasingly "tolerant."

"Views that gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable have increased from 40 percent to 69 percent, having a baby outside of marriage from 45 percent to 67 percent, sex between an unmarried man and woman from 53 percent to 73 percent, divorce from 59 percent to 79 percent, polygamy from seven percent to 20 percent, and sex between teenagers from 32 percent to 43 percent. (All but one of these issues were first measured between 2001-2003; the baseline for sex between teenagers is 2013)."