How long Fox News remained silent on Bill O’Reilly‘s {ahem} story is anyone’s guess.   While you’re at it, take a stab at the Meghan Kelly saga… or Roger Ailes and ask – when did Fox News itself come around to reporting on these internal dramas One thing is for sure however – they are all over this ABC News debacle. 

Elex Michaelson

According to Fox News, news anchor Elex Michaelson said on Monday that embattled ABC executive Barbara Fedida once told him the Disney-owned network couldn’t hire a white man — but he didn’t come forward out of fear of being blackballed by the industry.

Michaelson shared a report from Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali that rocked ABC News over the weekend with a detailed account of damning accusations of Fedida and her treatment of black journalists at the network. The report resulted in ABC News placing Fedida, a senior vice president, on administrative leave while it investigates the claims and prompted Michaelson to share a story for the first time publicly.

“In 2017, ABC7 recommended I become a network correspondent,” Michaelson tweeted. “Barbara Fedida told me: ‘You’re qualified. But you’re a white male & my bosses told me I can only hire women & minorities for the next couple years.’”

ABC News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Her blunt words were shocking & left me feeling powerless. I didn’t want to be blackballed in the industry so I didn’t complain or sue. Soon after, though, I did leave the company,” Michaelson added.

Ali wrote that he had spoken with “34 sources over the course of six months” comprising current and former ABC News staff for the bombshell report on Fedida.

He reported that during a contentious 2018 meeting about renewing “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts‘s contract, Fedida reportedly “asked what more Roberts could want and said it wasn’t as if the network was asking Roberts to ‘pick cotton.'”

Fedida also reportedly referred to “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin as “low rent.”

Another source told Ali about a comment Fedida said about then-ABC News journalist Kendis Gibson, a black anchor, that ABC “spends more on toilet paper than we ever would on him.”

Michaelson thanked Ali for “bringing sunlight to this dark place in network TV” and explained why he shared his own story about Fedida.

My hope in sharing this is to show support for the victims of racism at ABC News,” Michaelson wrote. “I also hope, going forward, this culture where race is so cavalierly & crudely discussed by executives with hiring & firing power…is over. We as a society…and as an industry…can do better.”

More News from Wednesday, June 17, 2020