Current and former Fox News personalities Greta Van Susteren and Geraldo Rivera both posted statements on Facebook on Friday walking back their regrettable Roger Ailes defenses.
After Gretchen Carlson's sexual harassment allegations, both Van Susteren and Rivera held firm in their support of Ailes. “We all regret it,” Van Susteren wrote. “It is indeed true, when I read the complaint written by lawyers—I never spoke to Gretchen as she was long gone from Fox—I found it inconsistent with what was my experience and information at the Fox News Channel, admittedly working 200 miles from the ‘scene of the crimes.’ It was hidden from all of us.”
In a July interview with The Daily Beast, Van Susteren had said her support for Ailes was over true skepticism against Carlson's claims, not to "curry favor" with the Fox News boss. "He just doesn't do this stuff," she said. "If this were going on, I would have heard about it." She added, “I’m not for sale in this situation. You know that. If I didn’t think this, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
Days before Ailes resigned from Fox in July, Rivera tweeted: “Don't believe the crap about #RogerAiles only ones talking dirt are those who hate #FoxNews & want to hurt network that's kicking their ass.” In his Friday note, entitled “Roger and Me,” Rivera called Ailes a “deceitful, selfish misogynist.” He wrote that Ailes’ “shame and banishment are well-earned” and said he was “blindsided” by the allegations against his former boss. “I am filled with regret for stubbornly discounting their various allegations,” he said. Despite knowing Ailes for 40 years, he wrote, “The man she described in her pleadings was unknown even to those of us who thought we knew him well.”
"I've known him 40 years," Rivera said on July 19. "He's about as flirty as the grizzly in #TheRevenant. I stand with Roger Ailes." But on Friday Rivera’s note went further even than saying he was sorry for supporting Ailes. He apologized in general for the skepticism regarding the claims and to Gabriel Sherman, who wrote the New York magazine story unearthing the initial harassment charges, for not believing his work. “The Murdochs would not have turned the world upside down but for good cause,” Rivera said. “Like victims of sexual assault, those alleging harassment deserve the presumption of credibility,” he added. “I was wrong, and am paying the price...To all the victims of sexual harassment, direct and indirect, I am sorry for what happened to you.”