Maria Bartiromo Defends Roger Ailes Against Gretchen Carlson Harassment Claims (EXCLUSIVE)

Maria Bartiromo
Courtesy: REX/Shutterstock

And now, speaking for the defense: Maria Bartiromo.

The veteran business-news journalist joined a number of employees of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network who have stepped up to support Roger Ailes, the chairman and chief executive of Fox News, in the wake of stunning allegations of sexual harassment leveled in a lawsuit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, and, earlier today, by six women who spoke of their experiences with the executive several decades ago.

“Nobody wants to see anybody have any bad experiences,” said Bartiromo of the allegations, during an interview with Variety. “It’s just not in keeping with what I know, and my experience at Fox.”

Bartiromo has longstanding ties with Ailes, who hired her in the mid-1990s when she was an off-camera producer at CNN, and gave her what has been the opportunity of a lifetime: He sent her to cover the stock market live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for CNBC, making her the first person to do so on camera. “It really helped to demystify what was going on, and enabled regular people to have a clear idea of what was happening with their money,” she recalled. Her time there sparked a career that has granted her access to CEOs and heads of state. In a sign of how much a part of popular culture Bartiromo became during her tenure at the NBCUniversal-owned network, she became widely known as “The Money Honey,” and was even the subject of a song by punk-rocker Joey Ramone.

Bartiromo turned heads in late 2013 when news leaked that she would leave CNBC after two decades to join Ailes at Fox, where she has, since 2014, anchored “Mornings with Maria” each weekday on Fox Business Network and “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News Channel. “I’ve known Roger Ailes for 25 years since he first hired me at CNBC and hired me again two and a half years ago. I’ve known him to be nothing but a professional,” she said. “I’ve learned so much from him and continue to grow.”

Carlson leveled allegations Wednesday in a suit filed in Superior Court of New Jersey charging that the executive had propositioned her sexually and that she had suffered unfair treatment from Steve Doocy, her co-host for several years on “Fox & Friends,” the Fox News morning program. Carlson left the network in June. In a statement made earlier this week, Ailes said her charges were false and came in retaliation for her contact with Fox News not being renewed. Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, said it will conduct an “internal review” into the charges made against both Ailes and Doocy.

Bartiromo is the latest in a number of prominent female Fox anchors and contributors who have spoken in the days since the charges became public. Greta Van Susteren and Jeanine Pirro have also made statements to media outlets defending Ailes. Megyn Kelly, who has rocketed to fame on Fox News in the past few years, has yet to offer public remarks.

Bartiromo, who has over the years developed a reputation for being able to ask tough financial questions of senior business executives, said she has not had a chance to speak to Ailes since the charges were made, and has been focused each day on putting her shows together.

She also demurred when asked about an anecdote related in an unauthorized 2014 biography of Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” in which an anonymous source tells writer Gabriel Sherman that Ailes once made a crack about Bartiromo’s weight and physical appearance when considering an opportunity to hire her before her 2014 arrival. “I did not see that,” Bartiromo said. The book, a controversial one, has been the subject of much scrutiny in recent days.

True to her business-news background, Bartiromo sent over a five-day chart of the stock performance of 21st Century Fox reflecting its performance since Carlson’s allegations became known. The company’s stock price, she noted, has been up.

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  1. I think anyone who watches Fox can see the women are smart and beautiful its a great combo do I think Roger was a skirt chaser yes I think he was.
    I do think the women in question was harassed over the years but took it with the job and when she got canned got mad and said I was harassed and took it and I got fired and so its time to spill the beans. He was fired because he was a known skirt chaser. Maria could have been a friend were others were prey.

    I think if you watch the news shows you know the women understand sex sells the Fox standard dress outfit for the women is spiked heels and short skirts and a little cleavage.

  2. Samsara says:

    What a disgrace.

  3. Craig Gallagher says:

    He didn’t just give her a job he gave Ms. Bartiromo a career.maybe now she has to pay the bill?

  4. Ahi Tuna says:

    Sounds kind of like how Scientology parades its members out to defend their cult from all criticism from former Scientologists.

  5. Rachel says:

    Bartiromo, rumors are that you and Guilfoile are very chumy with Roger. What’s up?

  6. Eric says:

    Fox on air talent is female driven. A lot of people think that it is sexist that the women wear dresses designed by someone who likes women–wardrobes for each woman worth many thousands of dollars. They have even dressed women guests in designer dresses. Some women balked at the “pants ban”; however, once they saw themselves on air they withdrew their complaints (for the most part) because the dresses look great on camera, are actually more forgiving than fitted slacks and more comfortable on set. Part of the job of on camera talent is to be attractive; that is an incontrovertible fact.

    The beautiful women of Fox also have a reputation for intelligence and frankly, Gretchen appears to be dim in comparison to most if not all of the others. Men tuned in to see the beautiful women and stayed because of the quality of the on air talent. Women are comforted to see females who are obviously competent, intelligent and capable of doing something other than mindlessly reading a script.

  7. Kelly says:

    Just remember no one wanted to believe it when Bill Cosby was accused either. It wasn’t until we got to, I believe it was accuser 26 or 27, that the world finally said, gee that’s a lot of woman… Hmmm maybe we should take another look at this. Why is it that if a woman says enough is enough and finally stands up for herself we accuse her of being liberal. Is that the way the world works? Good conservative woman just take it or quietly go away to obscurity and what will you say if the preponderance of the evidence shows he indeed does sexually harass women? Were they asking for it?

  8. Carol says:

    Most of these comments are from the typical liberal way of thinking and speaking !!! Let’s use some filthy , uneducated and crude language , and let’s believe the accuser , and then crucify the accused , before ANY wrongdoing is proven !! My wise Mom used to say ” believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see ” ! By the way , I happen to have been a fan of Gretchen’s show . But , I hold judgement til all the FACTS are in !!

  9. How did it come to pass that Roger Ailes decided to hire Bill O’Reilly?

    Or Megyn Kelly?

    • Rachel says:

      Bill O’Reilly is one of those spexial friends that Roger passed the female anchors to. When the truth comes out, Roger will have a heart attack from the stress.

  10. Jeff says:

    On the FOX Business employment application is a checkbox that reads: “I acknowledge that I am giving up my professional reputation and that I will be forever tagged as Roger Ailes’ bitch. And if I ever work someone else, the stench of the FOX “News” organization will forever follow me.”

    “Where do I sign?” said Maria.

  11. Dave V. says:

    Does cause me to question the exact nature of Maria’s relationship with Ailes.

  12. Marty Martin says:

    Always the problem with these types of situations, unless there are witnesses who knows?

  13. riley says:

    Maria Bartiromo is one of the people on Fox Business that I respect. She is smart, thoughtful and asks the tough questions. I hope that she never compromises herself and always stays above board.

    • Ahi Tuna says:

      I think she traded journalistic objectivity for access to all the big CEOs in the lead-up to the economic collapse in 2008.

  14. J Boles says:

    All the people that are speaking out in support of Ailes are employees that he pays very lucratively and therefor want to maintain that job security. Anyone knows that if you speak out against your boss, well your days are numbered. Gretchen certainly knows for sure now who her real friends are at Fox. Speaking of Fox, they were doing really well until Trump came on the surface when Kelly jumped into the fray to destroy him. Fox is run by the liberal Ailes and others of the network. This won’t be the last complaint as we go down the road with Fox.

  15. Marc Nicotera says:

    Who would want to go near Greta von susteren?

  16. IMO, Maria Bartarimo looks like the reincarnation of Tammy Fay Baker!
    Go easy on the eye makeup Maria.

  17. carlos broker says:

    What a shock! Ailes employees, who earn insanely inflated salaries, go to bat for Ailes. Fox, plain and simple, is a sex network. Look at the way the women dress. Cleavage and legs bare up to their vaginas. Give me a break! Ailes runs a sex shop. Every woman, with the exception of the dwarf Perino, flaunts their sexuality. Guilfoyle is an example of a smart woman who believes she’s in a porn flick Crazy!

  18. bob says:

    Maria may be more of a classical Hellenic type goddess but Gretchen is a down to earth sexy woman whom every man dreams of.

  19. Rob Stevens says:

    Hmm, I wonder who is “pleasing Ailes”?????

  20. CapitalG says:

    I’d hit on Maria long before Gretchen, so…. I gotta gotta go mancard here.

    I like Gretchen OK – but her show sucked. Ailes gave her a shot to be something more but it wasn’t working.

  21. ldkjfdljfdlfj says:

    These women still work for Fox News. They’re under pressure to stick up for their boss.

  22. marianne says:

    Fuck her, she is just making sure her job is ok. Just because he did not hit on her doesn’t mean anything. What a kiss ass. She is only worried about her job. She gives women a bad name.

  23. seedeevee says:

    She’s not a blonde. She had no worries.

  24. jane says:

    I believe gretchen maybe the other women are not Ailes type. who the hell would want to sleep with that pig. slime ball

  25. Sher says:

    Gretchen has never been particularly relatable, but since others have not had problems, maybe she was not always proper in the way she treated him. Suggestive, flirty remarks can elicit the same from a man. Also, what was the deal between her and her co-host at her previous job? MMMM There is interesting stuff out there about that.

  26. James Pratt says:

    Third party testimony. Ridiculous.

  27. Bob Wired says:

    Sorry Maria, but given Bill O’Reilly’s quick caving to his own sexual workplace (FOX NEWS under Ailes) harrassment, the precadent has been set—he caved after his ex producer said 4 words “I-Have-A-Tape”…tough guy Bill, Ailes and Murdoch, caved so fast they cut a check for 12 million…so its already been a given this is the nature of that “workplace” and Ailes, apparently let it go on, knowing full well Bill has a problem with women…the guy doesnt drink, smoke, never had, nor did drugs or gamble—his vice is picking on women…ask his ex wife…Ailes looked the other way, and did it himself it seems…pay up FOX NEWS and change the environment there.

  28. Mike says:

    He has a history of harrassment.

  29. Frankly, these charges must be proven. Too many women these days accuse men of sexual harassment when it simply is not the case. I am not saying Carlson is or is not telling the truth. Who knows? None of us were there. But if you are going to accuse someone of this, it might help your case if you say something when it happens, if it is not dealt with file a report, and find another job. Waiting until ones contract is not renewed and then coming out with it sounds a bit suspicious.

    • Suz says:

      My understanding is that she did file complaints and they were ignored up until the point she was fired. Also, do you have any stats to support your argument? That aren’t pulled from an MRA site?

    • joey joe joe says:

      The worst thing about quid pro quo sexual harassment is when you suffer the job detriment for not caving in.

      Also, where is she going to work? You think they’re just going to take her over at msnbc? You’re asking too much from the victims of sexual harassment and too little from the perpretrators.

  30. Average American says:

    Was Bartiromo in the room when the alleged occurrences were reported to have taken place? If not, Bartirom should stay out of it, it’s not her business anyway and only appears to be sucking up to the boss. Leave this to the principal parties and the court and or jury.
    It’s been written that sex offenders sometimes only target a certain type of individual, while appearing totally normal to everyone else.

  31. notadumbblonde says:

    Maria is much hotter than carlson, and much smarter too. If Ailes was going to hit on someone it would have been Maria, but he didn’t in over 25 years. Pretty much sums up the likelihood of the allegations that carlson is making are true, if you ask me.

    • Suz says:

      Just as you have an obvious bias against blonds (FYI hair color is not indicative of intellect) some people have a preference for blonds. Not everybody goes for the same kind of person in looks or body type, which anyone with half a brain knows. There’s an audience for everything. Also, we don’t know what he did or didn’t do. If it’s possible for one woman to lie, it’s also possible for the other woman to lie. Either everyone’s worthy of suspicion, or nobody is.

    • marianne says:

      What a stupid thing to say. How do you know who he finds attractive. It is not about what you think.

    • Lily says:

      Although Bartiromo is attractive maybe she is not his type. I believe Gretchen. Her story has a ring of truth.

    • Tom says:

      So? There are vastly more women defending Cosby than Ailes.

  32. Miguel 526 says:

    Bartiromo’s beauty just accidentally outpaces Gretchen Carlson’s beauty by a wide, wide, wide margin! But the biggest part of just about everyone’s account is that Bartiromo’s honesty, her human decency, & her looking out for the good fortunes, & safety of the Common Person of America Far, Far, Far Outpaces those qualities of the entitled Gretchen Carlson’s whimpering attack upon Ailes!!!

  33. Roger Who? For the record, I think Maria is hot as hell…

  34. Ed Snider says:

    Correct me, she had had scandals as she has been deemed “The Money Honey.”

  35. habib abbas says:

    Faux news reality show?

  36. Alex T says:

    Buttaroma would say anything to please her master.
    She lies every day supporting the FEDs policies

    • Randy says:

      Exactly right! They’re all covering up the disaster at the Fed. It’s criminal what’s going on over there.

  37. E. D. Hill was fired for a innocent remark about nothing. Maybe there was something more to that. Killer Bees, floting C’s Kennedy said that everyone hired goes thru Ailes. I have always suspected that Ailes hired on long blond hair and long legs and short skirts/dressed. I also wondered that all the desks, except for (Thunder Thighs) Maria’s desk were “see thru” glass to show off the legs.
    Maria together with Dobbs, Payne and Varney are the best on business at FOX

  38. Paul D says:

    Please, Maria is pretty but she was never a Miss America winner. She doesn’t know what happened between Gretchen and Roger. Interesting that Megyn hasn’t said anything, or is it ?

  39. Justin Camp says:

    I imagine everyone that still wants a job there is backing Ailes..

  40. Je Vizzusi says:

    Roger Ailes is the Robert Duval character in NETWORK @JEV1A

  41. boodrow says:

    Maria excudes sexiness

  42. Makka says:

    That’s like a friend of OJ saying “He never killed my wife”
    FNC is running an internal campaign to force women presenters to sign a document saying Ailes never attempted to molest them. Those that refuse (maybe because he did try to molest them) are being threatened. Such nice people.

  43. Roger says:

    What a shock. “Money Honey” Bartiromo, a woman notorious for pumping up stocks she owns while on TV and then selling them when they go up afterwards, defends Ailes. Needless to say she doesn’t tell her audience that she owns the stocks. Obviously, a person of high integrity.

  44. Judith Snyder says:

    I am surprised that Maria and Gretchen have so quickly taken Their boss”s side before all of the details have been released on the case! I thought these women would know better!!!

  45. Andrew Curlutu says:

    Not sure whether the Aisles allegations are true or not, but I’m learning toward complete and utter crap.

  46. Winomaster says:

    What makes me suspect that there is nothing to this, is that bullies always pick on the weak and powerless. But we have here a woman with enough career muscle that she didn’t have to lie down for any boss. Quite the contrary, Ailes had to be very careful about his dealings with Carlson. Fooling around with his female news anchors could have major blow back. Fooling around in the secretarial pool would have been much smarter. No one says Ailes is unintelligent. I don’t believe for a minuite that he would have tried to muscle Carlson with such a crude and direct approach. Bill Clinton demonstrated the way these things are done…Monica Lewinski.

  47. mw says:

    Men are not attracted to every kind of woman,even if they are considered good looking by other men.
    Gretchen, Maria, and Greta do not have the same attributes but are all attractive in their own way.
    Rodger may like busty,blond,nice legged women. I like short,dark haired women. He may have had a different relationship with all 3 women.

  48. George. P. says:

    Ewww. Roger Ailes is a filthy pervert!

  49. L. Davis says:

    Fox News is the very best new network on tv… Bar none. Ailes is the one who did that. That is why the left will do anything to destroy him and the network.’that is the Chicago way and anarchist rhetoric
    by the mainstream media will fill the airways to stop
    Any speech they cannot control: Lawsuits Are obvious tools against people who do not agree with them. And taking the victim stance is the norm today, even if you
    Cannot prove it.

    HarmWhat they cannot control

  50. James Butler says:

    Ailes, Ailes, Ailes; Roger Rabbit…

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