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Roger Ailes history of sexual harassment goes past Fox News, says NY Mag

A file photo of Roger Ailes from July, 2006.
Fred Prouser | Reuters
A file photo of Roger Ailes from July, 2006.

Ousted Fox News CEO Roger Ailes' degrading treatment of women and his peers extends from before his time at the conservative network, according to a new report from New York Magazine.

The article, "The Revenge of Roger's Angels," says Ailes' sexual harassment of women was already happening when he worked at "The Mike Douglas Show" five decades ago. The magazine said it interviewed 18 women "who shared accounts of Ailes's offering them job opportunities if they would agree to perform sexual favors for him and for his friends." The women were not identified.

Ailes started on the talk show as a property assistant in 1962, eventually becoming executive producer in 1967 when it was nationally syndicated.

In select cases, he said he would release tapes of the activities if the alleged victims told anybody, according to the magazine.

Ailes' behavior continued throughout his political consulting career, where he worked on presidential campaigns for Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, as well as Rudy Giuliani's 1989 mayoral campaign, according to the magazine. The article also claims that Ailes was abusive toward employees during his tenure at NBC when he was president of CNBC, saying anti-Semetic slurs and threatening employees.

Fox parent company 21st Century Fox declined comment on the article. Fox News and Ailes did not respond to CNBC requests for comment.

New York Magazine also claimed that Ailes monitored Fox News like a "surveillance state," installing CCTV systems that allowed him to watch people and instructing the IT department to monitor employee email. It got a hold of phone records of journalists, which may or may not have been legal, according to the report. When Ailes saw things he didn't like, he instructed his staff to leak negative press stories about the perpetrator and increase the level of monitoring, the magazine said, citing sources.

Ailes, who was the founding CEO of Fox News, resigned in July amid allegations that he sexually harassed former anchor Grechen Carlson. In a lawsuit against Ailes, Carlson alleged that she was fired on June 23 from the network because she refused to sleep with Ailes. She detailed degrading comments that Ailes made toward her, including calling her a "man hater" and asking her to turn around so he could view her "posterior." Ailes has denied the claims.

21st Century Fox started an investigation into the case. According to another report by New York Magazine, current Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly also alleged harassment during a probe by law firm Paul, Weiss, Kelly, which was commissioned by the parent company. Other former Fox News employees have told CNBC that they witnessed Ailes sexually harassing other employees during their tenure at the company.

Read New York Magazine's full story here.