Updated with video: Add Bret Baier to the chorus of mostly-female Fox News Channel female on-air talent publicly supporting their boss Roger Ailes since former show host Gretchen Carlson filed that sexual harassment suit last week.
Last night Baier told CBS’s Late Show host Stephen Colbert all those headlines about the blockbuster lawsuit, followed by other lurid charges made against Ailes by other women, dating back decades, “are foreign to me.”
“You guys over there are making some news that I’m sure you don’t welcome,” Colbert said right off the bat when FNC’s top political guy sat down to talk about the upcoming political conventions. “Gretchen Carlson has accused your boss, and the genius behind Fox News, Roger Ailes, of sexual harassment and reprisal.” Colbert wondered what’s the mood in the FNC hallways, because “other people have come out and supported these accusations.”
“The Roger I know is somebody who has been amazing to me” and “one of the first people who called when my son had to have open heart surgery, not once but three times,” Baier said. “That’s the Roger I know.”
He quickly tried to turn the talk to FNC’s upcoming convention plans, beginning with “We have a lot of focus on; we have a lot to do.” But Colbert wasn’t finished with that other topic:
“It must be hard to do when you guys ARE the story,” he pushed back. Fox “has always been in the headlines, one way or another; I think unjustly sometimes,” Baier said – a well-known FNC response; then he began again to plug FNC’s political confabs plans, including his upcoming interview with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“What are you going to ask him?” Colbert asked, happy to take that bait.
Baier asked Colbert what HE would ask Trump.
“I’d ask him to define the word ‘great.’ And, in his answer, he can’t use the words ‘tremendous,’ ‘fantastic,’ or ‘totally believe me’,” Colbert joked.
After more back and forth – FNC reporters covering any protests outside convention halls will be armed with gas masks and security, Baier revealed – Colbert concluded: “Well, good luck next week and the week after. We’ll be there too – so see you in hell.” Colbert’s show also will cover the two political conventions, live, though from the relative safety of his Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan.
Tonight, it’s Bill O’Reilly’s turn to take questions about Ailes; he’s booked on NBC’s Late Night.