|Debbie Sclussel and Sean Hannity.|
During a Friday interview with Tulsa, Oklahoma-based radio host Pat Campbell, former Fox News guest Debbie Schlussel accused Hannity of inviting her to his hotel room before and after a debate with a pro-Palestinian guest in Detroit.
Schlussel said she rejected Hannity’s alleged advances and that she was never invited on his show again. Schlussel and Hannity were scheduled to speak together at the Detroit show, Schlussel said. But before the show, Hannity allegedly invited her to an event at a nearby bookstore. The Daily Beast was not able to confirm whether the pair ever spoke at such a show.
“He had some event at a bookstore where he signed his book for people standing in line. He asked me to come meet him at this book signing,” Schlussel said on Campbell’s show. “So I met him there and it was very awkward. He had me up there with him while he signed books and I felt very weird. These people don’t know me and they didn’t come for me to sign their books. Then I left to get ready for the show, and he said, ‘Why don’t you come back with me to my hotel?’ and I said no, I have to get ready for the show.”
Schlussel claims that Hannity hit on her again even though her family was present and when she rejected him a second time that ended her appearances on his show.
Of course Hannity is denying any of this occurred, but then so did Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly.
To be honest I have no idea if these charges are factual or not, but I do know that in an environment like the one at Fox News it would be almost expected that the male "talent" would compete to see who could be the biggest asshole.
I remember watching Lawrence O'Donnell on the day that we learned of the accusations against O'Reilly. By way of pointing out that not all celebrities get accused of sexual harassment, which was part of the O'Reilly defense, O'Donnel mentioned that there were no accusations directed at Hannity.
At the time I remember thinking "Wait for it."
And sure enough it is here.
And there are likely to be others, and not just directed at Sean Hannity.
As the Daily Beast is pointing out today, we seem to have all forgotten that all of this started with Steve Doocy:
On July 6, 2016, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson sued Roger Ailes, alleging she was sexually harassed. The suit prompted an investigation of Ailes, his eventual firing, and a $20 million settlement for Carlson.
The investigation of Ailes, and the public standard it set for Fox News, set the predicate for the ouster of Bill O’Reilly last week, following numerous allegations of sexual harassment.
But Carlson’s problems with Ailes began when she complained to him about the conduct of Steve Doocy, her co-host on Fox & Friends.
According to Carlson’s complaint, Doocy “engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson.”
Like I said "compete to see who could be the biggest asshole." And let's face it there are plenty of assholes involved in that competition.
The only question to ask is who is the next asshole to follow Ailes and O'Reilly out the door?
Update: Now Schussel is claiming that while her story is accurate, that she does not believe it rises to the legal definition of sexual harassment:
“I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel, an attorney herself, said. Schlussel said the interaction happened in the early 2000’s when Hannity was in Detroit taping a show.
This is of course after Hannity's lawyers threatened legal action.
Make of that what you will.