Can Roger Ailes get a fair trial in the press?
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In the court of public opinion as it pertains to the sexual harassment case against Roger Ailes, here's the big question:

Can the network get a fair trial in the media when it comes to fair and balanced coverage?


The answer thus far is a resounding no. There's always been animosity against the #1 cable news network of the past 15 years by basically every other media outlet (print, online, broadcast or otherwise) for various reasons, with the primary  being its perceived conservative ideology going against the grain of what's deemed traditional media.

So when the brains behind it all and arguably the most powerful man in broadcast news is accused of sexual harassment by a now-former host and Miss America 26 years younger than him in Gretchen Carlson, it's going to get major headlines. But most of said headlines have been tilted one way.

And that isn't because Carlson's legal team has a great legal hand to play with here, at least according to lawyers I've been speaking to for the past six days since this story broke. Know this: Almost all believe this never gets to trial and many also believe allegations from the very distant past may not be admissible. You can read more about it in detail here and here

Examples of the challenges facing the Plaintiff: The handwritten letters by Ms. Carlson to Mr. Ailes — complete with smiley faces and warm sentiment — sent just a few days after one of the alleged incidents of misconduct in 2015, don't do her any favors. And her ratings were the lowest of any live program on the network, even losing to CNN in June (a big no-no at FNC). Then there's the timing of the suit coming only after Carlson was told her contract wasn't being renewed, prompting Ailes' legal team to call the suit "retaliatory".

Six women have come forward to back up Carlson's claims, but only one story can be corroborated by NBC News. All allegations by said women supposedly occurred anywhere from 27 to over 50 years ago. Outside of Carlson, the only women to come forward from Fox News have been those in fervent support of him. Add it all up, and it's not what one would call a slam dunk case. Not even close. 

No matter. The knives are out from a press that would love to see nothing more than Ailes damaged or even removed as Fox News CEO and president.

A few examples on the rush to judgment: 

WASHINGTON POST: Roger Ailes opts for secrecy, cowardice in face of Gretchen Carlson suit 

SLATE: Roger Ailes, "the Bill Cosby of media," accused of sexual harassment

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Has the clock run out on Roger Ailes? 

HUFFINGTON POST (also winning the award for longest headline of the day): Roger Ailes Proves Powerful Men Always Get the Benefit of the Doubt; And a woman who claims she's been harassed just can't be trusted 


And then there's this: Emails sent by Fox News to Roger Yu, USA Today reporter, showing what appears to be the paper ignoring the network's official statement that came hours after the story broke on Wednesday. 

A source close to the situation shared emails sent from Fox News to USA Today with The Hill. 

According to one email's time stamp, Fox News sent its official response to USA Today's Yu at 6:50 p.m ET time on July 7. 

Per standard protocol, the Fox News statement was also issued via press release to BusinessWire at 7:25 p.m. ET that evening and distributed nationwide.

But the online story with the Fox statement still wasn't updated on as of 9:00 p.m. ET. 

Mr. Yu was reached at his home by Fox PR, according to the source, and after he requested the statement be sent to his personal email address at 10:05 p.m. ET, the story with the Fox statement was updated on at 10:15 p.m. ET. 

However, the following day, USA Today's print version (4.1 million in circulation) ran a front page story on the Ailes suit with the antiquated version of the story stating that "Fox News could not be reached for comment" without Fox's statement, which was sent twice and added to the online version. 

Perception: Fox is so stunned, so caught off guard by the story, it doesn't even know how to respond to it nearly 24 hours after the news broke.

When confronted by the network, USA Today simply said, according to the source, they missed the deadline with their statement. The time stamps on the emails appear to indicate otherwise, as USA Today has featured plenty of stories on its front page throughout the years with  information coming in late in the evening. 

The Hill reached out to Mr. Yu and is awaiting comment.

In the meantime,you'll be hearing plenty about Gretchen Carlson and especially Roger Ailes for at least many days and weeks to come. 

Most of the coverage, however, won't be what one would appropriately characterize as "fair and balanced".

Concha is a media reporter and columnist for The Hill.