Among those who did speak on the record to Mr. Sherman is Stephanie Gordon, an actress who in one part of that show dropped the towel she wore. She was asked by Mr. Ailes to come to his office for a Sunday photo session and felt extremely uncomfortable about having to do this for the producer. But she says Mr. Ailes could not have been nicer. He took pictures and later sent her a signed print inscribed: “Don’t throw in the towel, you’re a great actress. Roger Ailes.” But Mr. Sherman also has a story from a woman named Randi Harrison, also on the record, who claims Mr. Ailes offered her a $400-a-week job at NBC, saying: ‘If you agree to have sex with me whenever I want, I will add an extra hundred dollars a week.”
These don’t sound like the voices of the same man.
I think they totally sound like the voices of the same man. It’s not like someone who sexually harasses one woman can be counted on to sexually harass every single woman within arm’s reach. Bank robbers don’t rob every single bank! “Why, I saw that man walk by a bank just the other day without robbing it — the person who told you he was a bank robber must just have been misinterpreting. Probably he was just making a withdrawal and the teller took it the wrong way.”
And what’s more: don’t you think Ailes kind of could have been nicer to Gordon? Like, a lot nicer? Look at that exchange again. He put her in a position where she felt extremely uncomfortable, and declined to sexually assault her on that occasion. Then he sent her a signed print, on which he wrote a message reminding her that he’d seen her naked body.
I think both these stories depict a man who sees women as existing mainly for his enjoyment, and a man who takes special pleasure in letting women know he sees them that way. One man, one voice.