UPDATE: Eric “Bully Boy” Bolling has now been suspended from Fox “News” pending the outcome of an internal investigation. Earlier story:
Like, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly before him, Bolling may not be employed by the mendacious Trump-supporting network much longer. Not to belabour the point (because I’ve got other stuff to say below) HufPo has the goods, which has now been picked up by many news orgs:
Recipients of the photo confirmed its contents to HuffPost, which is not revealing their identities. The women, who are Bolling’s current and former Fox colleagues, concluded the message was from him because they recognized his number from previous work-related and informal interactions. The messages were sent several years ago, on separate occasions.
The women did not solicit the messages, which they told colleagues were deeply upsetting and offensive. One of the recipients said that when she replied to Bolling via text, telling him never to send her such photos again, he did not respond. Four people, outside of the recipients, confirmed to HuffPost they’d seen the photo, and eight others said the recipients had spoken to them about it.
For this story, HuffPost spoke to 14 sources in and out of Fox News and Fox Business, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity either because they currently work at the networks and aren’t allowed to speak to members of the press without prior authorization or because they have confidentiality agreements with Fox News and its parent company 21st Century Fox.
You’d think if Bully Boy sent out such pictures, he’d remember. And, if he didn’t send any, he’d remember that, too. But…
When asked whether Bolling at any point had sent unsolicited lewd or inappropriate text messages or emails (including an image of a man’s genitalia) to Fox News or Fox Business colleagues, his attorney Michael J. Bowe responded, “Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications, does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
The weird formulation “does not believe he sent any such communication” is not exactly a full-throated denial, is it? Oh! And, he’s lawyered
IRONY ALERT!!! As my former-employer NewsHounds points out:
This reporter has been writing Fox “News” criticism for 9 years. From this vantage point I predict that Bolling’s firing, if that comes to pass — and why wouldn’t it? — will be the final calving of what was once the monolithic Fox “News” iceberg.
Two years ago I identified the first public fissures. While there had always been rumours of tension between various personalities behind the scenes, it broke out into the open soon after Emperor Trump descended the Golden Escalator — to mix among the proletariat he never took notice of before. He had yet had to mesmerize the GOP to cinch the nomination and before the Basket of Deplorables flipped the bird to Lady Liberty and put this tweeting charlatan into the Offal Orifice. With the help of the Russians, of course.
Bolling was one of Trump’s earliest brown-nosers and a self-proclaimed personal friend. All the way back in June of 2015, on The Five (which I predicted wouldn’t last), Bully Boy was (as he always does) trying to normalize Trump’s crazy speeches. That’s when “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth” Perino slapped him for his unbelievable Trump-kissing.
Then they moved on, like they always do on The Five, just when the infighting is getting good. Watch the whole thing [because it’s such a wonderful Trump Time Capsule™ from just 2 years ago], but the money shot starts at the 8:26 mark if you want to skip ahead:
See how quickly they moved on? Was that an edit, or just a clever call from the Control Room? QUICK!!! ROLL TAPE!!! We report, you decide.
While they may have moved on, their individual audiences never did. From the very next day — virtually immediately — I noticed snarking between Bully Boy Bros and the Perino Pixies on various comment threads. The sniping over the next several weeks became rather viscous before it settled down. Not that the feelings ever went away. However, this was the earliest Trumpian fissure I can identify.
Since then there’s been a lot of changes at Fox, many of which had Trumpian undercurrents due to “pussy grabbing” in the corporate offices of ‘Merka’s self-proclaimed cultural scold: Ailes out. Then dead. O’Reilly out. Still alive. Meggy gone (and now flaming out). Van Susteren gone (and gone again). Subsequent programming changes. The Five moves to 9PM. Bully Boy Bolling moves to The Specialists at 5pm. There he and his 2 female co-hosts invite people totally out of their depth to opine on the news of the day. Those extra fools are the titular “specialists.” Yeah, I know. But that’s the truth. The Specialists begins to sink in the ratings after Day One. But, more importantly for my thesis, Bolling’s fans (on comment threads) have been sniping at co-hosts Katherine Timpf and Eboni Williams. And, vice versa. More fissures.
Naturally, this will all be labeled FAKE NEWS by True Trump Believers, who are also Bolling Believers. That is right up until the public release of the dick pics (ala Anthony Weiner) and/or Bully Boy Bolling no longer has a Bully Pulpit for Emperor Bully Trump. Then the real Fox “News” internecine war will begin.
Pass the popcorn!!!