JUST IN: FOX NEWS makes decision on Charles Payne sexual harassment case

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Written by Dennis Michael Lynch
Perhaps it’s just me, but it appears the only investigative reporting that’s coming out of Fox News these days are probes that look deep into the people who host shows aired on the network.

Earlier today, Fox News announced they were cutting ties with audience favorite Eric Bolling.  The Wall Street commodities trader turned TV news show host was accused in July of sending lewd texts to his co-workers years ago.

The story first broke on the Huffington Post website at the end of July, but it spread throughout the internet faster than most of the Fox News sexual harassment cases do.  And there are plenty of cases.

Immediately following the article’s release, Fox announced they’d be looking into the matter and suspended Bolling until further notice.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Bolling.  He was in the middle of promoting his new pro-Trump book called, “The Swamp.”  He was also soaking up the spotlight each day by hosting a new Fox News program called, “The Specialists.”

Over the coarse of the 2016 election season, Bolling’s profile had risen sharply at Fox.  The staunch Donald Trump supporter became a household name as a result of being the go-to fill-in for the other Fox News host who was canned by the network for sexual harassment, Bill O’Reilly.

With his popularity at an all time high, Bolling’s suspension came as a shock to his fans, but for Fox executives it was just another headache.  The story about Bolling came on the heels of another tabloid grabber involving a Fox personality: Charles Payne of the Fox Business Network was accused of sexual harassment in July.

Like Bolling, Payne has a financial background worthy of supporting his own show on the Fox Business Network.  NOTE: Bolling also had a show on FBN called, ‘Cashin’ In.”

Like Bolling, Payne was suspended while Fox News investigated the situation. Like Bolling, Payne learned of his future with Fox on Friday afternoon.

Unlike Bolling who was canned this afternoon, Fox has given Payne a second life.

Personally, I find this amazingly strange.

O’Reilly was fired even though he denied he did anything wrong. (One must not forget money was paid out to his accusers via “hush – hush” settlements said to be in the 8-figure range.)

Bolling also rejected the allegations of wrong-doing. He denied sending pictures of male genitalia to women at FNC, and he has gone as far as suing the writer of the HuffPo article for $50 million.  But like O’Reilly, his denials fell flat on Fox executives.

Payne on the other hand admitted to having an affair with the woman who made claims against him.  His accuser, Scottie Nell Hughes, was often a guest on Fox.  The long time Tea Party activist and avid Trump supporter is highly recognizable by her tall frame, big smile and bushy blonde hair.

Hughes and Payne are both married.  Thus, the rumors are that the sex-heavy affair was kept a secret until it was impossible to hide from people who work at Fox, and Payne’s wife.

But by giving Payne a second chance, Fox appears to have no issue with the infidelities of Payne, or how that will rub off on Fox viewers who tune in for honest news reporting. So much for the motto, “Fox News, the name you can trust.”

On Friday, Payne proudly announced Fox News completed the investigation and he was returning to work this coming Monday.

How do Bolling and O’Reilly get nailed but Payne does not?

Are we to believe that at Fox News, hosts are forbidden to talk about sex, and they are forbidden to refer to a picture of a penis, but having sexual intercourse with one of  the married guests for three years is OK?

Why am I shocked? This is a network that allegedly strategically positions females in such a way so that their long legs are front and center for the cameras.

With Payne a new man, I guess this means the investigation into sexual harassment claims made by Hughes were unsubstantiated?

Reportedly, Hughes’ sexual harassment claims against Fox and Payne tied to her belief that she was dumped by the network — meaning they stopped booking her as a guest because producers and executives learned of the affair.

So, here is my take knowing what I know about networks, especially the one in question.  I bet Hughes is 100% correct.

I bet Fox stopped putting her on the shows as a result of the affair.  Thus, Fox dropped the harassment charges because otherwise they’d have to admit they blacklist guests over sexual matters.  Make no mistake, in clearing Payne, they clear themselves.

It’s either that, or they don’t want the tabloids carrying the story of a married black man and a married white woman having an affair while Fox News knowingly did nothing about it.

My sense is Fox News should keep the investigation team warm.  From what I am told by insiders, there are lots of people who are on the blacklist, and there are more hosts at Fox News who have engaged in less than professional behavior.  With the left out to get the right — not that Fox is on the right — it’s a matter of time before the next shoe drops, both literally and figuratively.

For those readers who do not understand the meaning of a “blacklist…”

Often, whenever a guest is booked by a show, he or she must first be approved by the PR department or management, depending on the network.  If the guest is on “the blacklist”, then the show producers will be told not to invite the guest.  Every network has a blacklist, although none like to admit to it.  But they do exist.  Trust me.

Payne announced that his suspension was being lifted from his official social media account.

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