A story screamed around the Internet yesterday that FOX News boss Roger Ailes was about to be indicted for telling a subordinate to lie to federal investigators.
The story was first reported by financial commentator Barry Ritholtz, who said he heard it from someone whose had just learned that Roger Ailes had cancelled a speaking engagement for legal reasons.
Ritholtz asked his source to clarify, and the source said the “legal reasons” were that Ailes was about to be indicted.
Well, Salon’s Justin Elliott checked with Barry Ritholtz, and, apparently, Barry elaborated:
Ritholtz’s source for the post was a man he happened to meet and strike up a conversation with at a Barbados airport over the weekend, he told me in an interview this afternoon.
Here’s what happened, according to Ritholtz, who just got back from a vacation on the tropical island: He was sitting in the Barbados airport waiting for a plane to arrive and he struck up a conversation with an older man sitting next to him.
“We started chatting and next thing I know, we’re waiting to leave the gate, his phone rings and he tells his wife, ‘yeah Ailes just canceled the event,’ Ritholtz says, describing the man as “obviously annoyed and frustrated.”
The man runs an annual event in March at which Ailes was scheduled to speak, according to Ritholtz, who declined to specify the event. When he asked the man why Ailes canceled, the man said Ailes was about to be indicted. He describes the man, who he would not name, as an “Upper East Side Democrat.”
Now, our tongue-in-cheek headline notwithstanding, just because this was a seredipitous encounter in an airport doesn’t mean that Barry’s source had bad information. (Some great scoops arrive this way.) But so much time has elapsed since the Ailes-Regan conversation in question, an indictment does seem a bit odd at this point.
That said, and interestingly, FOX has yet to deny the Ailes indictment story. If the story is not true, you’d think that this would be the first thing they company would do.
See Also: ROGER AILES TO BE INDICTED???
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