Gawker is reporting that Roger Ailes was caught spying on staffers who worked for his upstate New York newspaper, the Putnam County News and Recorder. Ailes owns the paper, and according to Gawker, he was having security personnel from News Corporation trail an editor – Joe Lindsley – and several reporters who worked there, trying to catch them “saying mean things about him.”
If that’s true, it’s weird. If this is true, it’s even weirder:
Before he [Lindsley] resigned, several sources say, the Aileses dealt with him with what one former staffer describes as ‘an inappropriate level of intimacy.’ While no one suggested any romantic entanglements, several sources familiar with the relationship say Lindsley was alternately—and confusingly—treated like a member of the Ailes’ family and a member of their household staff. He was so close to Elizabeth that he regularly attended church with her on Sundays in Roger’s absence. Indeed, in what associates describe as an exceedingly awkward moment for Lindsley, Elizabeth once joked to him that she was grooming him to replace her husband: ‘When Roger dies, you’re going to have some special responsibilities around here.’
The allegations are definitely startling, and we’ll see where these rumors go, but we should also note that Elizabeth Ailes sent a statement to Gawker denying the reports. She explained that the News and Recorder supported Lindsley even though he displayed an ongoing “lack of performance.”
And no, we’re not going to make a joke about that.