Megyn Kelly called Fox make-up artist a 'b***h'by Richard Bailey 14/03/2018 16:02:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Staffers at Megyn Kelly's show complain about continued bullying, verbal abuse and 'Mean Girls' culture being perpetuated on the set
- 'Megyn is the champion of the MeToo movement and giving a voice to people who don't have a voice - but she hasn't done it for us,' one NBC colleague told DailyMail.com
- In January, DailyMail.com revealed that staff writer, Kevin Bleyer, was fired after filing an HR complaint and contacting the president of NBC News
- Bleyer said that staff, including young female assistants were 'abused and harassed' by executives who 'scapegoat' and launch f-word tirades
- Subsequently around a dozen people have gone to HR with individual complaints but 'nothing has been done,' according to sources
- I don't know if [Megyn's] aware of the number but she is aware that people are unhappy,' the source said
- 'She stays in her office and doesn't engage in building staff morale. She's pretty separated from everyone'
- 'The Today Show anchors and staff can't stand Megyn. That's why she wasn't picked to cover the Royal Wedding or the Winter Olympics,' one staffer claimed
By Louise Boyle For Dailymail.com
Published: 14:08 EDT, 14 March 2018 | Updated: 16:02 EDT, 14 March 2018
Megyn Kelly is facing a groundswell of grievances not only from staffers at her NBC morning show but from her former colleagues at Fox News as well.
Kelly once called a Fox make-up artist a 'f**king b***h,' was insensitive to another makeup artist who had a miscarriage and kept a female Kelly File guest clueless while flirting with the men also appearing on air, sources have revealed to DailyMail.com.
'She is not a woman's woman,' the guest told DailyMail.com. 'She wanted me to be on the back foot and she succeeded. It felt very deliberate as opposed to an oversight.'
Staffer Alexis McKinney was verbally abused by Kelly when she was co-anchor on Fox News morning show, America's Newsroom.
'It was a very busy morning and Megyn was getting bounced all over the place because she didn't have an appointment to get her make-up done,' one insider told DailyMail.com.
'By the time she got to the third make-up artist, Alexis, she was upset. Alexis was working on Fox & Friends guests and they all had to be finished before 9am so it was impossible for her to take Megyn.
'When Alexis told her she didn't have time to do her make-up, Megyn turned around and called her a 'f**king bitch.'
With morale at Megyn Kelly Today at its lowest ebb, staffers are coming forward with individual complaints but 'nothing has been done,' according to sources. 'I don't know if [Megyn's] aware of the number but she is aware that people are unhappy,' one source said. 'She stays in her office and doesn't engage in building staff morale. She's pretty separated from everyone'
In January, DailyMail.com revealed that staff writer, Kevin Bleyer, was fired after filing an HR complaint and contacting the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim, here with Megyn at the TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2017
Kelly's shocking outburst and similar grievances about her insensitivity and direspect in the workplace came to light after a number of employees at both Fox and Kelly's current home, NBC, came to DailyMail.com.
McKinney, it is claimed, received a pay-out from Fox of around $25,000. She left the network but later wanted to return but was not allowed back to work at Fox, according to several sources.
Another Fox source confirmed to DailyMail.com that a 'deeply upset' McKinney had relayed the incident to her.
'She was a really lovely girl, a beautiful soul, everybody liked her. But the incident with Megyn, that was the last straw for her and she went to HR.'
McKinney went on to work at NBC and Al Jazeera America.
Tragically, the make-up artist died in a car accident on Christmas Eve 2014, leaving her husband and two daughters. At the time, Today show star Al Roker expressed his sympathies on Twitter.
The Fox source told DailyMail.com that 'every Green Room was buzzing with what Megyn had said. But many people knew about it even though they had tried to keep it low-key'.
Another staffer said: 'Megyn has a problem with people who stand up to her and she doesn't like strong women. Alexis was a strong woman and stood her ground and paid the price.'
Fox sources also described an incident in which Megyn, now 47, pregnant at the time, was insensitive to the feelings of a woman who had recently miscarried.
NBC News declined comment about the incidenta, but a management source at Megyn Kelly Today told DailyMail.com: 'This is yet another fabrication peddled by Fox News, which is known for its retaliatory attacks and still harbors a vendetta against Megyn.'
Co-executive producers Jackie Levin (left) and Christine Cataldi (right) are the focus of many of the complaints. 'There's an overarching mean-spiritedness that comes from the top. There is a lot of shaming, people being called out and blamed for things they didn't do,' one staffer tels DailyMail.com
A guest on The Kelly File also recalled her negative experience with the anchor to DailyMail.com.
The source said: 'I was in a remote studio, having had hair and make-up done and mic-d up for sound. There was plenty of time before we went on-air.
'The producer spoke to me and said that Megyn would have a chat before we started filming.
'I could hear her chatting to the other contributors, all of whom were male. She was chatting in a very, relaxed fashion which I would characterize as flirtatious. She was talking the other guests through their questions and giving a run-down of the show.
'I was waiting to have the same treatment and it became very apparent that she was ignoring me. Before I knew it, we were on-air and she was asking questions.
'The next thing, the producer thanked me and let me know I had finished. I responded that I was bit flustered by having no interaction with Megyn.
'He was very apologetic and said, 'I don't know what happened there.'
The source added: 'I distinctly remember thinking at the time, I know what happened – I believe she set me up to be not as prepared because she didn't want the chance of a younger female performing as well as her. She wanted me to be on the back foot and she succeeded. It felt very deliberate as opposed to an oversight. She is not a woman's woman.'
Kelly's behavior at Fox News was disclosed to DailyMail.com as claims about the poisonous atmosphere at Kelly's NBC morning show mount.
Sources told DailyMail.com that around a dozen staffers have gone to NBC management over the continued bullying, verbal abuse and 'Mean Girls' culture being perpetuated by the show runners – but no action has been taken, sources revealed to DailyMail.com.
One source described the atmosphere behind the scenes of Kelly's morning show as 'bullying, belittling and intimidation'.
Complaints have beenlevelled at the morning show's executive producers, Jackie Levin and Christine Cataldi.
'The Today Show anchors and staff can't stand Megyn. That's why she wasn't picked to cover the Royal Wedding or the Winter Olympics,' one staffer claimed
Another source told DailyMail.com: 'There's an overarching mean-spiritedness that comes from the top. There is a lot of shaming, people being called out and blamed for things they didn't do.
'There are a lot of last-minute meetings, last-minute changes to the show and a lot of pressure on bookers.
A source said: 'There's a lot of Mean Girl gossiping about people, calling young assistants 'idiots', eye-rolling, sighing and demonizing of people at all levels.
'Disparaging remarks are leveled at anyone who is out of favor, it's very open. They are definitely bullying and glomming on to one another at the top.
'This is not splitting hairs, this is on a different level. I don't know what it's motivated by but I think above all, it's unnecessary.'
A second source, who also works at the show, said that Megyn Kelly - who has been a champion of the MeToo movement and called on women to stand up to harassment in the workplace - was aware of the complaints but 'has put her support behind the current management'.
The person told DailyMail.com: '[Megyn] is aware because I know that some people have told her what is going on. The question is – what is she going to do?
Al Roker mourned the death of make up artist Alexis, who told friends she was deeply upset when Megyn called her a 'b***h, sources tell DailyMail.com. 'She was a really lovely girl, a beautiful soul, everybody liked her. But the incident with Megyn, that was the last straw for her and she went to HR'
Staffer Alexis McKinney, who passed away in an automobile accident in 2014, was verbally abused by Kelly when she was co-anchor on Fox News morning show, America's Newsroom
'She is the champion of the MeToo movement and giving a voice to people who don't have a voice - but she hasn't done it for us.'
In January, DailyMail.com revealed that staff writer, Kevin Bleyer, was fired after filing an HR complaint and contacting the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim.
In the complaint, obtained by DailyMail.com, Bleyer said that staff, including young female assistants were 'abused and harassed' by executives who 'scapegoat' and launch f-word tirades.
Following the release of a dossier of complaints, NBC responded with a blistering attack on Bleyer's reputation among colleagues and ability to do his job. One NBC source even claimed Bleyer was sexist, saying: 'Sadly, these kinds of distorted complaints are all too often alleged against women in management.'
A NBC News spokesperson said: 'Jackie and Christine are being attacked unfairly. They are both excellent and experienced producers, and have the full support of everyone here.
They, and the team, are fully focused on continuing the show's momentum as it continues to climb in the ratings.'
DailyMail.com has learned from multiple sources that those statements infuriated staffers whose feelings were at odds to how they were portrayed publicly by NBC.
One told DailyMail.com: 'That line that NBC representative gave about 'staff being in complete support of the executive producers' – that is just a lie.'
Another source said: 'Staff were outraged at Kevin's firing because he was such a talented and integral part of the show. NBC claiming that he wasn't a 'good fit' is absolutely ridiculous.
Kevin Bleyer (left) was head writer at Megyn Kelly Today. He sent a bombshell email to colleagues claiming that his departure was caused after repeated complaints to NBC News president Noah Oppenheim (right) and to NBC's corporate HR department about the conduct of the show's two co-executive producers, Jackie Levin and Christine Cataldi
'It was clear retaliation because he had spoken up, taken it above Erin Hogan [Today Show HR] and gone to Noah.'
Another added: 'In NBC's statement there was the implication that this was about a man speaking out against two women. It seemed to be capitalizing on the MeToo movement in a really unfortunate way.
'So many of us at the show believe in the MeToo movement and many aspects of it.
'NBC's statement seemed to undercut a movement which, at the end of the day, is really about respect. It's mostly about women speaking out but ultimately, it's about being able to stand up when that respect isn't there and ask that respect be offered.
'The unfortunate thing with the Kevin incident is that it seemed to position him as somebody speaking up as a male versus two females and because of this moment in history that the two females are automatically in the right. The baby was thrown out with the bathwater.'
Bleyer was not alone in his complaints as subsequently around a dozen people have gone to HR with individual complaints about Levin and Cataldi but 'nothing has been done', according to sources.
Another insider added: 'The only reason that the meeting with Noah [Oppenheim] happened was because enough people were baffled by NBC issuing a statement which said, 'we all supported current management'.
'That was very hurtful to those who had expressed concerns about what was going on, the level of bullying, the shaming and blaming.
'The abuse is not just happening to junior employees – it has been reported by people of both genders, at a variety of career levels and in different working areas of the show.'
The source added: 'We don't know why NBC pushed back against these complaints. They listen, take notes and nothing is done. This has been going on since October – since before Matt Lauer's firing.
'There has been no investigation whatsoever. And there could be more complaints but the junior staff are not going to HR because they are afraid.
According to a management source at NBC: 'Both the show's leadership and NBC News have always taken any legitimate issue very seriously and everyone is working together to address any concerns. The rest is baseless gossip.'
The management source continues: 'Megyn has met with staffers individually and has held group meetings. Their happiness is very important to her.
'There have been multiple meetings and forums where staffers have been encouraged to raise any concerns.'
Says a staffer: 'In the post-Matt Lauer days, there has been an earthquake throughout the building over fear of lawsuits against NBC about Lauer. We've all had to attend these meetings but this is going on right under management's noses and its being ignored.
'When Megyn came back in the news room after the 'Hanoi Jane' remarks, she was giddy and trying to high-five people,' a source tells DailyMail.com. 'Everyone just had their jaw on the ground and didn't know what to say to her. And from there, she has clammed up, stayed in her office and said nothing.'
As an example of the bungles behind the scenes, one source spoke of Megyn Kelly's widely-criticized, live on-air rebuke of Jane Fonda, where she tore into 80-year-old actress for refusing to answer questions about plastic surgery.
Kelly brought up Fonda's Vietnam War-era sobriquet, 'Hanoi Jane' over her anti-war activism and statements where Fonda had called POWs 'hypocrites and liars'.
Kelly's rant was met by a stunned silence in the newsroom as it appeared no one, beyond the two executive producers, were aware it was coming, sources revealed.
One staffer said: 'There was a stunned silence throughout the news room, like 'what the hell is happening?' It is not a coincidence that it happened immediately after Kevin was fired – because all the copy went through Kevin. He would have raised a red flag.
'Any good executive producers would have stopped her from making that horrendous error but they didn't.'
To make matters worse, Kelly apparently was unaware of the negative impact.
The first source said: 'When Megyn came back in the news room after the 'Hanoi Jane' remarks, she was giddy and trying to high-five people. Everyone just had their jaw on the ground and didn't know what to say to her. And from there, she has clammed up, stayed in her office and said nothing.'
The comments backfired on the show's ability to book major talent, according to sources, and led to further grief for staff, in particular the show bookers.
'At least three A-list celebrity guests rescheduled,' an insider confirmed. 'There were guests that changed to the 7am hour of Today or didn't want to be on at all.
'People just don't want to be on a show where there is so much negative energy or risk being misrepresented or attacked later when the guest Is not even around to defend themselves.'
According to a management source at the show, no one has rescheduled. A sampling of some guests that she's had on since include Hailee Steinfeld, Milo Ventimiglia, David Schwimmer, Patricia Clarkson, Jimmy Buffett and Judd Apatow.
The other Today show anchors and staffers have been making appearances on the Megyn Kelly set to boost morale.
One source said: 'The atmosphere and problems on Megyn Kelly Today are known around the building. The other Today anchors have stopped by to see how we're doing, to offer encouragement to us. Megyn herself and the two producers are just reviled because they are ruining the Today show brand.
'The Today anchors and staff can't stand Megyn. That's why she wasn't picked to cover the Royal Wedding or the Winter Olympics.'
Kelly is aware there are problems but perhaps is unaware of the number of HR complaints.
'I don't if she's aware of the number but she is aware that people are unhappy,' the source said. 'She stays in her office and doesn't engage in building staff morale. She's pretty separated from everyone.
'Occasionally when she comes out to a meeting, the executive producers click into 'best behavior' mode. They start smiling and instead of screaming, they are nice to people.'
The apparent lack of discipline and order on the show also has greater consequences, the staff sources believe.
One said: 'There are changes made to scripts that are factually inaccurate or sensational after the lawyers or standards team have indicated that scripts have to run a certain way.
'The script has been changed by those in charge and then producers are put in a very bad position.'
A number of employees, many of whom who have spent careers at NBC and deeply value the Today show brand, are incensed that the network is being put at risk.
However the people who are 'keeping the wheels on are getting cut or being retaliated against when they speak up about flaws in the show,' one said.
Another said: 'Many of us have been astonished at what's been going on. We are talking about this out of a desire to make things better.'
More widely, the sources said that there were rumblings of concern throughout the news division, beyond Megyn Kelly's show, on why there has been no independent investigation into Matt Lauer. Sources also said they were disturbed by how NBC handled Bleyer's complaint.
sources said that there were rumblings of concern throughout the news division, beyond Megyn Kelly's show, on why there has been no independent investigation into Matt Lauer
'With respect to Kevin, not only was there not an independent investigation but there wasn't even an internal one. After 'Kevin's Memo' went out, it seemed to be an opportunity to have a discussion or HR reps sit down with employees and ask what was going on.
'None of that happened – instead we were sat down at a table with Jackie, Christine and Megyn. Immediately, the message was that Jackie and Christine were being unfairly singled out and attacked. They kept saying how hard it was to launch a show, indicating that it was hard to do news which was incredibly frustrating to those in the room who had worked in the industry for many years.
'The implication was that Jackie and Christine were the victims and staff needed to drink the Kool-Aid. It was a very uncomfortable meeting.'
The sources revealed that before Bleyer was fired, a veteran producer of daytime TV, who had previously worked with an iconic A-list star, was also fired from the Megyn Kelly show for being 'too good'.
The source added: 'It's clear retaliation. Anyone who knows how to do their job gets pushback and they are treated like a dog. I've never seen anything like it.
'It's heart-breaking because suddenly the network that we know is a culture where HR and upper management combine forces to protect the abusers.
'Post-Matt [Lauer], that should not happen.'
ABUSING ASSISTANTS AND F-WORD ABUSE OF STAFF: READ THE FULL BOMBSHELL CLAIMS OF BULLYING AT MEGYN KELLY TODAY
Thanks to you all for being part of this adventure. And to those who have reached out to me in the past 24 hours, please forgive this general email response.
Typically, I was not afforded the opportunity to say farewell to any of you - so please know I didn't shrug you off and certainly didn't mean to be disrespectful to our friendship by my hasty departure.
Nor did I slink away. Nor am I licking my wounds. Nor do regret speaking up and speaking out. I slept easy last night knowing I wasn't the bad guy in this story.
And to you, people I respect, in the interest of full disclosure of the plain facts - though in confidence - I have attached the last email I sent to human resources, just prior to being fired by Jackie Levin yesterday morning. I sent the same email to Noah Oppenheim shortly thereafter. It is the most recent in a series of communications with Erin Hogan and Noah over the past months in which I indicated that, for good reason, Jackie Levin had lost the faith, support and goodwill of many on the staff, including myself. The reason, in sum: her incompetence and persistent abusive treatment.
Why? I wanted you to know you're not alone. I was fighting the good fight up until the moment they took my badge away, and will continue to do so. Bullying and abusive behavior like hers should not go unchecked or unchallenged anywhere. I hope you'll carry that torch within 30 Rock.
I am a firm believer that it is never too late to do the right thing. Perhaps NBC will.
Do let me know how things progress.
First, a belated happy New Year to you.
I want to thank you again for your attention and patience over the last few months -- I respect and appreciate how much is on your plate. Considering the news at NBC recently, I recognize that emergent priorities are emergent priorities, and hopefully 2018 can be a somewhat less chaotic adventure.
Frankly, considering how much was in your inbox, I don't even expect that you'll have the opportunity to attend to this email, but I had promised to follow up after our meeting in November.
As for what has transpired at Megyn Kelly Today since November, please bear with the next paragraph.
I'm sad to say, speaking candidly and confidentially, the executive incompetence continues -- as does the dysfunctional management, abusive treatment, maddening hypocrisy, staggering inefficiencies, acidic and deficient communication, and relentless scapegoating.
Jackie Levin persists in creating a toxic and demeaning environment, and Christine Cataldi enables and reinforces it. Amendments to their behavior since we last spoke have been marginal, patently cosmetic, and superficially employed clearly in order to tell themselves - and perhaps you - they are doing what have been told to do to 'make nice.' The antagonism remains.
Just last week, when I provided a constructive suggestion (to correct a mistake Jackie had made, but didn't want to admit), she called me a 'fucking whiner.'
To state the obvious, I am not a whiner. And if I am a whiner, so are dozens of the people who work for Jackie.
It's clear they present themselves - and likely to you directly - as having to suffer fools. Not so; that interpretation is wholly upside down. Jackie is not pulling the sword from the stone, as she no doubt presents herself to you; this show makes air despite her management, not because of it.
At the staff level, a number of talented people have stepped up; at the executive level, this is amateur hour -- where befuddlement turns into abuse.
It is a special absurdity — and what some find a hard-to-swallow injustice — that as a team we've been lauded for covering harassment stories daily on air, while the staff producing those stories feels so embattled and bullied themselves.
As a result, veteran staffers are looking for the exits. You should know that previously, some producers had made a mutual agreement that they'd stick it out through the holidays, but that if something profound didn't change by then or soon after -- namely, if alterations weren't made to the management -- they intended to leave. (I can't say if that agreement is still in effect or not.)
Others have told me they'd ask to be reassigned elsewhere within NBC. I should add that many of those who have confided in me have made it plain: sensitivity training will not suffice. Their feeling is you can't change these tigers' stripes.
More practically, this show lacks the required leadership (or the goodwill from the support staff toward management) to graduate from amateurish functionality.
Abusive behavior aside, Jackie's inability to prioritize or follow a sensible workflow makes the day inefficient and chaotic. With her holding the reins, we are hamstrung to mediocrity.
Are we making air? Yes. But the process of creating this show will not get significantly better with her leading the way, not least because others no longer feel motivated to follow.
Yet the sense here is that there are no plans for significant change, which frustrates many.
True, I too am puzzled by what seems to be an inexplicable commitment to keeping the executive management intact. And yet — while I can't understand it, I allow for the possibility that there are many other factions that go into that decision. But many others on the staff have simply had enough.
One further and vital thought: I know Jackie and Christine previously intended (and perhaps still do intend) to replace staffers who offer any kind of pushback or speak up for themselves. I have personally overheard these conversations myself. If that happens -- if there is any retaliation at all -- I anticipate there may be further action through official legal avenues.
This ain't about me, but for my part, a number of my NBC colleagues have asked me not to resign. To be clear: I don't intend to. I am part of the solution, not the problem, and I keep the faith that this can become a place where incompetence isn't sanctioned, and where we all feel respected and appreciated.
Anyhow, I promised an accounting of specifics since November, and they are listed below. Again, I know how busy you are, and this could read as more of the same; nevertheless, they illustrate continued incompetence and persistent disrespectful treatment since our conversation.
(They are listed chronologically, although they vary quite a bit in degree; some may even seem trivial, but some are most definitely not. I assure you they compound and other staffers would say the same.)
On Monday 11/13, further evidence that Jackie doesn't know -- and doesn't intend to learn -- a rudimentary and necessary element of television production: how to use iNEWS, and how to read a rundown. And when confronted with this fact, she lashes out.
Me: 'Where would you like that tease -- in the F block or the G block?' Jackie, angrily: 'I don't know -- whichever is the end of the show!'
To explain, the rundown is simply alphabetized, A to G.
On Monday 11/13, fifteen seconds after the show had started, Jackie realized that fact and said loudly to the control room, 'Oh s***, the show is starting!'...to repeat, this occurred fifteen seconds after the show had already started.
(As a reminder from previous emails -- Jackie is often attending to other irrelevant things in the minutes before showtime, such as getting on the phone to arrange for her son's medical prescriptions. As you may recall, it was this kind of distraction that caused both Jackie and Christine to fail to address concerns from Legal regarding the script, and opening NBC to liability.)
On Monday 11/13, Jackie sent an aggressively accusatory email declaring that 'there are too many emails' and that she can't expect anyone to keep up with them. This is jawdropping since, as I've reported to you, she is the one insisting on all the emails, because -- again -- she stubbornly refuses to learn iNEWS.
(By my count, her refusal to learn iNEWS has already resulted in easily more than 100 hours of lost productivity for me alone...and counting. I spend an hour every day cutting and pasting. If that 100 hours had been spent on something important, so much more could have been accomplished.)
On Tuesday 11/14, Jackie rewrote a script, leaving it in evidently poorer shape and ham-fisted English. When Megyn disliked her new script, Jackie implied I had written it. I most definitely had not.
On Tuesday 11/14, at 8:55am, minutes before airtime, Jackie panicked and interrupted everyone as they were preparing for the show: 'Hey guys, I totally forgot! We need to kill Facebook Live!'
Facebook Live happens *after* the show -- it was not even close to a crunchtime priority. Then she announced: 'I never get mosquito bites and now I have them!' This, as staffers were trying to confirm last-minute adjustments.
On Tuesday 11/14, we had on the show the district attorney representing the Penn State hazing victim. After the show, Jackie said of the district attorney (who had recently lost reelection): 'Thanks, goodbye, You got fired. We're never having you on the show again. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.'
I can't put this in context, because I don't know the context. I can't conceive of the context. Perhaps she was trying to be funny?
On Tuesday 11/14, she said: 'Jeez, this is a long commercial break. Are they always this long?'
On Tuesday 11/14, Christine announced in the A-block production meeting that former Press Secretary Sean Spicer had weighed in on sexual harassment scandal -- a development that flabbergasted everyone. People started to research, and found nothing. The person who had actually weighed in (and whom we had already been discussing in the meeting) was Rep. Jackie Speier. Speier, not Spicer.
On Wednesday 11/15, 30 minutes before airtime, as producer Megan Wheeler was crashing to get a segment completed and an edit finished (in other words, at a time when time is of the essence) Jackie apparently believed the right thing to do was call Megan and ask, well, nothing. Just nothing. She just made Megan stop what she's doing and answer the phone.
Jackie did the same to me the week previous, when I was trying to write the A-block script on deadline in order to submit it to legal for last-minute approval.
(The conversation: Me: 'Hello?' Jackie: 'Hi, it's Jackie.' (Long beat.) Me: 'Yes?' Jackie: 'Are you writing the A-block script?' Me: 'I am, yes.' (10 seconds go by) Jackie: 'Oh, okay.' She hangs up.) The point is, her choice is to get in the way rather than trust her employees to do their jobs. That is not good management; that is terrible judgment.
On Wednesday 11/15, at 8:40 am, twenty minutes before airtime -- as everyone else is making sure the show is ready to go, Jackie and Christine are poring over pictures online about Christine's bathroom renovation.
On Wednesday 11/15, during the show, Jackie shushed the director while he was calling camera shots. She has done this a number of times.
On Thursday 11/16, Jackie flipped the rundown FIVE times. Five times. Causing everyone to quickly scramble to change course five times.
On Thursday 11/16, when Allie asked Jackie how she would prefer the graphics department handle a particular graphic, Jackie's response: 'I don't care. Let them figure it out.'
On Thursday 11/16, Jackie's immediate (and unwarranted) panic about an element on the show caused confusion in the control room, keeping Allie from alerting Megyn about required on-camera reads — reads that were demanded by legal & standards.
On Thursday 11/16, at the end of a segment entitled 'Downtime vs. No Time,' Jackie got angry that the guest kept saying 'downtime.' When it was clarified to Jackie that 'Downtime' was the name of the segment (and its entire premise), Jackie said, 'Oh! I had no idea!'
On Friday 11/17, after legal insisted that we include an important amendment to the script about Sen. Franken, she didn't want to go into iNews to read the most recent version...she wanted me to read it to her, aloud, in an already chaotic control room.
On Friday 11/17, I had to explain to Jackie what 'allegedly' meant in context. She wanted a sentence to say 'Tweeden has accused Franken of allegedly groping her.' I explained that in this context, per legal, 'allegedly' is not needed -- that the accusation is groping, not 'allegedly groping.' This angered her.
On Friday 11/17, at 9:12am, when it was pointed out that she needed to weigh in on a impending decision, she said sarcastically to the control room, during the live taping: 'Please remind me of my job. I don't know what it is again.' Had the person not brought up the issue in time, she would have been furious.
On Monday 11/20, in the control room twenty minutes before airtime when I was busy rewriting Megyn's script, Jackie yet again made me *read* her the script ALOUD from iNEWS instead of reading it herself in iNEWS...an absurd waste of my time which adding confusion because she couldn't keep straight what part of the script was where. Then, at one minute to air, Jackie said of iNEWS: 'I refuse to use it.' (In other words, her ignorance and incompetence isn't just stubborn, it's willful.)
On Monday 11/20, there was an important executive editorial decision to be made — legal had made a recommended change to a script, but said explicitly it was a judgment call. Jackie didn't want to read the script and just said, 'make the changes.'
When I explained that is was not a simple case of just 'making the changes,' and that Jackie needed to determine what changes needed to be made, she got angry and condescending to me. However, I didn't back down and reasserted that this is her decision.
(It became clear to most people within earshot that the real issue was Jackie truly didn't actually understand the editorial judgment call to be made.)
She lashed out at me, angry that I was not simply doing her bidding — and frankly, that I wasn't doing her job. For a number of days following, she spoke to me with undue impatience and misplaced, offensive condescension.
On Tuesday, 11/21, she asked a question about affiliate promos via email -- sent to multiple people -- 'Do we really have to do this?' No one answered. When I then helpfully queried, 'who are you asking?' She responded, 'anyone who will listen.'
On Tuesday 11/21, at 8:30am, Jackie didn't seem to understand that pressing the spacebar five times is not the same as pressing Tab, causing her to get upset.
On Tuesday 11/21, at 8:31, we received an important email message from Ian McBride: 'We need to say that Ailes has always denied the claims.'
Jackie verbal response: 'Nope, not gonna say it. She's not gonna say it.' And then told Christine to not bother putting it in the script. Only when I responded did Christine reluctantly agree to putting it in the script.
On Tuesday 11/21, at 9:03, Christine misspelled a chyron ('sexual harrassment' [sic]) when we went to air. When caught too late, Christine blamed it on 'information she was sent'. Just one example of scapegoating she would never accept from others. (Minutes later, she was texting pictures of her daughter to someone during the show.)
On Tuesday 11/21, at 12:10pm, we launched into a (post-taped) show using -- no other way to put this -- THE WRONG RUNDOWN.
(And hence, the wrong prompter copy and wrong director cues). Christine didn't notice until after the first segment and not until I alerted her to the fact. Significant changes had been made and Megyn would surely have noticed. (Thank heavens it wasn't a live shot.)
When Christine thought I was wrong, she condescended to me. When she soon realized that *she* was wrong, she made no apology.
On Tuesday 11/21, yet another rundown meeting did not start on time, and when people had to move on to other things, Jackie was upset they were not available when she finally wanted them.
Of the 60 or so rundown meetings we have had, I believe *two* of them have started within five minutes of the scheduled time. They are routinely more than an hour late, and some have started more than *four* hours late -- with no advance warning. (And when they do start, Jackie and Christine are annoyed if people have left their desk for a moment and have to be summoned back.)
On Wednesday 11/22, Christine was dismissive to producer Kate Uebergang when Kate was rightly speaking up for herself, and for a guest. The upshot: Kate was explaining the guest's concern about a cooking segment -- explaining that an 'egg cream pie' is popular among African-Americans in the South -- and Christine shut her down saying 'I don't care. Tell her to do something else.'
On Wednesday 11/22, three minutes to air, Jackie couldn't find something she needed in an email, and said this, 'FUCKING A!' She then got in Megyn's IFB and implied that producer MaryBeth Neil hadn't sent the information (in the email Jackie couldn't find). When Christine weighed in, she referred to MaryBeth as 'whats-her-face, MaryBeth.'
On Sunday 11/26, Jackie announced to everyone on the weekly Sunday conference call, 'Oh s***, I forgot to watch the show on Friday. I hope it went well.' She laughed.
On Sunday 11/26, Jackie and Christine neglected to alert Vivian that her segment had been cancelled. They only told her *after* she had traveled into the office from Long Island.
On Monday 11/27, Jackie revealed that she hadn't read Megyn's text from an hour previous asking that the show order be changed.
On Tuesday 11/28, Jackie was not in the office in the morning, and therefore not in the control room. It must be said the show went more smoothly - and the control room was less chaotic - than any previous morning in the three months this show has been on the air.
On Tuesday 11/28, after Jackie postponed a daily noon meeting to 12:30pm -- and therefore those of us expected to attend the meeting made plans accordingly -- we received an email at 12:18pm saying the meeting was starting 'now' and that we were expected in her office immediately.
I was on a different floor at the time, and therefore arrived 'late' at 12:30pm. The meeting had started without me -- even though I was exactly on time -- and information that was not relayed to me caused confusion later.
On Wednesday 11/29, four minutes to air time, Jackie laughed and said, 'I don't even know what we're doing in the show today.'
On Wednesday 11/29, at two minutes to air, in a panic Jackie asked, 'DID WE SWITCH THE COPY?!' but refused to look in iNEWS to find out.
On Wednesday 11/29 in a A block meeting, Jackie joked again how she refuses to use iNews. Again, that is a huge waste of time and resources — mine and others.
On Thursday 11/30, fifteen minutes before airtime, while Allie was trying to get Christine to screen the produced open, Christine was dictating into her phone -- out loud -- a text to her husband about where to hold people for a party of some sort.
On Friday, 12/1, Jackie 'corrected' my script to everyone on an email chain saying that I had listed the name of a guest's book twice. I had not. She was reading a script in email, where it is listed twice because that is what happens when you have to cut and paste a script from iNEWS.
(She could not decipher that the book was listed as both a GFX and a mention in prompter.) So again, her obstinate refusal to use iNEWS created both a) inefficiencies and frustrations, and b) an opportunity for her to leap to 'correct' me...when it was really her fault.
On Friday, 12/1, literally seconds before airtime, and moments after Christine 'shooshed' the graphics producer, Jackie spoke loudly about the food she was eating. The hypocrisy is staggering.
On Friday, 12/1, THREE TIMES we lost vital seconds because Jackie refused to access the current script in iNEWS.
On Friday, 12/1, while the control room was trying to communicate with one another, Christine was *dictating* a text message into her iPhone -- causing confusion about whether Michael Flynn was pleading 'guilty' or just pleading.
On Friday, 12/1, yet another unacceptable case of scapegoating. Christine hadn't updated the checker, and when Megyn questioned why a tease wasn't accurate (Christine's fault), she blamed me and others. Megyn was left (and is still left) to believe that it was my fault. It was not.
On Tuesday, 12/5, in the hour before air, Jackie asked for help turning on her computer volume *in the control room*. Why? So that she could play loudly the duet her son just released. She turned up the volume and went around the room asking if everyone thought her son would be the next hit singer/songwriter.
On Monday, 12/11, Jackie said aloud, during the show: 'What block are we in? I don't even know.'
On Wednesday, 12/13: Jackie distracted everyone one two minutes before air to tell us that her (father?) has officially weighed in on how many candles we should have on the menorrah. There were far more things to discuss.
On Wednesday, 12/13: Christine took credit from Megyn for a script that I had written. I don't really care -- but it happened.
On Thursday 12/14: Jackie constantly peppered me (at pre-show crunch time when I, everyone else, was very busy) with questions that could easily have been answered if she simply would consult iNEWS like every other producer in this building.
On Thursday 12/14: Jackie insisted that a certain phrase 'it was never in the script that way!' and when I pointed out it most definitely was in the script that way, she insisted again, 'It was never that way.' When I showed her the email proving it had been, she huffed and changed the subject.
On Thursday 12/14, Christine reprimanded (in front of many) veteran producer Matt Greenfield for 'his tone.' *His* tone? HIS TONE?! That is the height of hypocrisy.
On Thursday 12/14: Jackie said, exasperated: 'Is this show over yet?!' She was the only one who wasn't working on hard on finishing the show.
On Friday 12/15: Jackie unilaterally changed -- and made patently worse -- two of my scripts. When Megyn balked at the new copy, Jackie blamed me.
On Friday, 12/15, as the show was starting: Jackie panicked, 'OH, ARE WE STARTING THE SHOW?! OH MY GOD. I HONESTLY DIDN'T KNOW. I GUESS MY HEAD'S ALREADY ON VACATION.'
On Monday 12/18: fifteen minutes before airtime, Jackie turned to her assistant Phoebe (who was helping prep for the show at the time), and this exchange (irrelevant to the show) happened:
Jackie: 'Did you ever get me the name of a store manager at Best Buy?'
Phoebe: 'Um, You never asked me for one.'
Jackie (immediately annoyed and accusatory): 'I know. But I need you to get me one.'
[It is this kind of narcissism -- where she thinks she's already asked for things that are only in her mind, that routinely puts her employees on the defensive.]
On Tuesday 12/19, while producer Alllie and I were communicating vital information in the control room, Jackie 'shushed' us three times so she could listen to something irrelevant. To repeat, we were trying to get the show accomplished; she was not.
On Wednesday 12/20, Jackie revised material she had *already* approved, and when politely notified of this fact, she angrily insisted to she had never approved it (rather than sit with the knowledge that her 'approvals' are arbitrary and her judgment of quality suspect).
On Wednesday, 12/20, when it was announced that we would not be rolling two pre-produced segments for the audience, I said 'might I ask why?' (since it would affect the script). Jackie's response? 'No.'
On Friday, 12/22, minutes before the show, Jackie and Christine were so obsessed with finding Jackie's son Theo in the oaudience and Christine failed to approve an A block script in time.
On Wednesday, 1/3, Jackie didn't know who was supposed to cut B-roll for a tease (she had sent the email to about a dozen people) and got upset when it wasn't done. She had not clarified who she was asking. When I informed her the B-roll therefore wasn't cut, she got upset at ME. (As if it were my responsibility, which it most definitely was not. Again, she doesn't know who does what, and hates when that fact is pointed out.)
On Wednesday, 1/3, Christine hastily 'corrected' a script of mine that Jackie had *already* approved, and she added factual errors to it. Megyn then read the factually incorrect script. Later, when Megyn assumed I had made the error, Jackie and Christine let her believe it. Unacceptable scapegoating.
On Wednesday 1/3, when I offered politely that Megyn wouldn't have to wait for a rewrite if Jackie could review the affiliate promos prior to the show (as per the workflow), Jackie called me a 'f***ing whiner.' It was not said as a joke. It was unwarranted, and unjustified, and abusive. And unacceptable.
This is when I stopped taking notes.
What's more, it should also be known that Christine routinely speaks of her assistant Katrina as 'an idiot.' Katrina is not an idiot.
And that Jackie has insisted that our director, producers and editors to use NBC resources to edit a music video for her son's college a capella group. They didn't feel they could tell her no.