Eric Bolling, Jr., Son of Fired Fox News Host, Found Dead in Colorado
On the same day that Fox News announced that it had “agreed to part ways amicably” with suspended conservative host Eric Bolling, Bolling’s son Eric, Jr. was found dead in Boulder, Colorado. The younger Bolling, known by his middle name Chase, was a 19-year old sophomore at the University of Colorado in Boulder majoring in economics. He was the only child of Eric Bolling and his wife of 20 years, Adrienne Bolling.
Eric Bolling and his son Chase (Facebook)
The elder Eric Bolling had a background as an award-winning commodities trader and financial consultant before embarking on a career in the media. He was a contributor and program host on the Fox Business Network and the Fox News Channel since 2007. On August 5, Bolling was suspended by Fox News pending the results of an internal investigation inspired by charges made in a HuffPost article published on August 4. The 900-word article, citing only anonymous sources and with no quotes, alleged that Bolling had “sexted” one or more photos of male genitalia to three female colleagues several years earlier. The article claimed that 14 anonymous sources at Fox had confirmed the allegations to the article’s author, freelance writer Yashar Ali.
The timing of Chase Bolling’s passing, on the same day that his father was widely and publicly humiliated by being ousted from his prominent role at Fox News, all the while maintaining that the charges against him were false, intensified the media’s interest in Bolling father and son and immediately led to speculation and anonymously sourced reports about the cause of Chase Bolling’s death.
Coming on the heels of hundreds, if not thousands, of articles reporting on the elder Bolling’s job loss on September 8, the new round of reportage less than 24 hours later featured headlines that included words like “suicide” and “Eric Bolling Son Dies from OD.” In two tweets an hour apart on Saturday afternoon, however, Eric Bolling wrote that “Adrienne and I are devastated by the loss of our beloved son Eric Chase last night. Details still unclear,” and “Authorities have informed us there is no sign of self harm at this point. Autopsy will be next week.”
It remains to be seen if a spate of early media reports suggesting that Chase Bolling was “emotionally upset” and “extremely embarrassed” about the controversy that had interrupted his father’s successful television career will hold up.
As this horrendous news is allowed to sink in and touch the heart of anyone with an ounce of compassion, it is unfortunately necessary to report some additional sad and disturbing context. First and foremost, the Bolling family appears to be very close knit. Eric Sr. obviously took great pride in his son Chase. It was just one year ago, as I recall, that Eric returned from a trip to Colorado to his co-hosting job at FNC’s program The Five and proudly shared with his co-hosts and the viewing audience home videos that showed him helping to get Chase settled into his college dorm room. It is heartbreaking to recall those happy images now.
A strange anomaly in this story is that Yashar Ali, the HuffPost freelancer who wrote the August 4 article alleging that Eric Bolling was guilty of inappropriate behavior years earlier, claims to have been the first one to break the news of Chase Bolling’s death. For example, in a HuffPost article on September 9 time stamped 2:31 P.M. E.T., Hayley Miller writes “Yashar Ali, the HuffPost freelancer behind the [August 4] story, first reported news of the younger Bolling’s death on Saturday.” An article in Fortune noted:
The death was first publicly reported by Yashar Ali, the reporter who investigated Eric Bolling’s alleged misconduct for The Huffington Post. Fox News host Sean Hannity appeared to confirm the death on Twitter soon after.
In fact, a tweet by Yashar Ali time stamped 10:05 A.M. [presumably P.T.] on Saturday, notes:
As far as I can tell, I am the only reporter who has taken note, as I did here on August 7, of some interesting and overlooked, and possibly relevant, aspects of Ali’s background before he became an investigative journalist.
The scribe responsible for the damaging article on Bolling uses the byline Yashar Ali. According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2016, his full name is Yashar Ali Hedayat. After a short career doing work behind the camera in Hollywood, Ali Hedayat – reportedly from a wealthy background in Illinois, according to the Plain Dealer – started working as a Democrat political operative. According to several mainstream sources, he reportedly raised between $100,000 and $150,000 for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign. As an individual in recent years, the Federal Election Commission reports “Yashar Hedayat” contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Democrat political campaigns. In 2009, he was appointed to a $131,100 a year job with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, but after three months he left that position for a job with Newsom’s successful campaign for California Lieutenant Governor. Later, Ali Hedayet moved to the East Coast and began writing articles under the name Yashar Ali for various left of center publications.
In recent days, Ali has been tweeting and retweeting scores of times a day and he expressed condolences about the death of Chase Bolling after he reported it on September 9. On September 8, however, after the news of Bolling’s ouster from Fox News broke, Ali appeared to be celebrating the development and his role in it. He retweeted a tweet by HuffPost editor Lydia Polgreen that linked back to Ali’s article reporting that Bolling was “out at Fox News.” The original tweet by Polgreen, with a photo of Bolling, featured the caption “Bolling in the Gutter.”
Yashar Ali retweet of Lydia Polgreen’s tweet Sept. 8, 2017
And so it goes.
Eric Bolling’s friend Sean Hannity, currently a Fox News prime time host, tweeted his condolences on Saturday:
Hannity, like Eric Bolling, has been a high profile target of leftist groups dedicated to removing conservatives from the media. In fact, an organized effort is currently underway to encourage people to boycott sponsors of Hannity’s Fox News program in hopes that he can be brought down. This effort has not yet succeeded.
But Eric Bolling, a clear, consistent, compelling, and very popular conservative voice – and a friend and defender of President Donald J. Trump – has been taken down.
Last May, in the wake of the successful efforts to get Bill O’Reilly, Fox News’s most popular program host, boycotted and fired, and the subsequent campaign to do the same thing to him, Hannity commented during his opening monologue on May 30. He began with a reference to the boycott effort:
It’s also now gone to a whole other level that is very dangerous. Now my character is being assassinated. I’m being lied about, smeared and slandered. And the worst part is there are many on the left that are now working hard to get me fired, get me off the air. So this voice of ours on the show – I don’t force you to watch. I ask you to watch. I want you to watch – could no longer be heard.
There is now a well-funded, well-orchestrated campaign against me in this particular case to silence me by attacking my advertisers. Now, this is all put together by in part a Clinton-founded, in part, Soros-funded, in part, group. Now, I want to tell you something. This is not hyperbole. What has been happening to me in the last week is a kill shot. [emphasis added.] They want this show canceled. They want me off the air. It’s also an attempt to silence the FOX News Channel and talk radio.
“Kill shot.” That’s a term that Hannity used on more than one occasion, and it immediately stood out to me. Just over three months later now, I wonder if what Hannity was talking about has indeed now gone “to a whole other level.”