Ed Henry is fired from Fox News
Prominent Fox News channel daily anchor Ed Henry was summarily fired yesterday as the #MeToo movement has apparently claimed its latest mark. The announcement came in an internal email to Fox News staff early Wednesday morning, followed by an email to journalists including this author that featured a screen shot of the internal email announcing Henry's "termination." The cause for Henry's dismissal was alleged confirmation after a brief "independent investigation" of "a complaint about Ed Henry from a former employee's attorney involving willful sexual misconduct in the workplace years ago."
Screen shot of Fox News's July 1, 2020 internal email to staff signed by FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and FOX News Media president and executive editor Jay Wallace.
No further details of Henry's alleged "sexual misconduct" have been provided, nor has any new information been published by the media. Henry's first response was in a terse tweet at 7:51 P.M. Wednesday that quoted his attorney, Catherine Foti: "Ed Henry denies the allegations referenced in the Fox announcement and is confident that he will be vindicated after a full hearing in an appropriate forum." According to the Associated Press, "[t]he alleged victim [who made the allegations] is represented by noted sexual harassment attorney Douglas Wigdor. He also would not provide any details of the case."
Henry, 48, has worked for Fox News since 2011. Previously, he reported for CNN for seven years, and prior to that, he wrote for The Hill. At Fox News, Henry started as the White House correspondent and later served as a frequent studio anchor. Last December 19, it was announced that he would be promoted to co-hosting his own daily show, America's Newsroom, with Sandra Smith M–F 9 A.M.–12 noon E.T., starting on January 20, 2020. In the news release announcing Henry's new job, FNC's Jay Wallace said, "Ed is one of the best all-around journalists in the field and his ability to transition from breaking news to anchor has made him a valuable addition to the team."
In June 2010, in a lavish wedding in Las Vegas, Henry married Shirley Hung. Reportedly, they are still married. At the time, Henry was CNN's senior White House correspondent and Hung was a CNN senior producer. In 2014, Hung joined NPR, where she is now chief Washington editor. On May 4, 2016, In Touch magazine published a "world exclusive" titled "Married 'Fox News' White House Correspondent Ed Henry's Affair Exposed."
In a world exclusive, In Touch ... reveals the bombshell news that Fox News Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry, who has been married to NPR's deputy Washington editor Shirley Hung since 2010, had a 10-month affair with Las Vegas hostess Natalia Lima.
In Touch's investigation goes in-depth inside Ed's secret double life, including images of the steamy text message exchanges with Natalia, photos of their secret rendezvous and all the details inside their secret affair.
In response to the wide coverage of In Touch magazine's story, Fox News issued a statement: "We recently became aware of Ed's personal issues and he's taking some time off to work things out." Henry was off the air for four months until August 2016, when — having been removed from the high-profile White House beat — he was given a new role as a general assignment reporter, as CNN noted, "under the title chief national correspondent, a less prestigious role at the network." While Henry was on hiatus, FNC co-founder and chairman Roger Ailes, who reportedly gave Henry a reprieve for his alleged transgressions, resigned after allegations that he had sexually harassed female FNC employees, charges that Ailes vigorously denied until his death in May 2017. During that period (2016–17), Fox News was a focal point for the budding #MeToo movement. In 2017, prominent Fox News hosts Bill O'Reilly and Eric Bolling left the channel after published allegations (in the case of Bolling, unsourced allegations) of sexual improprieties, which both men denied.
Ed Henry (left) tearfully announces on Fox & Friends Weekend (July 7, 2019) that he will be taking several months off to donate part of his liver to his sister Colleen. Screen shot from Fox News broadcast.
Last year, Ed Henry took several months off from hosting duties at Fox News to undergo elective surgery to donate part of his liver to his ailing sister, Colleen. His book about the successful transplant, Saving Colleen: A Memoir of the Unbreakable Bond Between a Brother and Sister, was scheduled for publication on September 15, 2020. It was reported later on Wednesday, however, that the publisher, Harper Collins, has now canceled the book.
Less than an hour into the program Wednesday morning that Henry previously co-hosted, at 9:54 A.M. E.T., Sandra Smith, who will remain as co-anchor until a permanent replacement for Henry is selected, read a brief statement on camera (video clip here).
A moment now for some news about the co-anchor of this program, Ed Henry. After a recent claim and investigation involving sexual misconduct in the workplace, Ed has been terminated from Fox News. In an internal memo to employees, FOX News Media CEO, Suzanne Scott, and President and Executive Editor, Jay Wallace, addressed this very serious issue in an effort to bring full transparency to it and emphasized that we will continue to strive to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace for all employees. Rotating anchors will be sitting in with me until a replacement is named.
Sandra Smith announces Ed Henry's firing, Fox News channel, July 1, 2020.
As might be expected, Henry's abrupt and unexpected termination yesterday was widely and immediately covered by both the MSM and alternative media. The overwhelming response of Fox News channel viewers, typified by the comments at Variety's story, entailed defenses of Henry and criticisms of Fox News's hypocrisy in the hiring of Democrat operative Donna Brazile and the ongoing prominent role on the channel of left wing analyst Juan Williams. In 2017, before she was hired by Fox News, Brazile admitted that in 2016 when she was working for CNN she provided debate questions to Hillary Clinton's campaign prior to televised, supposedly spontaneous candidate debates. Meanwhile, serious allegations against Williams of sexual harassment when he was working for the Washington Post in the 1990s resulted in a slap on the wrist for the commentator and subsequent non-stop career advancement including at NPR and to this day at Fox News.
The last time this author wrote about Ed Henry was on October 1, 2019 after a 13-minute segment that featured Henry, who was co-hosting Fox & Friends Weekend, testily jousting with Fox News weekend program host Mark Levin went viral. The segment made headlines – including grabbing the attention of President Trump, who offered criticisms of Henry in a dozen tweets.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. He also appears in the media, including recently as a guest analyst on BBC World News. Peter's website is http://peter.media. For updates on his work, follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.