Things are changing over at Fox News, and staffers are not happy. Earlier this week, Fox announced that it had settled the last of its gender and racial discrimination lawsuits for $10 million. Yesterday, they announced that Suzanne Scott, the former president of programming, would be taking Roger Ailes's former seat as CEO of the company -- the first female CEO in their history.

But that's not all.

Apparently, the desire to not be constantly sued for lots and lots of money all the time has pushed the network to institute several new policies meant to keep that from happening. Staffers are being required to attend sexual harassment training, and even told that they cannot discriminate against trans people.

Not only that, but they put in a meditation room, complete with Muslim prayer rugs. In Oliver North's old office.

Now, if you are a normal human person who is not terrified of every and anything, these all seem like pretty normal things. Even good things. It seems kind of neat to have a meditation room at work! And if your company has an issue with sexual harassment, as Fox clearly does, and that issue keeps losing them millions and millions of dollars, it seems like a good idea to talk to the people who work there about not doing that. The cost-benefit analysis here is pretty obvious.

Alas, staffers do not see it that way.

Via Vanity Fair:

People are terrified. They kicked Ollie North out and put in a prayer room. We’ve got a new trans policy. You’re not allowed to be transphobic,” one source said. Other changes that would have been alien in the Ailes era include the creation of a workforce and diversity council. “People’s heads are blowing up,” one insider said.

“It’s not the Wild West anymore; there are now policies and procedures,” a network spokesperson told me.

"You're not allowed to be transphobic."

You know, Fox News, land of the politically incorrect, loves to talk about how very entitled liberals are. But let us take a second and ponder this kind of entitlement for a moment, shall we? Like, aside from the fact that it is weird and shitty to be transphobic in the first place, imagine being so entitled that you believe your employer should shell out millions of dollars in lawsuits just so that you don't have to be inconvenienced in your bigotry.

That is really what it comes down to. Companies don't have sexual harassment training or diversity councils only because they want their employees to be less shitty people, or because they want to force them to be politically correct or unbigoted against their will or because they want to ruin their days by telling them they can't grab their secretary's ass -- they do it because they don't want to get sued.

If you are asking your company to "allow" you to be transphobic, you are asking them to potentially pay a lot of money for you to have that privilege. The "privilege" of getting to misgender someone is not worth the cost. I highly doubt that the people complaining about not being able to be transphobic, or being forced to attend mandatory sexual harassment training, are willing to take that cost on themselves. They fully expect their employer to pay it.

The other irony here is that we are talking about conservatives, who generally hold that businesses should be able to do whatever they want if it helps their bottom line. Who often believe that regulations are unnecessary because the invisible hand of the free market will take care of everything. Well, the invisible hand of the free market is here, and it is smacking them in the face. With lawsuits.

So perhaps instead of going ballistic over these new changes, staffers should go down to their new meditation room, do some breathing exercises, and calm the hell down.

[Vanity Fair]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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