Out at Fox News, Greta Van Susteren takes to Facebook to hammer Obama

Greta Van Susteren is out of a job at Fox News, but she's clearly not lacking a new platform.

"OK, you have every right to be enraged," she opens a rhetorically unabashed if unpolished video on her Facebook page. "I am. It just never stops. And you and every other American gets cheated. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Obama administration is once again letting you down. It happens again and again. And it's disgraceful. It's actually indecent."

The object of her wrath, which appears to have been memorialized during a taping at her home as she occasionally looks downward at notes or a script, is ultimately Wells Fargo, the bank whose employees were caught secretly issuing card cards without the consent of customers.

Last week the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau levied $185 million in fines against the bank (a rather modest sum, given its size) for its workers opening about 1.5 million bank accounts and applying for 565,000 credit cards not approved by customers.

Van Susteren, a former trial lawyer, clearly believes this should have gone far beyond fines from a regulatory agency. She believes that there should have been criminal indictments.

"Lynch lets big corporations and their CEOs and senior executives off the hook at every turn. It seems like every time some huge corporation or big CEO does something awful, criminal conduct, there is no criminal indictment. Just a civil fine. And a fine not paid for by the culprits or the management team that failed to supervise the company but the innocent shareholder."

Van Susteren exited Fox News, albeit rather unceremoniously, the day that its parent company disclosed a $20 million settlement of Gretchen Carlson's sex harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, her former boss, who followed her out of the company not long after (with a reported $40 million payment).

After a disagreement whose details are not all clear, Fox quickly replaced her as a primetime show host with former Fox Washington Bureau Chief Brit Hume. Van Susteren later followed Geraldo Rivera, who remains at Fox, with a de facto public apology for having been so resolute in initially defending Ailes from Carlson's charges.

But her surfacing on Facebook Thursday on the topics of corporate accountability and government law enforcement does indirectly raise the prospect of her using social media to maintain some hold on her longtime large cable TV audience while in transition, perhaps, to something else.

Within several hours, the video had generated more than 300,000 views.

The video makes clear her view that the Wells Fargo disclosures amount to the revelation of 2 million crimes. "They may have done it to you," she says, without quite the same firmness, even bravado, she's long displayed in a studio setting. "But Attorney General Lynch and the Justice Department hasn't indicted anyone. Just a civil fine."

She continues, "How about the board of directors? They pay? No, of course not."

As for the question of whether the top honchos of the bank will pay, she concludes by saying, "Don't hold your breath waiting for that answer."

Correction: A previous version of this post referred to Van Susteren as a former federal prosecutor. She is a former trial lawyer in private practice.

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    James Warren

    New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S. News & World Report. Former chief media writer, The Poynter Institute.


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