Fox unable to stand by O’Reilly amidst controversy



Bill O’Reilly attends the world premiere of “Killing Jesus” on March 23, 2015 at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, N.Y. (Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma Press)

Tremaine Harvey, Opinion Editor

Bill O’Reilly was relieved of his duties at Fox news after sexual harassment allegations against him went widespread. The New York Times, reported that five women had described being sexually harassed by O’Reilly and subsequently received settlements from him and Fox News, to the tune of $13 million.

They also reported that, two of the five settlements occurred after Fox news chief, Roger Ailes, was fired last summer— after a substantial amount of sexual assault accusations against him were unearthed. Ailes, left Fox news with a $40 million exit package and has maintained denial of the accusations.

The conduct of Fox employees has initiated a formal investigation by the government. Not because of the sexual harassment but because of the millions of dollars paid out in settlements and their potential failure to disclose such information to shareholders, according to CNNMoney.

According to The Atlantic, the average age of O’Reilly’s viewers is 70, so we can definitely expect some conservative grandparents to be cranky in the upcoming weeks. O’Reilly has been the cash cow for Fox News and letting him go was not easy. As they have stood by him and cleaned up his messes for decades.

The New York Times goes on to report that the women who have accused O’Reilly of harassment, have either appeared on his show or worked with him, “They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.”

Regarding his dismissal, O’Reilly said he is “tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims.” However, the transcript of his unwanted harassment is memorialized for all to see. During the call, he described how he wanted to join the woman in the shower and explained in detail how he wanted to fondle her with his hands in loofa mitts. He then confuses a loofa for food, saying he wanted to place that “falafel thing” on her— “Just kind of a tease business,” he added.

It is beyond likely that Fox would have protected O’Reilly yet again, but for the fact that over 50 advertisers had pulled their adverts from his show, after the debacle. There is no moral core to Fox News, only a bottom line driven by conservatism gone mad. And after years of: bigoted, sexist, racist, and war on Christmas rhetoric, advertisers were finally moved to pull out of his show. This type of reaction is not typical of advertisers and they already knew what O’Reilly was all about. However, it is refreshing for them to acknowledge that they were placing their ads on the show of a severely tainted individual.

What should have been a good year for conservative media persons, has been turning south very quickly. Milo Yiannopoulos, lost his book deal and was forced to leave Breitbart after some pedo-erotic comments he made online. Tomi Lahren, was also removed from her show for being inconsistent with her and her networks, extreme conservative ideology. And now O’Reilly “bites the dust!” Surly there is a special place for them at the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps: Lahren, O’Reilly, Yiannopoulos, and Ailes, can start their own network together— that’s the kind of stuff nightmares are made of.