Hard to argue with charges of sexual harassment. It’s an emotionally loaded accusation especially when made by five women who thanks to the Murdoch family walked away with 13 million because of claims Bill O’Reilly demeaned their womanhood. Did O’Reilly denigrate these women? It’s certainly possible but is that the reason he was booted off Fox News without an opportunity to even say goodbye to his many viewers?
O’Reilly was the number one conservative talk show host who saluted the sanctity of religion and belief in right-to-life. He articulated the views of the Trump voters, working class and those who attend church on Sunday. He was their go-to-person who interpreted leftist insults no one seemed able to explain as well as him. His popularity hinged on his candor and stunning ability to articulate the outrage many feel in this ideological civil war that rages on interminably.
Regardless of your personal opinion of O’Reilly, it took guts to do what he did. He was one-of-a-kind unique and probably irreplaceable.
It seems male behavior is selectively denigrated but who measures just how bad that behavior is? In this case, the New York Times played an instrumental role in targeting O’Reilly. They acquired confidential settlement agreement information and the goods to take him down. That isn’t OK but leftist journalism imposes its own standards.
Once the five suits were resolved, the women’s accusations should have gone away.
But the NYTimes kept the story alive.
It was the powerful use of social media, an uproar unleashed by online fire-breathing leftist groups like Sleeping Giants and Color of Change who finished O’Reilly off. It came down to dollars & cents when these groups went after advertisers convincing 60 to bail on O’Reilly. Advertisers, fearing brand disapproval, chose not to support a talk show fraught with sexual harassment accusations that had suddenly surfaced alarmingly. Social media, if used against a well known person, exerts a powerful force that can determine outcome. It convicts virally, choosing its victims selectively.
A final consideration: The Murdoch’s are awaiting final U.K. regulatory approval of their €11Billion dollar purchase of a portion of Sky Broadcasting, an acquisition they want. Concern related to the firing of O’Reilly and whether 21st Century Fox is a good corporate citizen, could impact the politics of U.K. regulatory approval. British regulators Office of Communications is reviewing the O’Reilly situation to determine whether the combined company would be “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license.
Given these concerns, Fox’s decision to oust O’Reilly became much easier to make. James and Lachlan Murdoch now control Fox. Their focus is to alter the old-guard culture for a new digital future. Things needed to change; O’Reilly became dispensable.
Egregious male behavior is relative. Pick your poison but do it fairly. Bill Clinton was accused of rape – criminal accusations made by women like Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broderick, Kathy Shelton and Paula Jones. He was not held accountable for the worst of his crimes. His behavior ignored. He is liberal.
The same cannot be said of Bill Cosby’s sexual assault allegations, no less insulting to women, but in this situation he faces criminal charges and civil lawsuits. Cosby is conservative.
Some ‘offenders’ get nailed for less or nothing at all while others get ignored for more. Conservative character assassination is engaged frequently.
Not so long ago the left tried to take down Donald Trump for his use of the word ‘pussy’ to cast him as a man who sexually denigrates women. It didn’t work and it wasn’t true, but it’s a tactic used consistently to hurt conservatives.
Marc Kasowitz, O’Reilly’s attorney made clear last Tuesday night that “Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.” Kasowitz condemned recent allegations as an “orchestrated campaign to destroy O’Reilly.”
Kasowitz isn’t mistaken.
Glenn Beck courageously came forward to defend O’Reilly, a man he knows well. He doubts these allegations. Few who depend upon Fox for their livelihood will utter a word in O’Reilly’s defense. The accusations are too creepy made by women whose credibility they dare not impugn. It’s teflon insulated ammunition that won’t be touched. It’s also politically correct madness that shuts down talk about what really happened here.
The parting Fox response was rendered by insipid Dana Perino who delivered an uninspired Fox O’Reilly goodbye. Roger Ailes was accused of the same behavior. It’s a dichotomy in that Fox (Ailes & O’Reilly) produced the most compelling and informative news programs establishing Fox as a counterweight against the more pervasive liberal media, in a purported corporate culture where female abuse prevailed largely because of both men.
At least that’s what we’ve been led to believe.
CNN, a leftist cable news station that revels in disparaging Fox and all conservative news, gave Kirsten Powers (now at CNN) a chance to express her dissatisfaction with Fox. But what emerges on this Powers’ video doesn’t qualify as truly offensive though now that O’Reilly has been fired, many former female colleagues are denigrating O’Reilly any way they can.
It’s safe to presume O’Reilly was the top conservative influence the left sought to bring down. Sexual harassment was the grist required to get the job done.
O’Reilly was fearless with a sense of Fox-imbued-invincibility. Looking back, he might have been more careful but his eccentric personality made him the success that he was.
We can presume there are other up and coming wannabe’s who might choose to express views like O’Reilly. The unfortunate message here is to watch your back: use caution when treading on turf the increasingly powerful progressive movement wants to shut down.
If you want to terminate a popular voice you can manage it as long as the mainstream media plays ball with leftist groups whose smears are shamelessly applied.
To fairly assess O’Reilly’s contributions, and there are many, we must acknowledge that he played an instrumental role in giving Donald Trump a place to express his views unimpeded by bias – not an easy place to find. O’Reilly explored Trump’s views exhaustively. He and O’Reilly tapped into the frustration of the people, those not designated as elite who had real concerns about the direction of this country.
O’Reilly attacked unfair leftist journalists for their lies. He kept the political playing field in balance by pointing out spin when it occurred. He kept us honest, informed and centered. Fox and O’Reilly offered up perspectives that wholly differ from the progressive drivel so accessible on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC. NPR.
O’Reilly was unapologetically anti-abortion. Liberal women’s most dogged and obsessive concern is reproductive chose. O’Reilly’s right to life views made powerful enemies that contributed to their desire to terminate his career.
O’Reilly-dependent individuals may be asking where they go now to access real information to stay informed.
Many will stick with Fox though conservative news took a hit with the loss of O’Reilly. Where else is there to go? Fox will survive. There remain some highly effective movers and shakers who can ably move the conservative agenda forward. They include Laura Ingraham, James Rosen, Charles Krauthammer, Catherine Herridge, Bret Baier, Hannity and others.
Perhaps another conservative billionaire is contemplating what it might take to build another news empire much like Fox was decades ago. An infusion of much needed conservative competition.
Still others might speculate why senior Murdoch didn’t nix the views of his sons. Loss of advertising support preceded by social media activism and a coordinated female rally left Fox with few options.
Have no doubt. This was a well organized hatchet job that took O’Reilly down.
And it worked but only for the left.