For years we’ve known Fox Network’s Bill O’Reilly as the noisy, over-opinionated, right-wing blowhard and pathetic author of quasi-history books. Turns out Bill, we hardly knew ye. He was, we know now, a serial sexual harasser, part of Fox’s conglomeration of men who took sexual advantage of women who worked at the network.
In O’Reilly’s case, Fox was so eager to keep their prima donna that they paid over $13 million to his accusers to keep them quiet. O’Reilly, of course, has insisted he did nothing wrong. Happily for him, Fox was willing to toss $13 million down the network drain just to allow him to continue bloviating. And lying.
When you consider that the network president Roger Ailes set the tone with his own toxic harassment of employees, ol’ Bill was just following the master. Here’s what is really the grabber about all this: These nasty acts were all committed on women who worked at Fox; these guys didn’t have to go out of the building to find their victims, they just had to roll over to the closest cubbyhole. Obviously since Ailes’ dismissal, Fox has done little or nothing to alter the culture at the network.
And of course, President Trump cheerfully endorsed O’Reilly after this news came out the other day. And why wouldn’t he? If there’s one thing Donald Trump can recognize very quickly, it’s another guy who likes to grab pussy. And ow it seems we have an entire network devoted to that. (I’m excepting legitimate, uncontaminated journalists at Fox like Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, but the condemnation stands.)