Bill O’Reilly, one of Fox News’ most notable and profitable conservative commentator and all-around sexist, homophobic, close-minded white supremacist bigot has been ousted by the network. The New Work Times reports:
Mr. O’Reilly and his employers came under intense pressure after an article by The New York Times on April 1 revealed how Fox News and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, had repeatedly stood by him even as he and the company reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.
Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women’s rights groups had called for him to be fired. Inside the company, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on “trust and respect,” as they had promised last summer when another sexual harassment scandal led to the ouster of Roger E. Ailes as chairman of Fox News.
That left Mr. O’Reilly’s fate in the hands of the Murdoch family, which controls 21st Century Fox. In the end, according to two people familiar with the decision, Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, made their call after reviewing the results of an internal investigation that found that multiple women had reported inappropriate behavior by Mr. O’Reilly.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
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Now, this may seem like Fox News developed a sliver of a conscience and did something morally right by kicking O”Reilly to the curb. But the thing is the network knew about the plague of sexual harassment and did their best to keep it under wraps. They were more concerned with the millions in revenue of advertiser money pouring in. The O’Reilly Factor was their main money making machine. And now that it’s kaput, what will they do now?
Keep in mind that O’Reilly’s sexual harassment claims and payouts came mere months after Fox News’ former CEO Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment himself by over two dozen women and stepped down afterwards. Both men received huge payouts in the tens of millions of dollars after their departure.
But one thing kept nagging at the thought center of my brain. Is this a snowball effect? Will there be more Fox News employees exposed as sexual deviants? Who else couldn’t control their urges enough in a workplace environment? And will this spell the end of the conservative juggernaut for fake news?
I doubt that Fox News will crumble under the weight of its own controversy, at least not without a backup plan by Rupert Murdoch. If it does, it will be a huge blow to right winger thinkers everywhere. They will see it as an attack against their freedom of speech (and white men), strengthen their toxicity against feminism and will somehow blame it on Barack Obama.
Hell, they may be blaming him already.