For decades, Bill O’Reilly has poisoned the airwaves with his racism, sexism, and right-wing rhetoric on Fox News. Not anymore.
The exodus of advertisers from his show on the conservative propaganda network finally tipped the scales against O’Reilly. Years of sexually harassing his female colleagues, being a domestic abuser, and lying about being a war correspondent were apparently not enough to justify firing him earlier, but lost advertiser dollars struck the killing blow on O’Reilly’s pathetic career.
According to sources briefed on the discussions, network executives are preparing to announce O’Reilly’s departure before he returns from an Italian vacation on April 24. Now the big questions are how the exit will look and who will replace him.
O’Reilly went on “vacation” after the New York Times revealed that Fox News has spent $13 million settling sexual harassment lawsuits against O’Reilly over the years.
In response to the revelation, O’Reilly played the victim.
“The worst part of my job is being a target for those who would harm me and my employer, the Fox News Channel,” O’Reilly said.
But the fact that Fox News paid off O’Reilly’s many accusers rather than fight them in court makes it pretty clear that Fox knew they would not win.
Once the New York Times story got out, companies who advertise on O’Reilly’s show began pulling their ads in droves.
“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.
And that’s pretty much the stance every other company has taken to explain why they are pulling their advertising.
Of course, O’Reilly had his defenders as well.
Serial sexual predator Donald Trump, who admitted he grabs women by their genitals without their consent, defended him.
“I don’t think Bill did anything wrong,” Trump said. “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person.”
Trump’s decision to weigh in didn’t help O’Reilly at all. A majority of women in this country fiercely oppose him, and Trump’s past statements about women and his past treatment of women was just another example of a sexual predator defending a fellow sexual predator.
Fox News is expected to publicly announce O’Reilly’s departure soon. But they won’t say he was fired. They’ll make up some bullshit about how this was a mutual decision and they’ll say nothing but good things about O’Reilly. O’Reilly will likely whine and claim that he’s the real victim.
But the impact of O’Reilly’s firing will last for years. Conservatives love his show and he was a ratings winner for a network that has started to struggle.
Megyn Kelly’s departure from the network was a major blow. Losing O’Reilly as well will be crushing. Ratings have already dipped and Fox News’ audience is aging.
Fox News and conservatives are going to miss O’Reilly. The majority of the country, however, are going to say ‘good riddance.’
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