Cartoon: BYE BYE, O’REILLY (Cartoon and Column)
The political world got a bit of a jolt yesterday when Fox News kicked their longtime ratings giant and right-wing pundit Bill O’Reilly to the curb yesterday over repeated charges of sexual harassment. I know. It’s tearing you apart.
There are many takeaways to this with the first for conservatives being, “but what about Bill Clinton?” Anyone who throws out the Clinton comparison over stuff that happened two decades ago proves they’re not concerned about ending sexual harassment in the workplace. They only care about political scores. The knuckleheads who bring up this point probably all voted for Donald Trump, the vagina grabber.
The main take on this is that Fox News did the right thing but not for the right reasons. They didn’t ditch O’Reilly because his behavior was too shameful for them or they were disgusted with him. They never had an issue with him destroying careers of those who wouldn’t give him what he wanted. They got rid of him because he became a liability. Advertisers were bailing from his show in massive droves. Fox News prioritized monetary over morality. Ironically, morality was a favorite subject of the hypocritical O’Reilly.
Fox News supported O’Reilly’s behavior. They paid out around $13 million to shut his victims up. They let big name talent like Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly get away after they accused harassment from the former chief of the network, Roger Ailes. Carlson was a loss they can deal with. Kelly’s departure hurts. Now their biggest star is Tucker Carlson.
Fox News hired a law firm to conduct an internal investigation. Reportedly what they found were recordings of phone calls where it sounds like O’Reilly is masturbating. Here’s a tip: If you engage in phone sex make sure the other party is with the program. Some people don’t like surprises, especially one’s like craggly-assed old men whacking it over the phone.
Fox News has been under heavy pressure for three weeks since The New York Times published a report of the network’s payout. This week a new accuser, an African-American woman, claimed that O’Reilly called her “hot chocolate.” You would think that after decades of harassing women that he’d get better at it. Perhaps he offered to be her marshmallow.
O’Reilly’s departure does not mean the country or corporate America is moving forward in regards to sexual harassment in the workplace. It just shows that it’ll pay for it to a certain point. You can’t argue progress is being made when corporations will cover up for a big money maker and the rest of the nation voted for a man who bragged about assaulting women and who is on record dishing out sexism in the form of slurs and insults.
I saw several posts yesterday on social media from conservatives swearing they’ll boycott Fox News over this. One was from a conservative colleague of mine. These people exhibit that they don’t care about the treatment of women, especially if their infallible hero is exposed (hopefully not literally). I wouldn’t worry about their boycott as they’re not the faithful type. Several of these same people swore they’d boycott Breitbart over their treatment of a female reporter who claimed Trump’s campaign manager had grabbed her. But within days they were sharing links once again from their favorite racist fake news website.
O’Reilly left the air to take a vacation and he challenged his viewers to guess where he was going. Many on the left guessed correctly that he was going to the curb of 1211 Avenue.
Don’t cry in your beer too much over O’Reilly. Like Ailes, who received a $40 million buyout, I’m sure Bill will walk away with a handsome check. O’Reilly went out defiant with a statement that the accusations are unfounded. He got to meet the Pope during his vacation (I hope he had some hand sanitizer available) and his biggest defender is Donald Trump. I’m also sure we’ll see him again on either One America News or The Blaze network. I wouldn’t be surprised if doesn’t start working for Vladimir Putin on RT. Go for it, Bill!
Clay Jones can be reached at [email protected]