O’Reilly, Fox News, And Sexual Harassment…AGAIN

Bill O’Reilly’s five accusers…so far.

I saw an online article that called Bill O’Reilly the “Bill Cosby of Fox News.” That’s not entirely fair: O’Reilly is likely just a serial sexual harasser, whereas Cosby is a rapist. Then again, they are both named “Bill,” and there are other similarities. Both have paid hush money to accusers, both have had a series of accusations made against them by women, the watermark of the sexual harasser (though Bill Cosby, so far, is way ahead in that category), both angrily deny the charges against them, and both have indignant defenders.

Both also are probably sociopaths.

Is it possible that Cosby has been wrongly maligned? Let me think…NO. Of course not. Over 50 women (what is the current count now?) do not accuse the same innocent man of sexual assault. Is it possible that the other Bill is a victim, not a predator? My “no” here isn’t quite as emphatic, perhaps, but…no. The New York Times piece yesterday thoroughly covers the evidence, and the odds against  all this being meaningless boggles the mind:

1. The Times  investigation found a total of five women who have received payouts from either O’Reilly or Fox News in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him.

2. The agreements add up to about $13 million.

3. The accounts have several common elements.

4. There is overwhelming evidence that Fox paid a settlement for a non-sexual harassment episode in 2002, when O’Reilly, who can be a big, scary guy, viciously berated a producer in front of other employees. This is a firing offense in any organization that respects professionalism and its employees over dollars, except when “The King’s Pass” intervenes, the pervasive organizational rationalization that causes organizations to excuse unethical conduct by their “stars.” Cosby was also a beneficiary of that rationalization, also called “The Star Syndrome.”

O’Reilly, says the Times, has earned over 400 million dollars for Fox News.

5. O’Reilly ended up paying 9 million dollars to one alleged victim after Fox News orchestrated a smear campaign against her in the news media, complete with having a private investigator dig up dirt on her. After the settlement , O’Reilly and the woman issued a public statement that “no wrongdoing whatsoever” had occurred. What? How could that possibly be true? Either O’Reilly really harassed her, or the woman was lying. Wrongdoing had to have occurred! Conclusion: O’Reilly lies. (But we knew that.)

6.  He was re-signed to big contracts at Fox, despite the recurring accusations, during the reign of serial harasser (serial alleged harasser , <snort>) Roger Ailes, who obviously did not regard “pussy-grabbing” as anything to get upset about or he would have stopped doing it himself.

7. Everything about O’Reilly screams alpha male, narcissist, sexist, bullying jerk.

8. Fox News, under Ailes, developed a sick, sexist, misogynist culture, with the assembly line blonde cheerleader talking heads just a small but revealing symptom of the rot beneath. Having a powerful figure like O’Reilly feeding that culture is also destructive, further sending the message that at Fox News, sexism is the norm, and women are expected to smile when a star tries to cop a feel.

This is really depressing. The journalism establishment desperately needs a news source that covers the stories the mainstream news media embargos, distorts or delays. Fox News is all there is, and its management undermines its credibility and lives down to the hoariest conservative stereotypes by cultivating a gender-biased culture right out of “Mad Men.”

You know, five years ago, I was a guest on “The Factor.” Bill was very friendly, and unlike some interviewers, was informative and fair to me. It was a bit of a boost for ProEthics,  LTD  professionally, and Bill was complimentary, saying he might do more ethics segments. Still, I wouldn’t go back if invited. I couldn’t; it would be a breach of integrity. Sexual harassment and gender bias is a continuing, damaging, inexcusable problem, and Fox News, along with O’Reilly, are the most visible purveyors of it in the culture.

It is intolerable, and nobody should tolerate it, including me.

 

27 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Romance and Relationships, U.S. Society

27 responses to “O’Reilly, Fox News, And Sexual Harassment…AGAIN

  1. Steve-O-in-NJ

    How is reaming someone out who deserves it a firing offense?

  2. Wayne

    O’Reilly seems to me to be a pompous jerk who well could have arranged that hush money be paid for alleged incidents of sexual harassment. However, I don’t like the term gender bias anymore than I like the overuse of racist, white privilege, and other terms liberals seem to use freely. They are used to justify ill thought out programs like affirmative action and quotas at the expense of merit.

  3. I’m sorry, but I disagree.
    The NYT is rather crappy when covering anyone accused who is rich or famous. If I have to list people falsely accused whom the Times ran multiple hit pieces on, never challenging the prosecution narrative, I can immediately list 3 cases: Duke Lacrosse. Hofstra. University of Virginia. Indeed, I’d be hard pressed to find a notorious false rape case over the past 10 or 15 years when the NYT either didn’t lead it or follow it with unquestioning zeal. They simply don’t investigate these things fairly. Check out their ‘reporting’ on Duke lax as a prime example. Also Jameis Winston: lots of people think the times “investigative piece” sealed the deal about both his guilt and a supposed lack of investigative effort by the local cops. Wrong on both ends, and I can say that because I’ve read the police files. I’ve been considering the Times “fake news” when it comes to sexual assault for about 15 years now.

    • The settlements, 13 million dollars, and names of five accusers is pretty solid evidence that something is amiss. There is every reason to distrust the Times, but this is well-researched, and anyone who watches O’Reilly can see the kind of guy he is, just as anyone who watches Fox News can tell the management regards women as eye candy.

      • Are you going to argue that people never settle to make something go away when they are innocent? I know I was once fired from a temporary job due to allegations of sexual misbehavior that were a total lie. I begged them to investigate it, surely they had cameras and such? They told me it wasn’t worth their time. Besides being young and being crushed(I went home and literally cried for half the day because my reputation was all I had), the other reason I didn’t pursue them in a court of law was they were a major and one of the only employers in that place, and I didn’t want to risk them shutting down. Plus I was poor, and it might have been hard taking it to court. My point isn’t to recount my woes, but to say that businesses make economic decisions all the time irregardless of someone’s guilt or innocence and I think certain aspects of sexual harrasment law are rife with that kind of legal abuse though my personal experience alone doesn’t prove it. Anyway, normally I’d agree with you about the number of accusers too, but unlike Cosby, O’Reilly is not only obscenely rich but he is an idological target. One reason I trust at least some of Cosby’s accusers (though I do think SOME of them are lying) is that they have come public and a few have been accussing him for well over a decade. However, I didn’t trust all those ladies trotted out to accuse Trump because the timing was too convenient, most were anonymous, and pretty much none of them had ever said anything about it before to a court or anyone.

        • Pay hush money? I’m sure it happens. Pay 9 million dollars in hush money to a single person? Maybe… MAYBE if it were an isolated incident, maybe if there weren’t so many puzzle peices to put together, I’d be more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. but it isn’t, so I’m not.

          I think that just like how feminism needs a reality check about theories like “rape culture” and false rape statistics, we do ourselves absolutely no favours when we go to bat for people who in all likelihood are actually guilty. I think it’s likely he did it. I think it’s unreasonable to assume that he’d ppay nine million dollars to keep his name squeaky clean. I admit, I could be wrong, it hapens like… once or twice each year, but until I have a better reason than “sometimes women lie”, I have no reason to think I am.

          • Fair enough, Humble Talent.
            I agree that (given that all I know about this is Jacks post and the Times article) it’s reasonable to believe the probabilities are that he did it. But I have a history with the New York Times on these things, and I literally do not ever trust them in sexual assault cases. Occasionally an Ombudsmen will ‘correct’ or apologize for some stories – they did so TWICE for Duke Lacrossse, so bad was the ‘reporting’…but I’ve found it never actually changes things. Either they want the clickbait and don’t care whom they ruin, or they are drinking feminist koolaid, or (probably) a combination of both.

            Anyway, the information I have seen from this post and what other people have said in this thread have convinced me he’s probably guilty. The Times is still a POS rag hardly worthy to call itself a ‘newspaper’ though.

  4. I should have modified my statement to say ‘rich, famous, in a frat, or an athlete” as that is more of my intent.
    Regardless, the NYT will never ‘seal the deal’ with me on the guilt of anyone accused of sexual assault. They’ve unquestionably believed ‘victims’ and sucked up to prosecutors for far too long now, esp when the story promises to be juicy. They also seem to have a bad habit of assigning reporters who can build a guilty narrative and stick with it in the face of all evidence to the contrary.
    I don’t know if O’Reilly is guilty or innocent, but it will take more than the Times to convince me so. I prefer court documents.

    • Neil Dorr

      Clarence:

      Get off your anti-NYT rant — they’re far from the only major media publication who’s written on the subject. O’Reilley’s harassment has been well-documented (even outside of the Times). This article was just the most recent development in an ongoing story.

      • Neil Dorr: I’ll get off my ‘anti-NYT rant’ when they truly apologize to all the people whose lives they’ve ruined or nearly ruined with their sloppy, crappy, ‘reporting’ and they make other changes in how they cover all aspects of politics and national news such that I can believe they are a valid new source again.

  5. Matthew B

    How could you do an article on sexually harrasing guys named Bill and leave Clinton out?

    • Because there’s nothing new to write? Because I’ve probably written more about Clinton that anyone else over the years? Because I’m really bored with both Clinton and his apologists? Because a day when I don’t have to think about Bill or any of his family members is a good day?

  6. It is very sad that the only reporters for the Times that I trust are acting as reporters are their science reporters. 😦 Anyway, Jack, thanks for the service your blog has done trying to hold all the news and fact checkers to the same standards. It’s very hard to find the truth these days. At minimum you have to take the sources political bias into effect, but often its worse and outright lies or omissions are the order of the day. You can try to balance sources against each other, but that takes alot more reading and sometimes both are biased or lying. I find I prefer primary documents when I can get them, but even then (like with Wikileaks dumps) they are often far too big for a single person to fully go through 😦 It’s horrible. Anyway, I employ a combination of the three strategies and I come here too. I like to hope I’m reasonably informed.

  7. You know… I was thinking about Clarence’s comments, and this thought is kind of rolling around in my head… That there is a certain number of people who will attempt to gain attention or money with a false accusation.

    I’m thinking about Mike Pence’s remarks about not being alone with a woman who is not his wife, and the treatment that those remarks received, and here I am thinking…. You know… The higher you climb, as a celebrity, or a politician, or just a relatively successful person. It’s actually not bad advice. Maybe tacky to say it… Maybe not applicable in all circumstances… But I don’t think it’s nearly as ridiculous a statement as progressives billed it.

  8. Chase Davidson

    You forgot another factor. There are also recordings and transcripts in play – definitive proof in at least two of the cases. I heard one of the transcripts spoken aloud and I really wish I hadn’t; I punctuated every sentence pretty much with a loud “Ewwwwwwww” that irked the people around me.

  9. Dwayne N. Zechman

    Perhaps the better parallel in this case is between Bill O’Reilly and David Letterman, rather than Bill Cosby.

    –Dwayne

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