As the saying goes, better late than never. That phrase certainly sums up yesterday's decision by Fox News to fire Bill O'Reilly who has sexually harassed women for years. It should be lost on no one that just recently Donald Trump, a/k/a Der Trumpenführer, another perennial sexual predator, lauded O'Reilly. Many on the far right and Fox News devotees will likely take the stance that O'Reilly's demise was the result of some sort of liberal conspiracy. The fact that there is a long list of foul deeds by O'Reilly simply doesn't matter to these people, especially since O'Reilly regularly played to their prejudices and bigotry. A piece in The Daily Beast looks at some of the disgusting behavior of O'Reilly. It does not make for polite reading and is certainly not what you would want your children to read much less experience. Here are some article highlights (read the entire piece to understand the depth of O'Reilly's nastiness):
The reign of the most-watched host on the right-wing cable news network is coming to an end after two full decades, brought down by a perfect storm of newly unearthed sexual-harassment accusations, a massive advertiser boycott, and the absence of Roger Ailes, a fellow serial harasser of women, to protect him.
21st Century Fox confirmed the end of O’Reilly’s tenure in a Wednesday statement: “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.”
Even though this latest spate of accusations were what led to his on-air demise, O’Reilly has had a long, troubling history with women in both the workplace and at home.
In October 2004, the O’Reilly Factor star was hit with possibly the greatest lawsuit in the history of cable news: then-associate producer Andrea Mackris accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment, quoting the famed gasbag verbatim from phone calls she surreptitiously recorded.
According to the suit, the at-times “tyrannical and menacing” O’Reilly would masturbate while on the phone with Mackris, at other points suggesting she purchase a vibrator; engage in phone sex or a threesome with him; and listen to lurid details of his alleged sexual encounters with a cabana masseuse, airline stewardesses, and Thai sex-show workers.
Perhaps most famously, O’Reilly fantasized to Mackris how he’d like to shower with her and fondle her with a loofah, which he mistakenly called a “falafel thing” later in the call, according to a transcript.
Mackris also alleged that the then-married O’Reilly threatened to make any woman who complains about his behavior “pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born.” Two weeks later, he settled the case with a payout around $9 million.
Two years earlier O’Reilly settled with a junior producer named Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, according to the New York Times. Bernstein accused him not of sexual harassment but of belligerent, bullying behavior, including storming into the newsroom to scream at her.
At home, O’Reilly’s temper was no less a problem.
According to court documents from his vicious custody battle with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly may have engaged in domestic violence. As Gawker reported at the time, the ex-couple’s teenage daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly “choking her mom” as he “‘dragged her down some stairs’ by the neck.”
Meanwhile, the sexual-harassment allegations from co-workers continued to pour in. As the Times unearthed last month, former Fox Business Network anchor Rebecca Gomez Diamond had also secretly recorded phone calls in which O’Reilly made unwanted advances on her.
O’Reilly has vociferously denied all of the accusations made against him, with his lawyer often issuing overwrought statements about how the volcanic host “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America.”
But with Ailes gone and the younger sons of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch asserting greater control of the company, O’Reilly has no one left to protect him.
Bill-O can rest easy, however, knowing he has one defender: President Donald Trump, who said, “I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Good riddance to one foul individual. Now we need to be rid of his cheerleader in the White House.