Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bill O'Reilly Fired From Fox News

Apparently because of a combination of spousal pressure, bad publicity, and advertising losses Fox News owners Rupert Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James decided to let go of long time employee and number one cable news host Bill O'Reilly. O'Reilly had a long history of sexual harassment settlements. The New York Times recently ran a story detailing that the settlement amounts and number of settlements were higher than was publicly known. Bill O'Reilly took a previously scheduled vacation. Unfortunately for him this was right around the time of the Times story and new allegations of sexual approaches by former Fox news personalities or other associates. Faced with the loss of advertising revenue from departing companies, all of this O'Reilly mess was apparently too much for Murdoch and sons, who told Bill O'Reilly not to come back from his vacation. As Smokey might say, you have to be a stupid muyerfuyer to get fired on your day off. 

O'Reilly is a stupid muyerfuyer in many ways. He's also a very racist one. What's ironic about advertisers and O'Reilly's employer parting ways with him now over sexual harassment allegations is that O'Reilly has a very long history of making covertly and overtly racist comments. This is not just a question of people being too sensitive to someone born in a world that's for good or bad now gone. It's much more than that.

Bill O'Reilly, who never missed a chance to ding black people on their alleged pathologies, lost a job because he couldn't keep his little Bill on a leash. O'Reilly was apparently (allegedly) sex-crazed. There's nothing wrong with being highly sexual of course. There is something wrong with hitting on women who work with you or for you, deliberately making them uncomfortable or attempting to make it clear to them that their career opportunities at Fox News depend on how "nice" they are to you. Fox News was apparently okay with all of that as long as the ad money kept rolling into their coffers. Fox News was apparently ok with Bill O'Reilly telling a black Ph.D that the black man looked like a crack dealer. Fox News was apparently ok with Bill O'Reilly expressing honest astonishment that blacks could run and patronize a restaurant without cursing and shooting each other. Fox News had no problem with Bill O'Reilly stating that slaves who built the White House had good food and decent lodgings. Fox News executives evidently yawned when Bill O'Reilly said that blacks couldn't get jobs because they were pregnant at 14 with tattoos on their foreheads. And so on. Bill O'Reilly is a lying racist dirtbag who was hired by other lying racist dirtbags to sell resentment to the lying racist dirtbag segment of the population. But O'Reilly couldn't limit himself to pimping black pathology, alleged or real. He had to (allegedly) harass, insult and intimidate his white female co-workers. And that's a much larger and in many aspects more powerful group. Now there are stories coming out of Bill O'Reilly's rudeness or how certain women tried to avoid being alone with him. 

Doubtless not everything that will be said about O'Reilly is 100% true. But I know that if I were accused of the fraction of the things O'Reilly has been accused of I would have been fired long ago. And that's true for most men, even those who earn far more than I do. But because O'Reilly brought in so much money for his employers, the Murdochs were willing to overlook a little sexual harassment as the cost of doing business. It was only when the money calculations changed that the Murdoch family was willing to jettison O'Reilly and his wandering eyes/hands and other body parts. I am cynically amused that someone who wrote books lecturing men and women about old school proper behavior turned out to be such an incredible hypocrite. So it goes. The sexual harassment climate at Fox News may or may not change. But I doubt the racial hatred and resentment will. That is a foundation to their success.

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