Names and faces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NEWS -

■ Ousted Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly has be­gun an ex­per­i­men­tal video come­back with a daily on­line show.

The ini­tial half-hour was posted on his web­site Wed­nes­day for pre­mium sub­scribers, orig­i­nat­ing from what he called a “new pro­to­type stu­dio.” He re­quested in­put from view­ers for what he char­ac­ter­ized as a “sneak pre­view.” He said it would be made avail­able to a non­pay­ing au­di­ence the next day. Among other top­ics, O’Reilly dis­cussed Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s “fire and fury” com­ments about North Korea and a move­ment that calls for Cal­i­for­nia to se­cede from the union. He also spoke by Skype with po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor Michael Smer­con­ish. O’Reilly has pro­duced a daily pod­cast, which this video startup ap­par­ently builds upon, since he was fired from Fox News in April in the wake of al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

■ Sus­pended Fox News host Eric Bolling has filed a law­suit against the re­porter who broke the story ac­cus­ing him of send­ing lewd text mes­sages to col­leagues. Bolling filed a defama­tion law­suit seek­ing mon­e­tary dam­ages Wed­nes­day in state Supreme Court in Man­hat­tan against Yashar Ali, a Huff­in­g­ton Post con­tribut­ing writer. The ca­ble news host said Ali dam­aged his rep­u­ta­tion through what the court pa­pers call the “highly reck­less pub­li­ca­tion of ac­tion­able false and mis­lead­ing state­ments about the plain­tiff’s con­duct and char­ac­ter.” Bolling was sus­pended over the weekend pend­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion that a Fox spokesman said is un­der­way. Last week, Ali wrote that Bolling has been ac­cused of send­ing un­so­licited pho­tos of male gen­i­talia to co-work­ers over sev­eral years. On Wed­nes­day, the re­porter tweeted that he stands by his story and will pro­tect his sources. Ali also wrote that he is not go­ing to stop re­port­ing on Bolling “or any­one else. I’ve had fam­ily mem­bers killed/jailed in Iran, a law­suit isn’t go­ing to scare me.” Bolling’s lawyer, Michael Bowe, said in a state­ment: “This anony­mously sourced and un­cor­rob­o­rated story is false, defam­a­tory, and ob­vi­ously in­tended to de­stroy this good man’s ca­reer and fam­ily. We will de­fend Eric ag­gres­sively in court, where ac­tual facts, based on ev­i­dence, tes­ti­mony, and cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, will be­lie these anony­mous ac­cu­sa­tions.” Bolling tweeted that he “will con­tinue to fight against these false smear at­tacks!” and thanked his fol­low­ers for their sup­port. While Huff­in­g­ton Post is not in­volved in the le­gal ac­tion, editor-in-chief Ly­dia Pol­green, a former top New York Times editor, tweeted in sup­port of Ali on Tues­day night. “Yashar Ali is a care­ful and metic­u­lous re­porter,” Pol­green wrote, adding that the pub­li­ca­tion stands by his re­port­ing and that it has “no hes­i­ta­tion about stand­ing by him fi­nan­cially in this case.”



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