Bill O’Reilly — good rid­dance to bad rub­bish

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JOSEPH CURL Joseph Curl has cov­ered politics for 25 years, in­clud­ing 12 years as White House correspondent at The Wash­ing­ton Times. He also ran the Drudge Re­port as morn­ing ed­i­tor for four years. He can be reached at josephcurl@ gmail.com and on Twitt

Here’s the lat­est tale from the seedy world of Fox News per­son­al­ity Bill O’Reilly, which broke late Tues­day.

“An­other woman is telling Fox News her story of ha­rass­ment at the hands of O’Reilly,” writes The Hollywood Re­porter.

“Bill O’Reilly used to leer at an African-Amer­i­can Fox News cler­i­cal worker and called her ‘hot choco­late,’ ac­cord­ing to at­tor­ney Lisa Bloom, who helped the woman re­port the ha­rass­ment to the net­work’s hot­line. The woman worked for a dif­fer­ent broad­caster in 2008 while this was go­ing on, but ‘The O’Reilly Fac­tor’ host’s of­fice was near her desk,” the mag­a­zine wrote.

Ac­cord­ing to the woman’s at­tor­ney, Mr. O’Reilly “would never talk to her, not even hello, ex­cept to grunt at her like a wild boar. He would leer at her. He would al­ways do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”

Now, maybe that’s a one off. Maybe this ac­cuser is a gold digger tar­get­ing a high-pro­file per­son­al­ity to make a lit­tle scratch. That hap­pens. Oh wait, she’s not.

“The new O’Reilly ac­cuser who I rep­re­sent is not ask­ing for money, just ac­count­abil­ity,” Ms. Bloom tweeted.

With Mr. O’Reilly, so many shoes have dropped that he’s look­ing like Imelda Mar­cos. Just two weeks ago, The New York Times re­ported that Fox paid out $13 mil­lion to five women who ac­cused the bom­bas­tic blovi­a­tor of sexual ha­rass­ment. Mr. O’Reilly told The Times that he set­tled only to avoid hurt­ing his fam­ily.

Well, that isn’t what an in­no­cent man would do. Accuse me of sexual ha­rass­ment and we’re go­ing all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to. I’m not pay­ing a dime ’cuz I’m not guilty. Only guilty peo­ple pay out “set­tle­ments,” which are bet­ter known by this term: “hush money.”

In­ter­net provo­ca­teur Matt Drudge sees the end com­ing.

“O’Reilly has had tremen­dous run. Very few in the busi­ness get to de­cide when and how things end. Me­dia is most bru­tal of all in­dus­tries,” Mr. Drudge tweeted out min­utes af­ter the “hot choco­late” story hit the web.

Well, Billy isn’t ex­actly de­cid­ing “when and how things end,” al­though he can’t be sur­prised — af­ter his de­spi­ca­ble ac­tions — when the ham­mer comes down.

Fox News is mired in sex of late. For­mer CEO Roger Ailes re­signed amid a flurry of sor­did ac­cu­sa­tions. The net­work paid for­mer Miss Amer­ica Gretchen Carl­son $20 mil­lion in hush money — I mean, to keep Mr. Ailes from “hurt­ing his fam­ily.” Ac­cu­sa­tions have mounted that women were treated like sex ob­jects through­out the net­work — fired for not ac­qui­esc­ing to Mr. Ailes or Mr. O’Reilly, or­dered to dress sex­ier, and worse.

The sad­dest thing is that some women no doubt fell prey to the two preda­tors. You don’t keep ask­ing women to your ho­tel room, like Mr. O’Reilly is ac­cused of hav­ing done re­peat­edly, if it doesn’t work ev­ery so of­ten. Those women are likely far too ashamed to come for­ward now, and that’s sad. They, too, are vic­tims.

Mr. O’Reilly, who took a sud­den “va­ca­tion” (pos­si­bly to keep from “hurt­ing his fam­ily”), is nowhere to be seen. And he won’t be seen, ever again. His con­tract — which pays him a whop­ping $17 mil­lion a year — ends in 2017 any­way, and Fox News Chan­nel has the chance to go an en­tirely new di­rec­tion with­out the can­tan­ker­ous, and ran­corous, blowhard.

Now, I’ve never seen one sec­ond of his show. The last thing I want to do while re­lax­ing in the evening is to lis­ten to some ul­tra­crep­i­dar­ian spout his mean­ing­less non­sense — yelling at guests and rudely in­ter­rupt­ing ex­perts in their field. Who has time for a bul­ly­ing gas­bag? Life’s just too short.

Still, he brought in mil­lions for the net­work, and mil­lions of peo­ple tuned in. Fox News would have pre­ferred to sweep the whole mat­ter un­der the rug and keep the ad dol­lars pour­ing in. That’s why they paid off vic­tims of the two preda­tors. In me­dia, like in politics, the end of­ten jus­ti­fies the means.

But noth­ing could save Mr. Ailes when the story reached crit­i­cal mass, and noth­ing can save Mr. O’Reilly now. Where there’s smoke there is al­ways fire — no fire, no smoke. He won’t even be saved by Pres­i­dent Trump (who isn’t the great­est char­ac­ter wit­ness him­self, hav­ing once been caught on tape say­ing he likes to “grab ’em by the p---y”).

“I think he’s a per­son I know well — he is a good per­son,” Mr. Trump told The New York Times two weeks ago. “I think he shouldn’t have set­tled; per­son­ally, I think he shouldn’t have set­tled. Be­cause you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did any­thing wrong.”

But that’s what in­no­cent peo­ple do. Guilty peo­ple try to cover up their crimes — and rich ones some­times get away with it.

Not this time. Mr. O’Reilly is about to dis­ap­pear once and for all. And to that we say good rid­dance to bad rub­bish.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.