Good rid­dance to O’Reilly

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

It is only fit­ting that the long ca­reer which made Fox News Chan­nel’s Bill O’Reilly a fab­u­lously rich man and en­abled the net­work to rake in hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue should end in dis­grace (“Bill O’Reilly out at Fox News af­ter 18 years host­ing No. 1 prime-time pro­gram,” Web, April 18).

Mr. O’Reilly por­trayed him­self as a cul­ture war­rior and a hum­ble correspondent, laugh­able char­ac­ter­i­za­tions for the media king who bul­lied and den­i­grated his guests, yet had the au­dac­ity to write books for chil­dren, in­clud­ing ones with themes on how im­por­tant it is to be po­lite, re­spect­ful and to use the word please. It was quite ob­vi­ous to Mr. O’Reilly’s view­ers that the man they saw on the air did not dis­play the traits of the gen­tle­man he sought to con­vince us he was.

Only re­cently did we learn that over the years sev­eral women had al­leged Mr. O’Reilly had in­sisted they en­gage in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with him — or see their ca­reers suf­fer the con­se­quences. Mr. O’Reilly’s ex­pla­na­tion for the raft of com­plaints is that he was a tar­get as an in­flu­en­tial and prom­i­nent media fig­ure and that set­tle­ments were agreed to in or­der to pro­tect his chil­dren. Hog­wash.

Fox News Chan­nel shame­fully signed Mr. O’Reilly to a lu­cra­tive new con­tract with the knowl­edge that mil­lions of dol­lars in hush money had been ex­pended to pay off those who were vic­tim­ized. How fool­ish to be­lieve that Mr. O’Reilly’s tracks could be for­ever cov­ered, pa­pered over with lots of money, and how out­ra­geous that the net­work which preached eq­ui­table and re­spect­ful treat­ment of its em­ploy­ees was con­tin­u­ing to en­gage the man who was the an­tithe­sis of those val­ues. Now the net­work has had to choose the least bad op­tion, to cut loose the king­pin of its empire. Bet­ter late than never.

It is just deserts for the man with the big mouth and match­ing ego that he should leave with his rep­u­ta­tion in tat­ters and no op­por­tu­nity to say good­bye to his loyal au­di­ence.

I used to en­joy “The O’Reilly Fac­tor” for many rea­sons. To­day that fact embarrasses me. I will not miss the show or its host.

OREN M. SPIEGLER Up­per Saint Clair, Pa.

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