I‘ve never liked Bill O’Reilly. Personally, I thought his show sucked and he was a boring, vastly overrated talking head. Still, I begrudgingly admired his talk show persona; just like the best pro ‘rasslin bad guys, the dude no doubt knew how to talk the maddest of shit. Ninety-nine percent of the time, he absolutely destroyed his guests, and even heavyweight champions of the liberal cause like Michael Moore and Jon Stewart couldn’t hold their own against him in the great Monday-through-Thursday night partisan cage fight that was The O’Reilly Factor.
Even when I was a Bush-hating, “let’s abolish all corporations, ban the police and give all the gay illegal immigrants free health care” mega-hyper-liberal psychopath in high school, I watched O’Reilly’s show religiously. I absolutely resented that prick but I couldn’t stop watching it – as a Democrat supporter two years too young to actually vote – everything he said offended me and made my blood boil, but at the same time, I really couldn’t refute the bulk of what he had to say, either. I think liberals, in general, have a profound masochistic streak, and when it came to political bloviating S&M, there’s probably never been a leather-clad, whip-toting dungeon-master as good at what he does as old Billy Boy. Yes, O’Reilly was never as interesting or funny or brilliant as his conservative loudmouth predecessors Morton Downey Jr. or Wally George – whom also greatly inspired Jerry Springer and his trash TV ilk – but even the world’s most ardent G.O.P. haters can’t deny his program wasn’t entertaining, or at the absolute least, engaging.
And of course, the same liberals that hate O’Reilly’s guts will NEVER acknowledge that their contemporary heroes – Bill Maher, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and pretty much all those hussies on The View – pretty much STOLE his confrontational, hard-line, cult-of-personality talk show TV format. Had it not been for the success of The O’Reilly Factor, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and Jake Tapper and whoever the hell else has their own show on CNN or MSNBC wouldn’t have their jobs today. Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to deny O’Reilly’s impact on television and the American political arena.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of weeks with your eyes shut and your ears plugged, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about O’Reilly – after 20-plus years with Fox News – getting shitcanned by the Murdoch brood because he allegedly harassed some of the womenfolks at the office. Details are mum, but apparently Fox paid out at least $13 million in hush money to some broads that claim Billy O’Reilly called them sexually disparaging terms like “blondie” and “hot chocolate” and probably tried to get them to have sexual intercourse with him … and also a loofah sponge, but I’m not even going to delve into that.
Now, you’ve got to think about the key details on this one. O’Reilly is a man who literally built Fox News into a cable network monolith. His show brought hundreds of millions of dollars into Fox’s coffers, and even after all of the “Oh, Bill So Horny” news broke, his program was regularly drawing upwards of 3 million viewers a night. Getting rid of O’Reilly is pretty much the same thing as taking a $100 bill out of your pocket, setting it on fire and pissing out the ashes. Except this isn’t just going to cost Fox a few million here and there, they’re possibly going to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in the long haul.
We’ve all seen Fight Club, right? Remember that part where Ed Norton’s character explains how car companies run a risk-analysis to determine whether the cost of lawsuits is high enough to warrant a full recall? Well, I’m supposing Fox had to make the same call here. If O’Reilly was routinely putting hundreds of millions of dollars into their pockets, presumably, somebody decided that the amount of advertising revenue they would lose if they kept him on board would exceed the benefits of retaining him.
But why exactly did Fox News fire O’Reilly? OK, he may or may not have made some sexist comments, but since none of those lawsuits ever went before a judge, there’s no official proof he did anything legally wrong. And yeah, he’s going through a bitter separation from his wife and she’s claiming he beat her, but remember – this is America, where you are innocent until proven guilty. If a jury of his peers says “yeah, he’s a wife beater,” that’s one thing, but to throw out your top revenue-generator based on hearsay during a divorce procedure seems almost suspiciously rash.
Right now, there’s no tangible proof O’Reilly physically assaulted anybody. Nor is there any proof he even said anything sexually disparaging to women. And even if he did, if a woman is A-OK accepting a couple of hundred thousand dollars as an apology, what’s the problem? Those out-of-court settlements are exactly that; by accepting the money, that means O’Reilly’s “victims” have decided the financial rewards officially outweigh whatever damages O’Reilly may have inflicted upon them in the first place. Hell, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been sexually harassed by some of my coworkers – I vividly recall a former editor calling me such cheerful names as “faggot” and “cocksucker” when she thought I was out of earshot – but I never pursued legal action. Why? Because a.) I didn’t give a shit what some Skrillex looking hag thinks about me, and b.) I don’t exactly think it’s forthright to monetize your own persecution complex. Remember when all of those women came out during the election and said Trump raped them, and remember how they all went away after Trump got elected? Call me cynical if you want, but not only do I think that it’s plausible that many of O’Reilly’s accusers are lying, I’d venture to guess that a pretty considerable number of them actually are making up stuff because they know it’s quick and easy money.
Let’s cut the malarkey, why don’t we? Bill O’Reilly is a successful entertainer that plays up to a conservative fan base, and because his show gets way more viewers than liberal imitators like Rachel Maddow, Democratic-financing special-interests-groups and lobbyists are scared he has too much cultural power. He makes a ton of money and he has a lot of popular support and that – by proxy – makes him dangerous to the liberal orthodoxy Wehrmacht. So – just like the McCarthyists of yore – all of these Clinton-backin’ “grassroots” organizations have branded Bill with the scarlet “S” and tried to get him blackballed from the biz. They pressure advertisers to leave the program because O’Reilly is a “woman hater” and “a misogynist” and “a sex criminal” and a “domestic abuser,” even though two of those things are totally indefinable, non-measurable, totally not scientific and 100 percent subjective terms and the other two haven’t been proven in a court of law.
And if O’Reilly actually did sexually harass women, so what?
Where were those pro-feminist liberals when Chicago Sun-Times spokesDemocrat Neil Steinberg was charged with actually beating his wife in 2005 … and why didn’t the say anything when the paper refused to fire him and keeps him on staff to this very day?
Where were those pro-feminist liberals when Bill Maher got hit by a $9 million suit from an ex-girlfriend who claimed he called her racial slurs, slapped her around at parties and threatened to beat her with a hammer?
Where were those pro-feminist liberals when Joy Behar called Republican congresswoman Sharron Angle “a moron evil bitch who is going to hell” on live television?
And for that matter, where were those pro-feminist liberals when Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham “a slut” on his radio program … and how come nobody demanded he resign from his post, let alone issue a single apology (and an aside, but why does a “respectable” newspaper like The Washington Post misspell the word “the” in their own headlines?)
The answer here is clear – because the same people outraged and crying for O’Reilly’s head on a stick in the name of “gender equality” don’t give half a dookie when people who belong to their own reductionistic political tribal ideology do bad things.
O’Reilly didn’t lose his job because he said mean things to women. O’Reilly lost his job because a whole bunch of people who don’t like his politics – and see his very existence as a threat to their own grandiose political agenda – took full advantage of a messy legal situation and made an orchestrated attempt to oust him based on mostly unfounded or largely exaggerated claims.
Whatever O’Reilly said or did to his accusers doesn’t mean anything (because if it did, pro-feminist liberals would’ve taken Hilary to task for accepting donations from a convicted pedophile and representatives of foreign governments with legal systems that really do treat women as second class citizens.) O’Reilly’s ideological opponents simply saw an opening, they pounced on it, and they cajoled and shamed his boss and his sponsors to the point they capitulated and turned on him, too – all on the almost certainly overblown rising tide of manufactured public outrage.
Hardcore, millionaire-and-billionaire progressivists have wanted O’Reilly unemployed based on jealous petty politics alone for more than two decades. The sexual harassment angle was just a convenient trojan horse exploited for their true endgame – to eliminate a powerful, dissenting political voice from the airwaves altogether and at any cost.
And in that, the biggest “victim” in this whole brouhaha might just be O’Reilly himself.