On Saturday, The New York Times published a “bombshell” investigation on the million dollar settlements Bill O’Reilly and Fox News have paid over the years to several women who were allegedly sexually harassed by O’Reilly. And I put “bombshell” in quotes because literally none of this information should be surprising to anyone even remotely familiar with Bill O’Reilly or the predatory culture Roger Ailes personally orchestrated at Fox News. A culture that was only dragged into the light last year when Megyn Kelly came forward and added her voice to Gretchen Carlson’s accusations against Ailes while network stars, like Sean Hannity, steadfastly defended the embattled CEO. (Say what you will about Megyn Kelly’s tenure at Fox News, and there is lots to say, but there’s no denying that the moment she had Ailes in her crosshairs, she pulled the trigger.)
While the allegations surrounding the settlements show a disturbing pattern on O’Reilly’s part, and should absolutely be read to garner a deeper understanding of how easily power is wielded in the workplace for the sake of sexual coercion, there is an equally as damning side to this story that’s quickly coming to light, and again, isn’t much of a surprise:
Fox News doesn’t give a shit about women.
You see, while Rupert Murdoch’s sons were handling the Ailes’ situation and making grand statements about how Fox is a safe and respectful company for women to work (Megyn Kelly’s almost immediate defection to NBC speaks volumes here.), according to the Times, they quietly paid settlements to two of O’Reilly victims shortly after connecting Roger Ailes’ ass with the pavement. Which to be clear, happened less than a year ago.
Had these latest settlements occurred while promptly showing O’Reilly the door, that would’ve been one thing. Instead, the Murdochs not only kept O’Reilly in the building, but also renewed his contract while knowing for months about the Times investigation. CNN’s Brian Stetler reports:
By the time the story came out, the Murdochs had already decided to extend O’Reilly’s contract. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal was the first to report the new deal, and a source confirmed it to CNNMoney.
O’Reilly’s contract, said to be worth about $18 million a year, was due to expire at the end of 2017; now it is unclear when it expires.
All of the parties involved declined to comment. But the news of the new deal is a contractual show of support from 21st Century Fox.
Turns out, Bill O’Reilly generated $446 million in ad revenue from 2014 to 2016, so there’s no way in hell News Corp. isn’t going to look the other way while their top earner pervs his way from one settlement to another. Even more cynically, the Murdochs know for a fact that O’Reilly’s audience won’t care if he turns out to be the next Bill Cosby. We’re talking about people who didn’t bat an eye when Trump bragged about grabbing women by the pussy, so I wouldn’t hold your breath that they suddenly don’t have the stomach for sexual harassment in the workplace. Hell, some of them don’t even think that’s a thing that exists, and others will probably worship O’Reilly for being an “alpha dog.” Because, again, we’re dealing with an audience who only value women’s lives as playthings or perpetual baby ovens. According to the vice president, you can’t even have a meal with them without being tricked by their sex magic, so clearly, Bill O’Reilly is the victim here. Just another man chopped down by a liberal media that’s too afraid to ask reasonable questions like why aren’t these women at home? Were they bleeding out of their whatever? Who’s watching their kids? It’s a shame.