Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bill O'Reilly Thrives at Fox News (VIDEO)

I've watched O'Reilly now for years. When I first started watching him regularly, at least ten years ago, I was mindful of the stereotypes, from critics both right and left: You know, how he's a blowhard, and not really conservative, and all that.

That's all true, of course, But he's a patriot who works hard. He loves the country and he models our values, especially individualism and fairness. I suspect he actually has sexually harassed women at some point. He's an old school kind of a guy, and some of the old school brusque "locker room" kind of banter and being is bound to slip out once in a while. He's wealthy, though, so million dollar payouts here and there, without conceding allegations, just make problems go away.

 In any case, at the New York Times, "Bill O'Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up." (At Memeorandum.)

About $13 million has been paid out over the years to address complaints from women about Mr. O’Reilly’s behavior. He denies the claims have merit.

For nearly two decades, Bill O’Reilly has been Fox News’s top asset, building the No. 1 program in cable news for a network that has pulled in billions of dollars in revenues for its parent company, 21st Century Fox.

Behind the scenes, the company has repeatedly stood by Mr. O’Reilly as he faced a series of allegations of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

An investigation by The New York Times has found a total of five women who have received payouts from either Mr. O’Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. The agreements totaled about $13 million.

Two settlements came after the network’s former chairman, Roger Ailes, was dismissed last summer in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, when the company said it did not tolerate behavior that “disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.”

The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.

The reporting suggests a pattern: As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr. O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally. He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.

Of the five settlements, two were previously known — one for about $9 million in 2004 with a producer, and another struck last year with a former on-air personality, which The Times reported on in January. The Times has learned new details related to those cases...
That "on-air personality" is Juliet Huddy, who's no longer with the network.

But keep reading.