Ethical-Political Quandary

It was announced today that the complications surrounding Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment issues have caused Fox News (i.e., the Murdochs) to cut him loose. Question: Is he toast everywhere eternally or can he submit to the usual remedies and wind up with another big-station or big-radio berth within a year or less? Can he do a Brian Williams or more precisely a Mel Gibson — a long exile followed by eventual rehabilitation via two or three soul-baring interviews in which he apologizes for having been a pig and a dog? Imagine that it’s the summer of 2018, and that O’Reilly has done all this and thereby achieved limited reprieve status (not among women or progressives but with advertisers). If you were the head of CNN, would you offer him a slot? You know that hinterland righties will tune in if he returns.

  • David Adams

    BillO will never apologize because he doesn’t think he did anything wrong and still be cashing Fox News checks for the next two years thanks to he recent new contract.

    If he comes back on another outlet it’ll be on his terms with no mea culpas. Hopefully the people that successfully got him booted will come back and give his new employer the same hard time as they gave Fox.

    • Terry McCarty

      Guessing Bill will go the same online route as Glenn Beck.

  • THX11384EB

    Still a sexual predator in the White House though.

    • Thom Phoolery

      Amazing that it’s never happened before.

    • robert jenks

      You think Bill Clinton is still president? Please seek help.

  • Carl LaFong

    The public will eventually forget, but these things usually take five years or so to clear the collective conscious, by which point O’Reilly will be 72. He stands a better chance of getting a steady paycheck on AM radio than another TV gig sooner than later – just ask Don Imus.

  • Magga

    Guess he’ll be running against Alex Jones for the nomination in 2024

  • Jeff

    He will be radioactive for as long as the money doesn’t come in, the momen it does no one will care. As has already been said Trump is president. 60 percent of the country doesn’t really give a shit about this kind of sexual harassment because they believe in the Chris Rock line if Clarence Thomas looked like Denzel, it would’ve been all “ohhhh Denzel, you so crazy.”

    • Spicerpalooza

      His tv ratings had actually gone up in recent weeks, so his audience clearly doesn’t give a shit about the harassment cases. If they can lure advertises soon he’ll be back in no time.

      • Jeff

        Yep. They cared about the advertiser’s pulling out. People really think about sexual harassment as a giant gray area. Basically did you fire someone because they wouldn’t fuck you or did you act super creepy and abuse power and get rejected. Everybody dates and gets rejected, they all bring their own baggage to these ethical questions.

        • gruver1

          Advertisers, not “advertiser’s”

      • gruver1


  • otto

    I give it about six months before he strikes a Glenn-Beck-type arrangement.

    • bentrane

      Or, as Ken Tucker suggests, he could build a radio empire a la Rush Limbaugh.

      • “We’ll do it online! FUCK IT! DO IT ONLINE!”

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      • Mark Henry Hopper

        O’Reilly tried a radio show a few years ago and crashed and burned really badly.

  • Terry McCarty

    “If you were the head of CNN, would you offer him a slot? You know that hinterland righties will tune in if he returns.” Jeff Zucker would probably relegate him to HLN, where Bill would be a big fish in a smaller pond a la Brian Williams at MSNBC.

    • Jeff

      Maybe. Zucker is in a tricky spot right now trying to balance being successful at his job and alienating all his liberal friends socially for the blood on his hands after airing the Trump rallies nonstop for ratings.

  • m_00_m

    Brian Williams was exiled due to in-house policy matters. For O’Reilly, it was a lawsuit leading to a legal settlement. That means, apology or no apology, any company hiring him is ‘on the hook’ if future accusations arrive, since his sexual harassment issues are have been officially held to public account.

    So he’s basically untouchable to work for any major media organization. He could always find an online location to spread his loudmouth sexist, racist, claptrap. If that happens, pray he doesn’t start caring about the Oscar race.

  • Eric

    He could probably just retire and maybe do his own thing?

  • Dave Billet

    Maybe he can get a gig as the new Spokesman for Hershey’s Hot Chocolate.

  • Grampappy Amos

    Since he was nice enough to invite you on his show, maybe you can start the comeback by having him on one of those podcasts

  • Mark Henry Hopper

    How does a corporation hire a well-known sexual harasser without putting themselves at tremendous legal risk? Fox News under Ailes was a safe haven that was willing to pay for the settlements but O’Reilly’s proclivities weren’t as widely known until much after he was already hired. Different situation to hire him now.

    I could see him going back to his roots and creating a syndicated show for himself. Would be tough to get stations to carry it though.

    I don’t think he has the work ethic for radio.

    He’ll probably just keep pumping out his books. Hell, maybe Trump will hire him.

    • Carl LaFong

      As soon as Spicer leaves/fired, there’ll be an opening.

      • m_00_m

        I absolutely do not get where this “O’Reilly can be WH Spokesman!” sentiment is coming from. Why in the hell would O’Reilly, after decades of presenting himself as this straight-talking noBS truth-teller, turn around and spout the daily BS coming from the White House? I mean, it’s a very likely that at some point he would have to loudly insist that the White House is pursuing a course of action, only to find out Trump tweeted about doing the exact opposite while he was talking to the press. Who, besides a blundering fool in an Easter Bunny costume, would want to sign on for that shit? Not an elderly guy with millions in the bank, that’s for sure.

        • Mark Henry Hopper

          Yeah that’s almost certainly not what would happen. I could see Trump giving him an Ambassadorship or something though.

  • The Bandsaw Vigilante
  • arisp

    Radio, and the millions he makes on his books. That’s what’s going to happen.

    • VR

      And probably paid speeches.

  • The Bandsaw Vigilante

    I really wonder how many of the FOX News geriatric viewership will even notice he’s gone?

    I suppose the lesson of the Beck and Limbaugh-boycotts still holds: corporations that care about nothing but the bottom line can still be made to do the right thing, if only to cover their own asses.

    Sponsors had to drop O’Reilly like a hot potato in order to avoid being boycotted themselves, leaving Fox answering to stockholders about precisely when this hour-long block of prime time television was supposed to go back to generating revenue in accordance with its ratings.

    (Has Trump tweeted about this yet? You know he’s going to side with Bill, but will he say anything bad about FOX News? Probably not. Probably blame a FAKE liberal media witch-hunt.)

    The dog caught the car. Now it’s getting ground up in the wheel-well. Poor dog.

    John Oliver should be awesome on Sunday.

    • m_00_m

      The heck with Oliver – what’s Colbert going to say about “Poppa Bear”‘s demise? He based his Comedy Central persona on O’Reilly, after all.

  • Gil Padilla

    I think he will lay low for 6 months and then start a show on radio.

  • Ivan__Drago

    I mourn the loss of O’Reilly. He’s a Legend, probably the greatest of all time. He emerged as it became clear that mainstream media was biased and offered a fair right tilted perspective.

    I wonder if people that hate him ever watched the show, I don’t see how they could have. He’s different than goofs like Hannity he was opinionated but close to fair and balanced, certainty capable of surprising you with his take.

    Pour one out for the no spin zone. Of course he was the boogeyman to the left, he would win arguments, they tend to hate that.

    • Dave Billet

      Here’s “The legend” when he was a weatherman at our local station back in the day. Check out that fake fur collar. Probably wasn’t getting laid then either.

      • Jeff

        The rich white republican blowhards always get laid, they just get rejected a lot too. I bet O’Reilly has done just fine over the years, he’s just swung too close to the sun too often. If you make money and are famous, you will get laid.

        • Dave Billet

          $13 million could have bought a lifetime supply of hookers.

  • The Bandsaw Vigilante

    Reading the WSJ summary, it seems when O’Reilly negotiated his new contract, there was a clause that, should any more “red flags” pop up, 21st Century Fox had the right to terminate the contract.

    At the same time, Fox had a law firm doing an internal review to make sure there weren’t any previous such red flags, and found some. I’d guess there was someone else about to go public, or details from an old case (or his divorce) were/are about to surface.

    With O’Reilly done at FOX and Alex Jones possibly losing the respect of the tinfoil-hat-wearing crowd, maybe (just maybe), being stupid and angry is starting to go out of style. That racist, bad-touch batshit grandpa nobody invites to Christmas dinner absolutely deserves everything he’s getting right now.

    Don’t worry, Bill, you can always fall back on publishing books that like two dozen people buy and then leave sitting untouched on the shelf waiting to be awkwardly discovered at a family reunion or when someone’s girlfriend’s parents come over!

    They’re giving his timeslot to Tucker Carlson, who I’m certain doesn’t have a penis, but is just as vile in his opinions. Win some, lose some.

    • Reverent and free

      With Alex Jones I think the issue was going from being a niche Coast to Coast 9/11 truther to being a wealthy RW superstar in a very short time. He never had to get his shit together before.

  • Reverent and free

    With Gibson, his lifesaver was that when the 2006 DUI happened, most of his past collaborators vouched for his character and lamented how sad that it was that Good-time Mel fell on his face. That seems to be a major difference thsn O’Reilly, whom many of his colleagues do think is an asshole.