World Affairs Brief, April 21, 2017 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com).
BILL O’REILLY FORCED OUT AT FOX
Bill O’Reilly, the most popular and widely watched news commentator on cable television has been forced to resign at Fox News because of multiple charges of sexual harassment from women at Fox News. While O’Reilly has continually denied all charges, it’s hard to believe that denial given the reported $13 million Fox News has paid out to settle multiple lawsuits. His ouster follows that of Fox News Chief Roger Ailes who cost Fox $35 million in out of court settlements. That’s a lot of money to pay for tolerating sexual predators in house.
While many conservatives are upset with Fox for firing O’Reilly, I’m not one of them and not at all surprised, either. I always found O’Reilly arrogant and offensive to anyone who disagreed with him. He also had a near perpetual smirk on his face which is telling about the less-than-honest personality deep within. He was an inveterate conspiracy denier, which also put him on my bad list of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” among so-called “conservative” commentators.
That said, there is nothing worse than a conservative hypocrite who is a “luthario” —someone who is always on the hunt to seduce women. That’s the description that best fits what former staff and presenters at Fox have said here and here. And, remember, these aren’t the ones subjected to the worst advances of O’Reilly who by their settlement agreement must remain silent. Kristin Powers relates this:
Former Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers told CNN’s Cooper that she complained about inappropriate comments O’Reilly allegedly made, but was told by then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes that he couldn’t do anything because O’Reilly made too much money for the channel.
She said that O’Reilly’s downfall at the network was ‘stunning because Bill O’Reilly was Fox News. ‘He had so much power there and it was sort of unthinkable that he would ever leave there except on his own terms.’
O’Reilly’s dismissal came from the very top, from the two heirs of Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan and James. Both were also instrumental in ousting Roger Ailes, who was long protected by Rupert. Now they have dropped the hammer on O’Reilly who was protected by Ailes until his ouster. Sadly, O’Reilly walks away with a golden parachute of $25M.
The question for Fox is, will it’s advertisers who bailed out over the O’Reilly scandal return. I think they will because Fox fans, addicted to all-day cable news, really have nowhere else to go. Fox News is a $90 million operation and its nearest competitor, Chris Ruddy’s NewsMax is second at only $10M according to estimates. But Fox will have to scramble to replace lost income since it has now lost its two biggest stars, Megyn Kelly, who is still trying to find a place on mainstream NBC daytime talk shows, and Bill O’Reilly.
Neither are a big loss to conservatives, in my opinion. Kelly was only an occasional conservative when it served her purposes at Fox. She now showing her liberal bent at NBC. O’Reilly was always a RINO conservative, having supported government registration of guns, the Paris climate change agreement and opposed the death penalty— positions out of step with real conservatives. Fox also continues to have a big draw in Sean Hannity, but he too is a conspiracy denier, which denies Fox listeners a crucial understanding our battle with the dark side of government.
Tucker Carlson has the good fortune of being the one to replace O’Reilly at the top spot in prime time. I like Carlson a lot and find that he’s a breath of fresh air compared to all the rest. Carlson never comes across as arrogant and dismissive of others as did O’Reilly and sometimes Hannity, who also has a huge ego.
Fox clearly has some rebuilding to do. It bends over backward to put on a lot of Left-liberals on the air for “balance.” –So much so, that you hear a lot of bad information on the network. Conservatives only tolerate this because they expect to hear some more conservative analysis (most of the time) from O’Reilly, Hannity and Carlson. As the NY Times said,
No two people did more to build Fox News Channel into a powerful cultural-political force than Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly… Mr. O’Reilly quickly climbed to the top of the cable ratings, then pulled the rest of the network along with him as he became one of the biggest stars in television news history.
In so doing, he empowered Mr. Ailes to build Fox News into more than America’s No. 1 cable news network. Much more significantly, Mr. O’Reilly helped Mr. Ailes turn it into the beating heart of a new, populist conservative movement, one that reshaped the political landscape while making its parent company, 21st Century Fox, billions.
I think that last comment is important. Fox News has never been truly conservative or dedicated to liberty—not with a globalist like Rupert Murdoch as owner. It’s populist like Trump and rode the wave of anti-Obama Left-liberalism to the top. Now those billions are partially in jeopardy, but I don’t think Fox will lose its number one spot—all the rest of cable news is just too bad to listen to in comparison.