Fox News has been dealing with some pretty hard hitting scandals lately. First Roger Ailes was forced out as head of the company when it was found he sexually harassed women at the network. Now they let go of Bill O’Reilly after it wasn’t alleged and found that he too sexually harassed dozens of women in the workforce. Ultimately the Murdoch brothers fired him but it was not long before President Trump defended him to the mainstream liberal media.
In an interview conducted at the White House, the President said the following about Bill O’Reilly,
“He’s a person I know well — he is a good person. I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled… Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
It seems that even if the former anchor has lost all friends and colleagues he certainly has one in the President. Likely because the President understands what it is like to have sexual harassment charges levied against him. He himself has had to settle out of court on another occasion as well.
The name of O’Reilly’s former show has already been changed on the screen and he has already been replaced with another former colleague who will be filling in for him. The Hollywood Reporter also reported that despite all this controversy O’Reilly will still be conducting his “The Spin Stops Here Tour.”
However, he might find that difficult since many of the arenas he is booked to do shows at are being pressured from outside sources to cancel on him because of the sexual harassment claims. The first two shows of his tour are sold out and they begin on June 17th in New York City, New York.
O’Reilly will be working alongside comedians Dennis Miller and Jesse Watters. The events were formerly very popular and even fetched $65 for standard tickets on Ticketmaster while VIP ticketed seats are going for $500. Part of his tour includes the NYCB Theatre at Westbury in New York. As well as Tampa, Florida, Baltimore, Maryland, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Anaheim, California.
A liberal petition company is now working to ensure he is not able to complete his tour. The for-profit Care2 spearheads petitions for progressive and liberal causes. Now their petition to ask venues to cancel on O’Reilly has garnered over 22,000 responses. The website also claims responsibility for being instrumental in getting Jenny Craig to pull their advertisements from O’Reilly’s program after they gave them a 30,000 person signed petition.
The removal of O’Reilly also led to an advertising exodus and consumer backlash. When O’Reilly left despite having so much advertising pulled he was given a $25 million payout. Mercedes-Benz and Aleve were among the advertisers who left and by the end, only ten advertisers remained. Likely because they are incredibly aware of how consumers negatively react to bad press like this which ultimately will result in lost revenue and capitol share.
One Mercedes-Benz spokesman said,
“The allegations are disturbing. Given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.”
Just last week the President ironically named April 2017 National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Yet he and several Fox News officials including Bill O’Reilly have been marred by sexual harassment allegations that have permeated their political and media careers. The President also defended Roger Ailes insisting he felt that he was innocent based on evidence he said he read. O’Reilly’s book publisher has refused to give a comment on the matter.
While 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, is in hot water for the financial payment they have made to victims of O’Reilly’s harassment over the years that was previously unknown. It seems that Fox News is having a bit of a crisis when it comes to the character of the people they place in the highest positions in their network.
Their persona has taken quite a hit. But they will no doubt bounce back and well as they always do. However, if they want to stand the test of time they will have to do some immense changing if they want to remain at the top.
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