What's Next for Bill O'Reilly?
First, some Background
Yes, I am a woman. So, this may surprise some, but I believe that there just isn’t sufficient evidence of misconduct to warrant the actions taken by the Fox News Channel with regard to getting rid of Bill O’Reilly. By contrast, I do think that there was a problem with Roger Ailes, former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, who resigned in July 2016 following allegations that he sexually harassed female colleagues. What I believe happened is that the situation with Ailes, in turn, opened the door for opportunists to follow.
I have watched Bill O'Reilly for a number of years, and he is as proper and straight-laced as they come. True, you don't know a person from what you see on the TV, but my impression is that he would not engage in the type of behavior he is being accused of. I also don’t think that the behavior that has been documented so far rose to the level of sexual harassment.
Our society has gotten far too thin-skinned, in my opinion. For example, one of the complaints concerning Bill is that he made a joke about how many “blond” women were on the network one day. He cracked a joke, thanking them for their “blondness.” Okay, it’s a lame thing to say. It is just an offhand remark he made because he was covering up for getting someone’s name wrong earlier in the program. But I don’t think it warrants dismissal.
And by the way, if somebody thanked me for my “blondness” in that context, I would probably say something like, “Why, thank you. And thank you for your grayness.” That’s the way we used to handle it, back before the days of political correctness gone wild. We just dished it right back. Now, apparently, we file lawsuits.
Show Me the Money
I also agree that it is all about the Benjamins at this point in time. It seems that our society is going more and more towards this tactic. If you don’t agree with someone, you boycott. That’s all fine and good, but too many people jump on board without getting all the facts. All you need are a few buzzwords, like “sexual misconduct,” and you are guilty until proven innocent.
I actually read the account of one of Bill’s accusers. There were at least a half-dozen things she could have done differently (that frankly I would have done differently), rather than have the end result be what it was. My impression was that it seemed like she was setting him up. For example, if a man gives you his hotel room key, after you have gone out to dinner and the theater with him, and you are NOT interested, then you throw it in the trash and possibly complain to human resources if you are that concerned. You do NOT go to his hotel room in person to return it, and then become “offended” that he answered the door with his boxer shorts on. That’s just plain dumb. That’s my opinion, however, and again, I never met the woman in person.
What is Sexual Harassment?
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment involves “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” The question then becomes, what is “unwelcome” and what is not.
It isn’t illegal to pursue a sexual relationship with someone where you work. It is, however, wrong to do so if they tell you “no.” But what if she says “yes,” and goes out on a date with you? At what point does it become wrong? And what if you’re very influential at work and she is not, and she subsequently doesn’t think she has gotten the career development she deserves? Who is to say that she merited advancement? There are no easy answers. But wouldn’t it be nice if we got to hear both sides of the story before we made our judgment?
Bill O’Reilly as his own website, separate and distinct from Fox News. He has several best-selling books, some of which have been made into movies. He also goes on live speaking tours. He may have a few other irons in the fire, but those are what I know about.
I’m going to miss watching Bill in the evenings. His level-headed assessment of world events gave me an anchor in this crazy world. What I hope, is that he decides to continue, at least for a while, in the broadcast news arena. One America News Network (OAN) would be a perfect place for him. His loyal fans would follow, of that I’m certain.
Time will tell. Perhaps we will find out that he really is guilty as charged, in which case I will be personally disappointed. But let’s wait for all the facts, shall we? That’s what Bill did every night on the Factor. I’m going to miss that.