Why is Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” the number one cable news show when he has struck settlement deals with five women, totaling $13 million, for sexual harassment and verbal abuse?
Since 2002, O’Reilly, Fox News’ highest rated political commentator, has been accused of vicious verbal abuse of producers, unwanted sexual advancements and, according to Emily Steel of The New York Times, “phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating.”
In the meantime, he has made over $60 million for himself, and billions in advertising revenue for Fox.
Interestingly enough, this type of scandal is nothing new for 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company.
Last year, Roger Ailes, the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group, stepped down from his position for the same assortment of harassment, minus the inappropriate phone calls.
In fact, two days ago Ailes was accused by a fifth woman, Julie Roginsky, for making unwanted sexual advances toward her in one-on-one meetings. Ailes’ settlement total is a little over $60 million, with Fox Television Stations Group footing the bill.
The fact that the Fox News Channel has been the most-watched cable channel in America for the past 14 years says a lot about who we are as Americans.
For one, it says that we love 24-hour news commentary. But more importantly, it says that we don’t really care about how women are treated in the entertainment industry.
For decades, Fox has had scandal after scandal and settlement after settlement, yet their ratings continue to rise, and these predators are rewarded for their efforts.
When is it appropriate for us to begin boycotting this behavior? The correct answer to that question is 10 years ago.
Last month, a protest against Uber on Twitter lost the company millions and over 200,000 customers. We say it’s time we do the same to Fox News and The O’Reilly Factor. Mercedes-Benz reassigned its advertisements Monday in protest; let’s join them.