In the wake of a scandal involving numerous accusations of sexual harassment and reports of settlements courtesy of The New York Times, on Tuesday Bill O’Reilly made it clear that he is taking a vacation from the air.
What does this mean? At the moment not all that much. O’Reilly claims that he first booked the vacation last fall; you can argue convenience or anything else if you’d like, but it doesn’t really matter since there’s no proof one way or another. The one thing that is fairly hard to dispute at present are the metrics of him departing at this time, with him likely knowing what the court of public opinion thinks about him.
Also, you have reports from New York Magazine that say that there’s a chance that O’Reilly does not come back on the air at all. A Fox News spokesperson says that The O’Reilly Factor will be back featuring its host on Monday, April 24, but there is currently an investigation going on at the moment into his behavior and some of the accusations.
While O’Reilly has been the highest-rated cable news host for a long time now, it’s still very clear that there are problems for the network. A large number of advertises have already departed the show, and there is certainly mounting pressure, especially following the Roger Ailes scandal at the network.
If O’Reilly does leave the show, most than likely it will happen with little fanfare. If it doesn’t happen, then the network is likely going to be continuing to go about its business as though nothing ever happened. This is probably going to be a frustrating situation for those who want O’Reilly fired either way; even if they get what they want, it will probably not happen in the way in which they want it.
One way or another, we’ll continue following this story to see what transpires; for the time being, though, it’s very hard to say what way the network is going to lean. For the time being, it’s probably best to view O’Reilly’s announcement literally, and see if something else comes down the pipeline a little bit later down the road.
What do you think: Is this vacation simply that, or do you think that something further is at play here? Share in the comments below. (Photo: Fox News.)