After several days of speculation, it seems as though Fox News has finally come to a decision regarding Bill O’Reilly.
According to New York Magazine (who has been accurate in their reporting through this whole process), the famed O’Reilly Factor host will not be returning to the show following his vacation. There are discussions now revolving around how to properly announce his exit, and then also determine the right replacement for them.
Ultimately, this marks a huge sea change for the network, but if some of the initial reports of alleged sexual harassment and network payouts are true, it’s hard to have any sympathy for them at all.
Seeing O’Reilly’s exit will be seen as a victory by many, given that it’s an example of someone’s reported misdeeds coming back to get them in the end. In between this, the exit of Roger Ailes, and the recent reports and statements revolving around Alex Jones, this is an important time when it comes to conservative pundits, their information, their brand, and in the case of Ailes and O’Reilly, the culture surrounding them. We are starting to become a culture that fights back against misconduct — there is still much work to be done, but you must applaud progress where it’s made.
Yet, the real problem when it comes to this O’Reilly situation is this — if the initial reporting on the settlements was not made by the New York Times, would anything be different now? Would The O’Reilly Factor still be airing with regularity as though nothing ever happened? The sentiment here is that the only reason why anything is happening is because of media reports and suggested leaks. The O’Reilyl incident is far from the only example out there of a punishment being handed out by an organization only after information was made public. What’s it going to take in order for a company to self-police itself, and realize that allegations of women should be taken seriously?
We hope that the lesson learned here with the Fox News – O’Reilly situation is that everyone should be held accountable in the workplace, whether you are a staff member of a host. Also, Fox News is going to have a lot of work to do restoring the faith in some of their advertisers in between this and everything with Ailes. In the end, it seems like the departure of advertisers, potentially even more so than the horrible nature of the allegations themselves, is one of the reasons why O’Reilly’s tenure is coming to a close.
What is your take on the end of The O’Reilly Factor, and how culpable the network is in allowing things to even get to this point? Share in the comments below. (Photo: Fox News.)