Bill O’Reilly may be officially leaving Fox News, but he is not departing the network quietly after many allegations against him.
In his first comments (per Entertainment Weekly) since news of his departure was first announced, the commentator continued to deny sexual harassment claims, despite a string of reports that the network paid out millions in settlements to resolve issues over the course of his career there:
“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television … It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
We don’t think anyone is denying the success of The O’Reilly Factor as a program — say what you will about the network or its political viewpoint, but ratings are ratings. The larger issue here is more of the he said, she said that is going on regarding whether or not O’Reilly is guilty of anything. Fox News says that they decided to move on from O’Reilly after an investigation that was done in collaboration with an outside party; the allegations are still just that, but there was obviously enough concern about them to cause dozens of advertisers to pull their ads.
As we said earlier, the biggest concern that we have here is why it took the New York Times reporting on alleged settlements to make any major movement happen in regards to O’Reilly’s status. The optics of what transpired read like the network silenced women with money for the sake of ratings. The only way to know for sure is to be on the inside; from an outside point of view, the appearance is deeply troubling.
What do you think should happen next for Fox News? Share below! We know that Tucker Carlson will be replacing O’Reilly at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, so we’ll see what transpires with his old timeslot. (Photo: Fox News.)