Though many Democrats spent their Wednesday celebrating the downfall of longtime Fox host Bill O’Reilly, it appears that the raging “no-spin” host will be having the last laugh as he is set for a massive payday as severance.
In exchange for his silence, O’Reilly is to be paid somewhere in the tens of millions of dollars by 21st Century Fox for severance. This echoes the treatment of then-President Roger Ailes who was paid handsomely for leaving the network.
Many could have predicted from the praise-heaping dominating his firing announcement that O’Reilly would be as heavily compensated as possible for the sin of losing advertisers. After all, 21st Century Fox had this to say about the man they were being forced to fire:
“By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished television personalities in the history of cable news.”
The writing was on the wall, too, during O’Reilly’s statement on the ending of the relationship as he lavished praise on his employer.
“I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
Though we are all better for having lost Ailes and O’Reilly, it is a sad commentary on society today that men can harass and intimidate dozens of women and still retain their freedom and their piles of cash. As many have noted, O’Reilly was not fired for his treatment of women – that is something Fox has willingly covered up and paid for for years. Rather, it was a concentrated boycott by advertisers, spurred on by the outrage of Americans everywhere. If money hadn’t talked, O’Reilly would be on TV even now, spewing his hypocrisy.
Meanwhile, many of the women both Ailes and O’Reilly harassed and assaulted during their time at Fox were forced to leave their place of employment and possibly even their chosen career field for something that happened to them.
In an environment which sought to look the other way as women were subject to coercion in order to advance their careers, there are no winners here.