Bill O’Reilly

You are currently browsing articles tagged Bill O’Reilly.

In writing for the Hollywood Reporter about falafel fetishist Bill O’Reilly just before he was ousted from Fox News, Michael Wolff, a ghastly man, seems to long for a time when mediocre older white guys could be paid gobs of money from media outlets and treat people any which way they wanted to. Wonder why.

Wolff repeatedly refers to the numerous charges against O’Reilly with wariness (“no trial has occurred, no evidence has been released, no investigators’ conclusions shared”), seeming to forget that actual tapes of O’Reilly’s boorish behavior have been introduced into court. The transcripts are not family reading.

He writes: “It’s a particular sort of irony that Fox, which, to the delight of its audience, built itself on rejecting liberal assumptions, might now be brought down by such a signature liberal assumption: Where there are charges of sexual harassment, there is sexual harassment.”

The journalist also doesn’t mention that O’Reilly has long been an astoundingly hypocritical moral crusader, encouraging corporations to dump celebrities (always African-American ones) whom he deemed sexist. That was the context of Pepsi severing ties with rapper Ludacris in 2002.

When not questioning the accusers’ motives (“plaintiffs come out of the woodwork”), the writer mainly judges the situation on how the changing of the lard will effect the cable channel’s bottom line. It’s understood that THR is a trade publication about the business of show and that’s part of the story he must analyze, but he didn’t have to do so by divorcing basic morality from the situation and ignoring completely the effects of an abusive workplace on those employed there. He instead goes out of his way to be sympathetic to the figure who wielded the power. That was Wolff’s own awful decision.

An excerpt:

Your narrative is your fate. It doesn’t matter if O’Reilly or Ailes did or didn’t do the things they are accused of — no trial has occurred, no evidence has been released, no investigators’ conclusions shared — their real guilt is that people believe they could have.

Confusing matters, the Murdoch sons also see O’Reilly and Ailes as part of a bygone era — their father’s. Pay no attention that it was precisely this sensibility that has been such a powerful audience draw at Fox. (Of note, to the lasting outrage and confusion of liberals, Trump, despite the bygone era suggested by his Billy Bush “pussygate” tape, was elected anyway.) The Murdoch sons, while in important ways financially supported by the profitable, culturally backward views at Fox, see their job as taking the company into a new era.

The sons’ plan was to make Fox the network of Megyn Kelly rather than of Ailes and O’Reilly. That plan foundered on widespread resentment at the network toward Kelly for her part in Ailes’ ouster and on the election of Trump. Suddenly, Fox’s “when America was great and men were men” appeal was even stronger.

One solution has been Tucker Carlson, a conservative but less of a dour, bygone-era one, who has scored significant ratings at 9 p.m. But an important aspect of those ratings is that he is firmly sandwiched between O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. Both retro men are, even beyond their huge salaries (nearly $20 million a year for O’Reilly; $14 million for Hannity), vastly rich — O’Reilly, 67, from books; Hannity, 55, from radio and real estate — with dedicated audiences who’d likely follow them wherever. The worry at Fox is that they need Fox less than Fox needs them, and they might soon leave too.

The liberal hope is that media pressure will continue to force advertisers to reject O’Reilly (no matter that liberals have frequently been aghast when conservatives have urged advertiser boycotts of liberal media). But, in fact, so far advertisers have merely moved to other Fox shows, which depend on the O’Reilly spillover audience. If O’Reilly, who is on a pre-planned vacation, returns April 24 and the ratings remain strong, those advertisers likely will be back on his show.

Murdoch Senior has remained largely remote from this dispute, but he reportedly has been paying attention again. He is said to be worried that his sons are moving toward a radical break — “re-imagining Fox,” is what James is said to call it — and hastening the end of an era that, in television terms, so far has been more popular and unyielding than any cozier new one.•

Tags: ,

Sarah Palin: "Unalienable" right to be loud and stupid. (Image by Tricia Ward.)

Sarah Palin: You can just go to the early documents of our Founding Fathers and see how they crafted a Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They knew our unalienable rights don’t come from man, they come from God.

Decoder: Perhaps if I had actually read these documents, I would know that it’s “inalienable” rights.

Sarah Palin: I think we should just kind of keep this clean, keep it simple. It’s pretty simple.

Decoder: I’m pretty simple.

Sarah Palin: Go back to what our Founders and founding documents meant–they’re quite clear we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.

Decoder: God must have thought that slavery should be legal and women shouldn’t have the vote. Or maybe those documents were drawn up not by God but by really smart but really fallible men.

Sarah Palin: I have said all along that America is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Decoder: Certainly the Founding Fathers who had Judeo-Christian beliefs were informed by them, but they didn’t think this was a country specifically designed for people with any particular religious beliefs. And the Founders were pretty aware of the dangers of blurring the lines between church and state.

Sarah Palin: It’s ironic that here on National Day of Prayer, there is so much controversy about whether or not we’re a nation built on Judeo-Christian beliefs and whether or not we can even talk about God in the public square.

Deocder: I mostly use the public square to mock community organizers who try to help the poorest people and give them hope. Jesus would have crotch-punched these losers.

Bill O'Reilly: Screamed God's name a lot during phone sex.

Bill O’Reilly: On the National Day of Prayer, you can pray to a tree.

Decoder: God is completely okay with my phone sex habit.

Sarah Palin: Well that new kind of world view that I think is a kind of step toward the fundamental transformation in America that some want to see today it is an attempt to rewrite and revisit history.

Decoder: Like when I tried to rewrite history and claim that I opposed the Bridge to Nowhere project in Alaska.

Bill O’Reilly: America has transformed a great deal since 1776 and it’s a much more secular society.

Decoder: That woman who sued me for sexual harrassment said that I bragged about owning a vibrator shaped like a cock.

Sarah Palin: Margaret Thatcher and other foreign leaders think that America is so great and exceptional because we base our laws on God of the Bible, the Old and the New Testament.

Decoder: If I had read the Declaration of Independence, I would know that America doesn’t have to try to impress the British. Also: Making laws based on the Bible would lead to huge amounts of bloodshed and suffering.

Bill O’Reilly: We can only trust in God in our own homes, but we once we got outside, we can’t.

Decoder:  I have a hands-free device so I can talk and masturbate at the same time.

More Decoders:

Tags: ,