by G. Brown
It was without a doubt the firing that shot around the world. FOX News finally took a stand against its top rated host Bill O’Reilly and booted him from the network after years and years of sexual harassment charges leveled against the anchor.
“The O’Reilly Factor” host came under fire recently as news about his past charges of sexual harassment resurfaced. FOX News apparently started trying to clean up its act with the termination of its previous news division’s chief Roger Ailes last year. The network is now said to be investigating charges against O’Reilly but looked at removing their biggest star when the big bucks from advertisers dwindled as companies sought to distance themselves from the scandal and bad press. The anchor abruptly went on vacation before the Easter holiday and that was the last of his live show which apparently will continue under the name of “The Factor” with a new host.
The news of the news anchor being fired apparently was like a gift from the meme gods to Twitter users…
Though he was social media silent, somewhere rapper/actor Ludacris must be resting on a big, soft Karmic pillow. O’Reilly once made it his “family values” mission to go after Pepsi in 2002 when the soda giant tagged the rapper for one of its ads. O’Reilly called on his viewers to boycott the company saying, “I’m calling for all responsible Americans to fight back and punish Pepsi for using a man who degrades women, who encourages substance abuse, and does all the things that hurt particularly the poor in our society,” If only O’Reilly knew that the very same principles he used to attack Ludacris and hip-hop in general would come back to bite him in the anchor seat when Pepsi and about 60 corporations including Mercedes Benz, BMW, Bayer, AllState, Esurance, Nenny Craig, VisionWork and Consumer Cellular all pulled their ads from O’Reilly’s show two weeks ago. Even Reddi Wip that tastes good with everything couldn’t swallow the taste of angry consumers questioning their “advertising presence on the O’Reilly Factor” and the company pulled out.
Still, O’Reilly is not without his support. The publisher for his latest book Old School: Life in the Sane Lane vows to stand by him…for now. And OReilly fans clamored to twitter last week to vent their frustration before the ax fell. Most fans blamed the “liberals” as the problem and others just drowned their sorrows in criticisms against Bill and Hillary Clinton like one user who commented “Liberals are happy with #BillOReilly being let go yet they forget about willy Clinton and his famous cigar.” Others were just steeped in denial like the user who said, “Let’s bombard Fox News with tweets/calls to support Bill O’Reilly. Accusations seem phony, a set-up. No real proof of any serious incidents.”
We saw how more serious charges and crimes against women have almost erased Bill Cosby from existence with the exception of headlines talking about his court appearances. But will this sexual harassment scandal also destroy Bill O’Reilly’s career? At 67 years old, its hard to see him landing another anchor gig…especially since FOX News is the flagship for conservative, White nationalists. Still, former anchors like Brian Williams (lied about war coverage) went on to land a not as high profile gig on the still NBC owned MSNBC. O’Reilly could do like another FOX News fire Glenn Beck and go and start his own channel … which he can probably afford especially if he got a severance package comparable to predecessor Ailes who reportedly was paid $40 million when fired. Of course, there’s always radio that’s home to people like Rush Limbaugh and Don Imus.
Twitterdom can celebrate over O’Reilly’s ouster…but “out” doesn’t mean down for long when you’re a White man in America and full of hate towards everyone who’s not a White male. There just always seem to be an audience willing to listen or watch that kind of hatred when its served up as intelligent broadcast news.
What do you think….did FOX get rid of its biggest problem? Will O’Reilly have another job in 6 months or less?