In all likelihood — barring some sort of deus ex machina move from Rupert Murdoch — Bill O’Reilly’s probably on his way out of Fox News. Granted, the network hasn’t responded to inquiries sourcing from the past day or so (especially not to CNN), about mounting sexual harassment allegations. Yet the scales have appeared to tip out of the no-spin zone ever since a new accuser claimed that O’Reilly once called her “hot chocolate” and made grunty animal noises in an effort to … well, you can guess.
This appeared to have been the last straw after The O’Reilly Factor lost over 50 advertisers following news that he and 21st Century Fox paid a combined total of $ 13 million to settle sexual harassment suits over the years. Now, the Wall Street Journal (also owned by Rupert Murdoch) has relayed that Fox is preparing to cut the cord: “A final decision on Mr. O’Reilly’s fate could come as early as the next several days.” The paper also quotes the host’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, who calls this a leftist conspiracy against his client:
“Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly, and it is irrefutable.”
Kasowitz strangely blames the left for orchestrating a “character assassination” but kinda misses the whole settlement-payment factor that has led to this scandal’s exposure. Several other outlets added to the story, including the Drudge Report’s Matt Drudge (natch), who lined up to eulogize O’Reilly’s career:
Elsewhere, CNN reported that the Fox News will hold a board meeting, likely on Thursday, to discuss O’Reilly’s fate. And of course, New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman learned from his inside sources that Fox News morale is “awful” right now, and the Murdochs are turning their back on the host and enduring “fraught” family discussions. Sherman wrote that sons James and Lachlan are working hard to convince ol’ Rupert to to pull away from O’Reilly, but will Rupert listen?
Last week, the network sent O’Reilly on “vacation”, possibly to see if things would blow over, to no avail.