CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter did not mince words when he discussed the fallout from the sexual harassment scandal engulfing Bill O’Reilly.
Stelter appeared on Erin Burnett Outfront Tuesday. At that point, there were 18 advertisers that had pulled their ads from O’Reilly and moved them to other Fox shows in the wake of a bombshell New York Times report on the multiple accusations against O'Reilly and the $13 million paid out in settlement claims.
Stelter said there were actually more advertisers fleeing the show because some were doing so privately.
CNN has since reported a tally of 21. It is unclear whether the additional advertisers were part of that group that was private but have now gone public, or if more have turned away.
Regardless, Stelter noted, "This may not be hurting Fox’s finances, but it is hurting O’Reilly’s reputation. It is a PR disaster for him."
O’Reilly has still not mentioned the matter on the air. Stelter said, “I’m told he’s being counseled to 'stay quiet, do not address this.'”
Stelter went on to say that the ultimate decision about O’Reilly’s fate will be up to the Murdochs.
Although Rupert Murdoch is in charge of Fox, his sons, who “help run the company … are deeply uncomfortable with these stories, with The New York Times story, with this advertiser backlash," Stelter continued. "Whether they do anything about it, though, is the question.”
"At some point, Fox may say, this is enough," Stelter added.
Especially given Julie Roginsky’s sexual harassment lawsuit filed Monday and the demands by her lawyer and by accuser Wendy Walsh (a non-litigant profiled in The Times article) for truly independent investigations.
Stay tuned! Meanwhile, watch Stelter on the April 4, 2017 Erin Burnett Outfront below, via Media Matters.
While I applaud these advertisers for not wanting to be associated with Bill, I hope they too are not waiting for this to be forgotten and slowly creep back.