Fox News’ Howard Kurtz briefly addressed the Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment scandal today by suggesting the multiple allegations against him are “echoes” from the “Roger Ailes era” that are “still making news.” Kurtz didn’t say a word about the racial discrimination case against Fox and its long-time comptroller.
Before he got to the Fox scandal, Kurtz attacked the New York Times for its “head-snapping” error of mistakenly identifying Ivanka Trump as Donald Trump’s wife. “Editing error?” Kurtz asked incredulously. “Made by someone unfamiliar with the Trump family or who hasn’t heard of this thing called Google?” As if this was some kind of deliberate snub or smear.
But then, having established his conservative bona fides, Kurtz got to the real story:
KURTZ It’s been a rough week of media coverage for Fox News…
As if the problem is just the media coverage, not the actual harassment.
KURTZ: …with problems that have been covered by all the network newscasts and the major newspapers and have even drawn in the president of the United States.
Much of the criticism follows that New York Times report on Bill O’Reilly or the network paying out $13 million to settle five cases against him alleging sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct. This week, more than 50 companies have pulled their advertising from O’Reilly’s top-rated cable news program. Fox said in a statement, “We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about The O’Reilly Factor. At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.”
President Trump made news and drew some criticism of his own when he told The Times that he doesn’t believe O’Reilly did anything wrong and shouldn’t have settled the cases.
Kurtz did not point out that Trump has boasted about committing sexual assault nor that he has been accused by many woman of sexual misconduct, probably more than O’Reilly has. In a terrific Saturday Night Live skit last night, Alec Baldwin portrayed both men and said, as Trump, “I see a lot of myself in you.”
KURTZ: O’Reilly says he is vulnerable to lawsuits as a high-profile figure and wanted to quote, put to rest any controversies that spare my children.
In a lawsuit this week, Julie Roginsky, a Fox News contributor, alleged that she was being denied, that she had been denied a permanent spot on The Five and Outnumbered because she refused efforts by former Chairman Roger Ailes to draw her into a sexual relationship. The suit says Fox management did not act on her complaints.
Ailes resigned under pressure last summer after numerous harassment allegations against him, all of which he denied and his lawyer dismissed Roginsky’s claims in this new lawsuit as total nonsense.
This has been a difficult and uncomfortable period for the people who work here, no question about it. The network has been trying to move on, to change the culture and to make clear that any kind of harassment is unacceptable. Most of these allegations date from the Roger Ailes era but the echoes of that era are still making news.
What Kurtz did not explain is why, if the network is truly committed to moving on, it recently renewed O’Reilly's contract. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who called for a state investigation into harassment at Fox during a press conference last week, said that the settlement amounts paid in the O’Reilly cases are too high to be merely a “nuisance value case.” Bloom explained, “Those of us who do this kind of law, and I’ve been doing sexual harassment cases for 30 years, know that payment of a million dollars or more is not simply to make something go away, as Mr. O’Reilly indicates. You get a payment like that because somebody has hard evidence, corroboration of a claim."
But we know the reason why O'Reilly still has his job. As summed up in Roger Simon’s excellent article, quoting Trump as he boasted about grabbing women’s genitals, “When you’re a star, you can do anything.”
Watch Kurtz below, from the April 9, 2017 MediaBuzz.
“Yes, my dear?? How can I help you?”
“I think that Mr. O’Reilly has the wrong idea about me. He has been asking me to meet him for dinner and has been calling me at all hours of the night…and talking dirty!!”
“Yes, my dear?”
“I’m so scared, sir! Is there any way that you can help me?”
“YES, my dear!!!!”
He’s like Sean Spicer. What happens when you’re the PR guy for the indefensible? You’re forced to humiliate yourself publicly fabricating bulls—t only people sharing your ideology are willing to accept.
Oh, and speaking of sexual harassment. Sadly we’re witnessing yet another case where Howie is forced to give Bill-O a hand job on “Media Buzz”. ;^)
These 21st Century Fox frauds are useless. These clowns looked the other way and never addressed numerous complaints from the worthless Fox “News” suits. The 21st Century frauds are taking action because most of their advertisers have left this demonic network.
NOTE TO FOX “NEWS” FEMALE EMPLOYEES, PAST AND PRESENT
Call attorney Bloom’s office. Rupy and his boys have done nothing to address the racism and sexism running rampant at this worthless network. These clowns deserve a class action lawsuit.
I’ll post in the AM.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fox News parent Twenty-First Century Fox Inc said on Sunday it will investigate a sexual harassment claim against TV anchor Bill O’Reilly, who has seen several companies pull their ads from his top-rated news show in the past week.
The investigation comes after a complaint was phoned in to the network’s corporate hotline last week by Wendy Walsh, a former regular guest on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” TV show, and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, which the two posted to YouTube.
“21st Century Fox investigates all complaints and we have asked the law firm Paul Weiss to continue assisting the company in these serious matters,” the company said in a statement.
Walsh, a psychologist and radio host, said O’Reilly reneged on an offer to secure her a lucrative job on the network after she declined his invitation to join him in his hotel suite after a dinner in early 2013.