Bill O’Reilly tried to blame a left-wing plot for his firing (just pay no attention to his own hideous behavior) but his departure is probably at least partly due to the media-savvy efforts of attorney Lisa Bloom. She explained on today’s Democracy Now that she had a media strategy to get him fired and how she executed it.
Bloom, who represents three O’Reilly accusers, said today that she promised accuser Wendy Walsh several months ago that “We are going to bring him down.” (Transcript via Democracy Now, with my emphases)
BLOOM: We had a media and a legal strategy in place. We executed it for the last 18 days. And yesterday, he announced—or the company announced that he had been fired. I think the plan went flawlessly.
The plan was, first of all, we have to keep this story in the news.We can’t just let it be a one-day story. And that’s what it would have been.So, Wendy and I did a press conference. … We had to do a press conference and make the story be big, so that other accusers would call me. As an attorney, I can’t call them, and I didn’t know who they were anyway, right? But we had to keep the story going. So we released bits of it day by day, giving the story legs, as we say in journalism.
A second accuser did call me … A third accuser, a fourth accuser came out.
I tweeted and I said on many shows that the Murdochs had only one choice, and that was to fire Bill O’Reilly. And if they didn’t, we would continue relentlessly, day after day, having more and more accusers come out publicly. We were not going to let this go. We were going to persist.
Well, as a longtime feminist attorney, I know that I have to do more than just look narrowly at the law. And Wendy’s claims were, in fact, time-barred, because there’s a three-year statute of limitations in New York, and her claims arose from 2013. And I thought, “What else can I do?”
Well, Fox News gave me a wonderful gift the first day this story broke. And that is, they did a public statement: “No one has ever called our hotline.” And a little light bulb went off over my head. “Hotline! Aha!” I’ve had prior sexual harassment cases against Fox News. I had their handbook in my file. I pulled it out, found the hotline number. And I also looked at their internal rules, which had no time deadlines to call the hotline. And I also knew, as a feminist attorney, that once we internally complained, they would have to do an investigation.
So Wendy and I made that call. She was very brave. I had my assistant videotape it so that nobody could say later, “Oh, we didn’t get the call.” We posted that online to give the story some legs that day, to put some public shaming pressure on Fox News. Well, a couple of days later, the attorneys called us. And then I then had all the witness information and evidence in place to give them. And I was already working on accuser number two and accuser number three.
Of course, it wasn’t only Bloom’s strategy that drove O’Reilly out. The successful campaign for an advertiser boycott undoubtedly played a role and the two protests in front of Fox also helped keep the issue front and center.
But had Bloom not kept up her news drip, it’s quite possible O’Reilly would still have a job today.
Watch Bloom on the April 20, 2017 Democracy Now below.