Ever since the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal broke, Sean Hannity has been railing about how “everybody knew and no one did a thing to stop it” nearly every night. But in the wake of a bombshell report that Fox News renewed Bill O’Reilly’s contract shortly after he settled a sexual harassment accusation from Fox’s own Lis Wiehl for $32 million – crickets from Hannity.
Beyond the eye-popping $32 million settlement figure (which strongly suggests Wiehl had very damaging information about O’Reilly), there’s the equally disturbing news that Fox knew about the case and turned its back. From The New York Times’ report:
Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman’s complaints about Mr. O’Reilly. They included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter.
In a statement, 21st Century Fox said it was not privy to the amount of the settlement and regarded Mr. O’Reilly’s January settlement, which was reached with a 15-year Fox News analyst named Lis Wiehl, as a personal issue between the two of them.
Hannity had nothing to say last night about the New York Times report that came out over the weekend. That’s in keeping with the fact that he offered O’Reilly several friendly platforms in recent weeks.
But it is completely not in keeping with what Hannity had to say about sexual harassment in Hollywood last week.
On October 16, 2017, Hannity made the Weinstein story the top story for his show:
HANNITY: But first, the uproar over Harvey Weinstein, it continues to evolve every hour of every day as more and more Hollywood elites are being exposed as hypocrites responsible for covering up the deeds of a predator.
Now sadly, not everyone is condemning the “casting couch” culture in Hollywood.
And then you have the mainstream media, NBC, others, who have helped cover up Weinstein’s misdeeds for years.
On October 17, Hannity haranguing about the “disturbing” “casting couch culture” in Hollywood.
HANNITY: Welcome back to “Hannity.” Every day we are learning more and more about just how disturbing that casting couch culture is in Hollywood. The disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein officially resigned from the board of the Weinstein Company today. Deadline Hollywood reporting tonight that the Los Angeles City attorney will prosecute Weinstein’s victims come forward. We will have the reporter who broke that story on tomorrow. In a shocking turn of events, Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother, he too is now accused of sexual harassment. According to reports, he is denying any allegation.
And also tonight, the former chairman of DreamWorks Jeffrey Katzenberg says there’s no way Harvey Weinstein acted alone saying men around Weinstein protected him and described him as a pack of wolves. Tonight more Hollywood topline actresses are coming forward about harassments that they received. Actress Reese Witherspoon said she experienced sexual harassment and assault including a Director that assaulted her when she was 16 years old. Actress Jennifer Lawrence she also detailed how a female producer made her stand naked in a lineup next to other girls, enticing her to lose weight. Oh, my gosh.
On October 18, Hannity railed about “How everybody knew and no one did a thing to stop” the “disturbing” “casting couch culture.”
HANNITY: It seems like every single minute of every day we are learning more and more about how disturbing the casting couch culture is in Hollywood. How everybody knew and no one did a thing to stop it.
The media knew about it and they spiked this story on Weinstein. Hollywood knew about it.
So it seems like Hannity thinks hypocrisy and cover up is a terrible scandal when it happens in Hollywood and no biggie when it happens at Fox News.
Let’s not forget how Hannity gushed over Roger Ailes like an unblemished hero after his death, less than a year after he was booted from Fox over sexual harassment.
To his credit, Fox’s Howard Kurtz spent more than five minutes discussing the matter with a very critical Matt Belloni, editor of The Hollywood Reporter. At the end of the discussion, Kurtz added his own blunt assessment that this was “embarrassing,” “disappointing” and a “setback.” (H/T NewsHound Brian)
Watch Kurtz and Belloni discuss the O’Reilly story below, from the October 22, 2017 MediaBuzz.
(Hannity image via screen grab)
This old Long Island hawk has a stream of income coming from outside businesses such as real estate, a private foundation, and investments into projects.
A Long Island street hustler to the core.
But what’s more interesting here has been Bill O’Reilly’s reaction to the situation. His comments, to the NY Times reporter, to Glenn Beck, even on his own limited podcast, have ranged from infuriated to genuinely scary. O’Reilly has now even taken to posting PDFs of the settlement affidavit from Lis Wiehl and a couple of friendly cards he received while at Fox News from Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly. Presumably, this is meant to be the big bombshell information he has that will clear his name. Glenn Beck certainly has tried to play the affidavit as something that would somehow portent legal doom for Wiehl, since she’d be punished for perjury if she denied anything in that document. Except that when you read the actual document, you see that Wiehl isn’t clearing O’Reilly of anything. All she’s stating is that she has settled her legal claims against O’Reilly and Fox News, and that as of 1-17-17 she has no claims against O’Reilly. She acknowledges that she gave him legal advice “on occasion” and acknowledges receiving “certain explicit emails” while acting as his counsel. But she doesn’t say that he didn’t harass or attack her, and she doesn’t say that he didn’t send her other offensive material that was not related to her occasional counsel. Meaning that she isn’t admitting anything other than the obvious – she has settled her claims against the defendants and is moving on. Of course, the affidavit does not mention that she was also set to receive 32 million dollars in return, directly from O’Reilly’s bank account.
O’Reilly would also like everyone to believe that because Kelly and Carlson sent him courteous cards at various points during their employment, this must mean that they have no right to call him out for his behavior. O’Reilly repeatedly states that nobody ever went to HR to complain about him at Fox News, ignoring that employees there have made clear that this was never a good idea while Ailes was running the company, even if you tried to do it anonymously. The moment you mentioned that someone like O’Reilly was harassing you was the moment you became a target. O’Reilly blatantly lies when he says that in 40 years of his unbelievable career, nobody ever complained about him, ever. That’s disproven just by looking at the record he made for himself at places like CBS News, where he was removed from the reporter pool for his terrible attitude and his temper tantrums.
The real reason for O’Reilly’s fury here is not what he claims, that he’s desperate to protect his children. His fury stems from what’s now a really embarrassing situation for him – where his attempt to get back into television and get his “elder statesman” position at Fox News or elsewhere has been quashed again for the moment.
Sean Hannity is a liar, a fraud, a coward, and a traitor.