Twenty years ago, before I was aware of the overtly racist and totally biased Fox News, I remember my wife’s uncle ranting and raving about how much he hated Bill O’Reilly.
Then, I began paying attention to O’Reilly’s racist rants and the station’s daily dose of conservative propaganda. I couldn’t believe how Fox allowed their anchors to just say whatever they wanted, and present it as “news” without a shred of proof.
Today, I woke up to the glorious good news that O’Reilly has been fired, and all I can say is, it’s about time! He was fired on allegations of sexual harassment by multiple women. And although lost revenue—more than his mistreatment of women—was likely behind the firing, what really matters is that he is gone. Some 50 advertisers have pulled the plug since allegations became public, according to CBS News.
Trouble began with Fox's most popular news personality when an April 2 report in The New York Times revealed five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about O’Reilly’s sexual advances.
O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, was also ousted following allegations of sexual harassment.
Despite the fallout, O'Reilly's viewership increased. It seems his audience can’t get enough of his populist, male dominated, politically conservative, one-sided views. So it hardly came as a surprise that he is not a big fan of women, gays or people of color. For twenty years, he thrived in a corporate culture where women felt unsafe to work, and where it was perfectly acceptable to offend black folks or anyone else who disagreed with him.
Fox News is a joke and an insult to every legitimate journalist out there, or anyone who values truth in reporting. Over the years, O’Reilly has made some pretty outlandish remarks, such as:
“Black men commit murder at 10 times the rates of whites and Hispanics combined.” According to FBI statistics, 49.3 percent of murders were committed by whites vs. 48.7 by blacks in 2010. Also, whites are more likely to commit violent crimes.
“Raised without much structure, young black men often reject the education process and gravitate towards street culture. It’s a personal decision.” O’Reilly should have been fired long ago for remarks like this that suggest young black men lack discipline and don’t want to succeed in life. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education said1.4 million black males are in college versus 824,320 who are in jail. Most college students are between the ages of 18-24.
Despite his disregard for facts, “The O’Reilly Factor” generated $178 million in advertising revenue in 2015, according to Kantar Media. Let’s hope O’Reilly’s replacement is cut from a different cloth. In this age of “fake news” anything that even comes close to honesty on Fox would be a breath of fresh air.