Hannity Next on the Fox News Chopping Block? O’Reilly Victim of NYT Witch Hunt?
In the wake of the fallout of the no less than thirteen women that have come forward detailing years of allegations of sexual improprieties against the Fox network chairman Roger Ailes and his very public fall from grace, the charges continued to mount against show host and news commentator, Bill O’Reilly, as well, although to a lesser degree.
When one looks at the sheer volume of accusations, it is rather daunting and generally speaking where there is smoke, there’s fire, right? Or is there? Or is this simply a witch hunt being conducted by the New York Times against the conservative news network, succeeding where Barack Obama himself tried and failed?
Here’s what the NYT claims to have found in their reporting –
- According to current and former employees interviewed by the NYT, O’Reilly stormed into the Fox newsroom and screamed at a young producer. Not long after, the woman – her name was Rachel Witlieb Bernstein – left the network with a payout. The case did not involve sexual harassment. As part of the deal, Bernstein was subject to a confidentiality agreement.
- In October 2004, O’Reilly, who had been at Fox News since 1996, was sued for sexual harassment by 33-year-old Andrea Mackris, a former producer for The O’Reilly Factor. According to the NYT, Mackris recorded some explicit conversations with O’Reilly. The case included a $60 million countersuit alleging “scandalous and scurrilous” extortion, was given trial by media before O’Reilly relented. agreeing to pay Mackris about $9 million.
- According to the NYT, in 2011 Rebecca Gomez Diamond, who hosted a show on the Fox Business Network , was told the network was not renewing her contract. Like Mackris, the NYT states, she also recorded lewd conversations with O’Reilly, which were in turn taken to the company by her attorneys. Diamond left the network with a payout of an unknown dollar amount and is bound by a confidentiality agreement, according to the NYT.
- In 2016, lawyers for Laurie Dhue, a Fox News anchor from 2000 to 2008, went to the company to outline harassment claims against O’Reilly as well as against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, The case was settled for more than $1 million.
- The same year, according to the NYT, Fox reached a $1.6 million settlement with Juliet Huddy, a regular guest on The O’Reilly Factor. Huddy’s lawyers alleged that O’Reilly pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011 at a time when he had significant influence over her airtime. Just a few of Huddy’s complaints – he made inappropriate phone calls, and he tried to kiss her, when she pulled away, she then fell to the ground and he did not help her up.
- Also in 2016, former Fox host Andrea Tantaros filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News with claims that O’Reilly made sexually suggestive comments to her.
- In its investigation, the NYT also reported a claim by former O’Reilly Factor guest Wendy Walsh, who alleges to have declined an offer from O’Reilly to go to his hotel suite in 2013. Walsh states she was told by an NYT reporter that many of the women who have accused O’Reilly of harassment are bound by gag orders, but that she is not bound by any such agreement, however, the statute of limitations for suing has run out.
- Just a note from me — I’m a little curious as to why a man asking a woman out and her declining his invitation would warrant a lawsuit? He asked she said no. Sounds like it was case closed — moving on. Why would a lawsuit be necessary? Or are lawyers required in order to date now? And I’ve just been away from the dating scene for too long?
- In the fallout from the NYT story, the O’Reilly Factor lost advertising from almost 60 advertisers choosing to avoid controversy. On April 11, O’Reilly announced he would take a two-week vacation, with plans to return April 24. While away attorney Lisa Bloom aired harassment complaints against O’Reilly, announcing a former Fox clerical worker, with no plans for legal action, said he referred to her as “hot chocolate” at one point when they were together alone, made grunting noises and leered at her cleavage and legs. She claims she reported her allegations to an anonymous company hotline set up in 2008.
New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters has set his sights on conservative TV host Sean Hannity as the next head on the chopping block. Peters cited a 2010 report about Fox in an interview on MSNBC including quotes that some of the Murdoch clan was not happy with the manner in which the network was being run. Rupert Murdoch and his two sons are the top executives of the corporation that owns Fox.
Peters stated –
“I think you have to look at somebody like Sean Hannity and question whether or not his almost propaganda-like attitude and programming every night is going to be acceptable in the minds of the family which is clearly trying to shift the network in another direction.”
Hannity is known to be a huge supporter of President Trump and considered one of his biggest allies on TV news. Now that the NYT has succeeded in its ouster of O’Reilly, Hannity has the longest running Fox’s prime-time news show.
Favorite Judge Andrew Napolitano was also recently dismissed suddenly, though he was asked to return shortly thereafter. It seems Lachlan and James Murdoch are intent upon repositioning of the highest-rated cable news channel, well known for its conservative bent, remaking the channel in the image of the likes of CNN and MCNBC.
We live in an unfortunate time when trial by media and popular opinion are all too common, where selective editing and spin are definitely a thing. These things can and often do ruin a reputation and an illustrious career full of accolades and hard work.
The fact that monies have been paid out in settlements are not indicative of guilt as legal fees rack up, along with the rabid media sharks. Sometimes paying a settlement even when you are not in the wrong is a way to make the allegations go away quickly.
As far as the sexual impropriety scandal at Fox goes? What’s next? Is Hannity heading for the chopping block? Are O’Rielly and Ailes really scum that view women as little more than objects for their pleasure? Or are they the victims of an NYT witch-hunt? Perhaps O’Reilly’s biggest sin was being an arrogant man surrounded by a bunch of ambitious, career ladder climbing bimbos that were not afraid to step on him or anyone else on their way up. You decide.
TOGETHER WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
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