Now that Roger Ailes is gone, the new target at Fox News seems to be popular evening host Bill O’Reilly.
We may never know for sure how much O’Reilly’s problems in this area are of his own making, but recent revelations from the New York Times show that he and Fox News have agreed to pay out around $13 million to five women who have sexual harassment claims against the host.
Among those women is Wendy Walsh, a former frequent guest on The O’Reilly Factor who was reportedly promised a high position at Fox News in 2013 only to have it promptly rescinded after she declined O’Reilly’s post-dinner invitation to his hotel suite.
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter invited Walsh’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, on to explain her side of the story, and it didn’t take long for things to get heated.
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) April 2, 2017
Calling for another “independent investigation of sexual harassment at Fox News” other than the “inadequate” one conducted in the wake of the Ailes termination, Bloom told Stelter that this isn’t her “first case against Fox News and I don’t expect it will be my last.”
“How many women have to come forward? By my count, it’s already been dozens and dozens of women who have been reported in reputable media to have come out against Roger Ailes and now Bill O’Reilly and others,” said Bloom. “How many Gretchen Carlsons, How many Andrea Tantaros do we need? This has been going on since 2002. Do women’s careers mean anything?”
Stelter pushed back by wondering aloud of Bloom, a vocal critic of both Donald Trump and Fox News, should be the person leading the charge.
“Isn’t this all political? Isn’t it all competitive?” Stelter asked, seemingly concerned about the “optics” involved.
“Bring it on,” Bloom said. “How many women have to come forward? How many millions of dollars have to get paid before Fox News takes sexual harassment seriously. In my opinion, this network is the Bill Cosby of corporate America.”
“This is not about me,” she added. “This is about Fox News and their culture of sexual harassment.”
“Do women’s careers mean anything at Fox News? Do the laws against sexual harassment get enforced there?” Bloom continued. “Sensitivity training is not enough. I say bring back the women who were terminated after they brought claims of sexual harassment. Drive out the predators at the network, and then we’ll think you’re starting to take this seriously.”
While denying the merits of the allegations against him, O’Reilly has nevertheless agreed to settlements to “put to rest any controversies to spare my children,” according to a statement.
“Just like other prominent and controversial people,” the statement reads, “I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline. But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”
At least one former Fox News employee enjoyed Bloom’s appearance:
— Gretchen Carlson (@GretchenCarlson) April 2, 2017
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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