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CNN blinks at a chance to unseal Bill O’Reilly sordid divorce records; what stopped them?

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What happens when media have a chance to eat their own, even quash a competitor, yet hesitate or refuse to do it?

As Bill O’Reilly loses sponsors and fights sexual harassment claims, multiple outlets would love nothing better than to obtain the Fox News anchor’s financial records and, especially, the sealed matrimonial records that document the long court battle with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy.

Records bound to be filled with “juicy” items with which to dig an even deeper hole for the already tarnished O’Reilly.

However, according to a Friday report by The Hollywood Reporter, CNN seems to be resisting the siren’s call, as much as the casual observer might think the rival network would love to clear the way for Anderson Cooper, O’Reilly’s 8 pm competitor. In fact, multiple sources confirmed to THR that, even though CNN was close to filing a motion to unseal O’Reilly’s matrimonial records, they are now leaning against this action, despite the fact that some executives are strongly in favor of it.

While CNN has been happy to contact Fox News advertisers as they jump off the O’Reilly ship, but “wading into a sticky divorce” may come a bit too close to media cannibalism than some at the network are comfortable with. Or maybe they fear karma.

Although the records of the 2010 court battle are confidential, some information has become public, including a 2015 Gawker report about trail transcripts detailing testimony from O’Reilly’s teenage daughter saying her dad struggles to control his rage and that she witnessed her dad “choking her mom” and dragging “her down some stairs” by the neck.

Whether or not CNN or another network is able to get court records unsealed, it may not matter in the end, since O’Reilly is now accusing his ex-wife of defrauding him into a separation agreement to “finance an existing extra-marital relationship.” Because of this, a New York judge may be making lots more heretofore private information public.

But whatever happens, CNN’s reluctance to hit O’Reilly where it hurts the most could prove that there is indeed at least some honor among thieves, er, media outlets!

Or, media execs living in glass houses are afraid to throw a stone that big.

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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Scott Morefield


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