Bill O’Reilly and the Great Pile On

Bill O’Reilly, cable news’ most successful nighttime anchor, has been removed from his post at Fox News. The news comes on the heels of a New York Times article reporting that since 2005 Fox News has paid out $13 million in settlements for sexual harassment lawsuits directed against Bill O’Reilly. That report set  the Liberal media machine into action, with a boycott of O’Reilly’s corporate sponsors.

In no time, O’Reilly found himself on the losing end of a battle for his reputation. What’s important to note here is that the New York Times story referenced very old accusations against O’Reilly. While the extent of the money paid out to O’Reilly’s accusers was not previously known, the purported lechery of O’Reilly in the workplace was common knowledge (after all, who hasn’t made a joke about Bill O’Reilly’s love of falafel?).

align=”right” This represents yet another “Great Pile On” in our celebrity obsessed culture. And, while it can happen to any public figure, it most often happens to conservative public figures. The Great Pile On, in my opinion, is the most pernicious and destructive weapon that the Left has in its ceaseless war against popular right-wing figures or even those who just seem to represent conservative ideals.

In recent days, more women have come out and accused O’Reilly of sexism. An African-American woman who worked for a different broadcaster (but who shared office space with Bill O’Reilly) claimed that O’Reilly referred to her as “Hot Chocolate.” Meanwhile, Kirsten Powers, the former Fox pundit-turned-CNN-analyst, told Anderson Cooper this week that O’Reilly made sexist comments about her during a 2014 interview. Powers in 2014 penned an op-ed headlined, “Bill O’Reilly Is Not A Sexist,” This column, we must suppose, is no longer operative. Of course, the time for O’Reilly to promote her book has also elapsed. So the change of heart is understandable.

This represents yet another “Great Pile On” in our celebrity obsessed culture. And, while it can happen to any public figure, it most often happens to conservative public figures. The Great Pile On, in my opinion, is the most pernicious and destructive weapon that the Left has in its ceaseless war against popular right-wing figures or even those who just seem to represent conservative ideals.

Of course, I don’t know whether O’Reilly is guilty or innocent of the charges against him, but that’s beside the point. And, as American Greatness managing editor Ben Boychuk wrote recently, I too have lost interest in most television news programming for the simple reason that the news business is more infotainment than information—let alone edification. O’Reilly was was the greatest infotainer on the Right. And any successful Right-wing infotainer with an  audience the size of O’Reilly’s is a direct threat to the left-leaning legacy media. O’Reilly’s effectiveness as a conservative commentator is the primary reason why his character is being assassinated. In other words, it’s business.

Had O’Reilly been a Leftist spouting on MSNBC, those now arrayed against O’Reilly likely would have rushed to his defense.

Fact is, “The O’Reilly Factor” was not only the most popular cable news show in its timeslot for the last two decades, it was also responsible for much of the overall dominance of Fox News in the ratings over the years. From his perch at 8 p.m., Bill O’Reilly solidified Fox News as the most important cable news network on television. For instance, in 2015 alone, the success of “The O’Reilly Factor” brought in $178 million worth of revenue for the Fox News Channel. And, by the way, Fox News accounts for an increasing share of its parent company, 21st Century Fox’s revenue.

The loss of “The O’Reilly Factor” means Fox News will lose its flagship show at a time when it had unquestioned dominance. Oh, sure, Fox has several excellent hosts. Tucker Carlson, for example, is quickly becoming a favorite. And, since his arrival as a host for Fox’s primetime lineup (first he came to replace Greta Van Susteren at 7 p.m., then he replaced Megyn Kelly, and now he is poised to move to 8pm), Tucker’s ratings have been solid. But, they have not been consistently high the way that O’Reilly’s has been over two decades. O’Reilly has a built-in rapport with his audience which makes removing him an even more absurd business move for the Fox network (though an obvious cause to pounce for Fox’s competitors).

For a corporation—whose primary responsibility is a fiduciary one—O’Reilly’s removal is totally irrational. Sure, he was suffering a loss of advertisers. But the real strength of O’Reilly was his consistently high ratings. With this consistently large audience, Fox News was able to charge top billing not only for advertising during its 8 p.m. slot, but for all of its slots. After all, the logic went, even if a portion of that audience stayed to watch the other Fox News programming, they would have the highest rated news network on the air right now.

O’Reilly’s unceremonious removal  threatens all of that. The Great Pile On is not about rationality, however. It is about emotionalism. It is about a small band of plucky Social Justice Warriors coordinating a media insurgency aimed at silencing one of their greatest foes. The Left had tried (and failed) for years to take on Bill O’Reilly. In the face of their efforts his popularity continued to grow while left-leaning news organizations such as MSNBC and CNN continued to see their profits drop (along with their credibility). O’Reilly was one of the main reasons for this. As to substance—if we may speak of substance in the context of television cable news—left-leaning outfits do not enjoy the same kind of loyalty from viewers who share their political predilections that Fox does.

The irrationality of the Great Pile On continues now as former O’Reilly allies like Powers seek to burnish their own stars in the burn out of O’Reilly’s. Or, as women with absolutely no case level charges not only of sexism, but also of racism, against O’Reilly. The Left is never satisfied. They have gotten their scalp. But they have not yet sufficiently damaged their great rival, Fox News. So, just for good measure, they continue pushing more accusations from more people (accusations that are legally groundless) to ensure that O’Reilly’s character and reputation is fully—and permanently—destroyed.

The last several years have proven (and Fox helped to prove this) that the Left is but a small movement relegated only to the hallowed cosmopolitan coastal areas and college campuses. Yet, when the Left coordinates, it can be loud and devastating in its all-out ruthlessness for the Right. Rumor has it that Rupert Murdoch’s sons, who are very liberal people, may have been behind O’Reilly’s ouster. Or, rather, Rupert Murdoch’s daughter-in-law, a Manhattan socialite, insisted that her husband, Lachlan, remove O’Reilly from his position at Fox because it made the family “look bad.” This, more than anything, explains O’Reilly’s ouster (at least from the corporate side of things).

The Great Pile On continues and it takes many, pernicious forms. So long as the Left controls what Lenin once referred to as the “transmission belts” of society: the news media, pop culture, academia, and high society, no conservative endeavor is safe. Let us hope Donald Trump keeps this in mind as he seeks to address tax reform and anthropogenic climate change legislation in the coming days.


About Brandon J. Weichert

Brandon J. Weichert is a geopolitical analyst who manages The Weichert Report. He is a contributing editor at American Greatness and a contributor at Asia Times . He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers). His second book, The Shadow War: Iran's Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers) is due in Fall of 2022. Weichert is an educator who travels the country speaking to military and business audiences about space, geopolitics, technology, and the future of war. He can be followed via Twitter: @WeTheBrandon.

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19 responses to “Bill O’Reilly and the Great Pile On”

  1. We know that Fox News paid out $13 million in settlements related to Bill’s behavior over a number of years.

    Might that not indicate that something more than Leftist subversion was going on, but that he invited his ouster through his own behavior? Would you be able to keep your job if your employer paid out $13 million in sexual harassment claims on your behalf?

    Sure, folks on the left were happy to supply a push when the time came. But they didn’t make him behave the way multiple women at multiple times and places say he behaved.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. The 2004 Mackris incident was unusually damning because “she had him on tape”. This was not “He said, she said.” As soon as his defenders heard his voice and his words, it was just a question of “how much must we pay to avoid the public hearing our boy acting like a horny high schooler?”

  2. Bill O’Reilly is an iconic media figure, with numerous loyal supporters. Their loyalty for his incisive analysis, and love of
    country, blinds most of them to a harsh reality–he has, truly, been guilty of repeated, unwelcome sexual advances. As an attorney with knowledge of “how these things actually work”, I felt terribly let down in 2004 due to BO’s settlement of the Andrea Mackris sex harassment lawsuit.

    She and her attorney claimed they had tapes of inappropriate advances, innuendos, and invitations. The dispute captured the world’s attention, and BO’s attorneys brought a motion to compel production of the tapes. AND THEN, WHILE CLAIMING “BILL IS INNOCENT” AND SHE’S AN EXTORTIONIST”, THEY-PAID-HER-PRICE and settled her lawsuit (and dismissed their own for “extortion”) for M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S. I knew, then, that she had “the smoking gun” evidence and that Bill was compelled to buy her silence or be revealed as a sexual predator.

    Now, “when these deals go down”, what the guilty defendant gets is TOTAL FREEDOM FROM RISK OF BEING “OUTED”. He can (and BO did) say “she was evil”, “she was an extortioner”, “I had to do this for my family”. The “practice and
    procedure” is well known: IF YOU PAY THE VICTIM’S PRICE, YOU CAN “SPIN” (and, boy, did he spin) THIS ANY WAY YOU WANT. And he did. If you are innocent, YOU GO TO TRIAL or settle for “chump change”–he did neither. He “bought his peace” with big bucks; proving “they had him on tape”. Case closed; dispute settled; he was allowed to say pretty much what he wanted to justify himself to his fans.

    But the truth was, by paying the millions demanded, he proved he was, indeed, guilty. And so, in 2004, I stopped listening to his cogent, passionate insights and analysis and found more honorable pundits. And so, as MORE and MORE such claims were brought through the years, I felt increasingly confident of my analysis. Even some of America’s greatest heroes may have “feet of clay”.

    • I am shocked and horrified to learn that men chase women. I am even more shocked to find out that people in power sometimes misuse that power — it’s like they’re members of Congress or something. And I am devastated to discover that every good looking woman is not destined for fame as a TV star. Luckily, the US system of justice is set up to put a dollar amount on any injustice, so anyone insulted, pressured or leered at can expect a pay out. Thank God. For a moment, I thought maybe adults could be expected to handle themselves with dignity. Naw … what was I thinking!

      • This woman, Andrea Mackris, had O’Reilly on tape saying all kinds of salacious things while he masturbated (over the phone). She handed over the tapes to lawyers to get him to stop harassing her. Other women have had the same type of exchange with O’Reilly. He needed to be stopped. With his ego, even losing his job won’t change this guy’s behavior, however. The same people who called Bill Clinton names are now protecting the other Bill – O’Reilly.

      • Good grief! Instead of buying recording equipment, maybe Andrea should have invested in a phone she could hang up. But I think Andrea came out pretty good in the deal … how many millions do you think she took home?

      • He was her BOSS. She had to work with him or leave the job. That’s the definition of sexual harassment.

      • She left Fox, went to CNN, and then went back… to Fox and the Factor. And when she was invited to his room to watch TV, she accepted and “they watched the Presidential press conference without incident”.

  3. Please allow me to make this perfectly clear: I do not care about the sexual harassment charges. I care that Fox News has been dismantled at the hands of the Evil Brothers of Murdoch. Of course this was a coordinated attack. The SJW crowd is loud, dedicated, and easily lead. It is far more likely that the attack came from the Murdochs themselves. The whole operation seems closely based on the action against Roger Ailes. (Thank you, Gretchen Carlson.) Certainly, the Murdoch brothers want to reinvent Fox News (per James’ 2013 interview on that subject), but it is also an indirect attack on Trump, as they are taking out the only Republican-friendly news network. So what’s next? OAN maybe …

    • CindyGal, you and I are on the same page here, and it looks like we’re the only women in these comments, too.
      $20M payout, multi million dollar payouts… for being harassed… when folks with devastating life-long and life-altering injuries don’t get a settlement close to that…
      And I’ll add Kirsten Powers who complained about being noticed for being blond. The world is turned upside down.

  4. In summary. – Conservatives have spent the past precious 60 years not fighting the war which matters: the Cultural War. They have not bothered to organise and fund collectively an alternative movie and tv industry. They have left the media to moguls only interested in big bucks howsoever come by, and to the highly organised Left.

    In related fashion the public has not bothered to be TRULY politically involved, which would have meant (long since) sacking all the members of Congress who are owned by Wall St and the Chamber of Commerce and replacing them with genuine patriots who actually care for the United States and its citizens. There are too few people in the country like Paul Nehlen.

    Any step forward President Trump makes will be matched by two steps backward from the Ryan-type RINOs.

    In the book of Ezekiel we read that Sodom was destroyed not only on account of the vice which bears its name but also because of the faults harmonizing with (arguably underlying) that vice: ‘this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and her daughters….therefore I took them away as I saw good’ (chapter 16, verses 49-50).

    There is a penalty for political idleness: Doom.

  5. The real reason Trump sacked USA for SDNY Preet Bharara is that he wanted to launch a stock fraud investigation into 21st Century Fox over the unreported $13 million in payouts.

    As for ratings, Fox News & Fox Biz have a deep bench of talent who has known Trump for decades — which is the key to Trump Admin access — such as Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney, Dagen McDowell, Judge Jeanine Pirro; plus Greg Gutfeld. In addition, they have a number of contributors: Eric Bolling and Charles Payne were contributors who were hired shows they can spot talent. Some of their contributors include John Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Sebastian Gorka, and Nigel Farage.

  6. I’m not an O’Reilly fan, and I’m sure he’s a throwback to when men could talk about a woman’s beauty without having it perceived as an assault. No mas. But if Fox had said screw the pile on, we’re sticking with O’Reilly, his ratings would have gone even higher. Standing up to the Democrat-Media-Industrial complex is good business for conservatives. Just ask PRESIDENT Trump. Too bad so few conservatives do it.

  7. It seems that Liberals hold a Newsman (O’Reilly) to a higher standard than they do philandering Presidents like CLINTON

  8. Libs lose at the ballot box, and retreat to the courts and media smear campaigns to spread their hate.

  9. Mark my words, now that Libs have O’Reillys scalp, Sean Hannity is NEXT

  10. If he held Ms. Someone back because she wouldn’t interact with him physically, prosecute him, but if he insulted Ms. Someone by telling her she was beautiful I couldn’t possibly care any less. I can’t believe that the Murdochs threw this guy, us, and ultimately their network under the bus without playing this thing through.

  11. Has anyone thought about an extension of the culture war? It wouldn’t take much, given the utter libertinism of the left and the total lack of real principles associated with all liberal movements to, quite simply, get one of theirs for every one of ours that goes down. The SJW’s, when they aren’t just total laughing stocks, are all fools, albeit mean fools, and they wouldn’t have a clue as to what hits them. I’m sure that Bannon or someone equally focused could build a list, let it be known quietly a few of the names on it, and whisper, just stop it, snowflakes, or you are going to be in a bigger war than you signed on for.

    • I imagine the SJW are easily lead and that they are being lead. They aren’t behind all this. I don’t know who is.