The unbelievable, totally believable return of Bill O’Reilly
If we women weren’t already so jaded about the way powerful men are excused for their bad behavior, this might seem totally unbelievable.
Bill O’Reilly, the former Fox News host who was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and ultimately reached legal settlements with at least six worth a total of $45 million, is reportedly in talks to get a new radio show at 77 WABC.
His attorney told one news outlet, “We are in the final stages of a contract and a program should be on in the fall.” How nice for him.
It gets worse. The station’s owner is billionaire John Catsimatidis, a longtime supporter of another credibly accused serial sexual harasser, President Trump.
Back in 2016, a longtime Fox colleague of O’Reilly’s was essentially forced out of her job at Fox after accusing him of sexual harassment. Her settlement required her silence, as do most, but reports allege that O’Reilly called Juliet Huddy while masturbating, and then retaliated against her professionally when she rejected his sexual advances.
She hoped to find another job in media, but realized, as the Columbia Journalism Review put it, “women like Huddy are blacklisted by the entire news industry.”
So many of the women who made public allegations of sexual harassment at Fox and other news networks have been professionally discarded in the process, finding it hard to land work again in the industry they loved and were trying to protect from alleged predators like O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Mark Halperin.
Of the 15 women who made public allegations of sexual harassment at Fox, only one had found another job in TV news as of April 2018. None who had filed sexual harassment claims found jobs in news, according to the CJR report.
I personally know half a dozen former colleagues and friends who are still unemployed, years after bravely revealing their abuse at work.