Last week, Bill O’Reilly announced he’d be taking a vacation he says has been scheduled since last fall. “I like to take time off around Easter, it’s calming” he told the audience.
The timing struck people as odd because O’Reilly had made that announcement on a Tuesday. He certainly was taking an early Easter break and many thought it had more to do with a New York Times report on April 1st that made public the fact that O’Reilly and Fox paid $13 million to five women as settlements for sexual harassment complaints. The show suffered an exodus of advertisers after the Times article ran.
New York Magazine added to the speculation, reporting that “according to four network sources, there’s talk inside Fox News that tonight’s show [last Tuesday’s] could be his last.” O’Reilly is still on vacation until next week, and according to Mediaite:
It now appears that per at least one source, the O’Reilly Factor host and the network are discussing an exit strategy. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, he’s been told the conversations are taking place and an announcement of O’Reilly’s departure could come this week:
A well-placed source said Tuesday afternoon that representatives for Fox and O’Reilly have begun talking about an exit. But this prompted a denial from sources in O’Reilly’s camp.
Even one person close to O’Reilly, however, said he will probably not be back on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
The original well-placed source said an announcement about O’Reilly’s fate was likely by the end of the week.
Meanwhile, O’Reilly attorney released a statement today stating that his client is the victim of a political smear campaign from the far-left and likened it to McCarthyism.
The lawsuits against O’Reilly were all settled, so there was no admission of guilt in the court of law. Regardless, it unfortunately doesn’t matter much whether or not he actually did what he was accused of. Sexual assault accusations are one of the few accusations that will stick with the alleged perpetrator – even if they’re cleared in a court of law.
O’Reilly could be completely innocent – but if his advertisers don’t care, it places pressure on Fox to can him.
Update: It seems the rumors were true. The decision has been made to end Bill O’Reilly’s relationship with Fox and network execs are preparing to make an announcement. Find out more at the Daily Intelligencer.
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