Bill O'Reilly paid 32 million to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment
In the wake of the Weinstein allegations, some conservatives have grown giddy, downright joyful at the prospect of liberal men being exposed as sexual deviants, predators and harassers. There is almost a sick satisfaction in seeing one's ideological opponents revealed for their crimes. But what about when those same crimes come from your side of the political aisle?
Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly is a living example of that situation. It turns out that Fox News renewed his contract early this year, before he was finally fired, after knowing that O'Reilly paid out 32 million dollars to a legal analyst named Lis Wiehl. O'Reilly had reportedly told her to learn how to strip, and said that: “Hey, you know, Lis, I got you this job." It seems the implication was that she owed him sexual favors.
The sexual harassment allegations were settled with the $32 million payout, the largest we have ever seen. That's absolutely staggering. For an innocent man, paying that much money would be outrageous. But O'Reilly has had other payouts before.
He had to pay Andrea Mackris, a Fox News producer, $9 million. All his lawsuits totaled together amount to $45 million of payouts. Now, that seems like an absurd sum of money wasted simply buying the silence of women you've harassed. I mean, seriously, a $45 million personal budget just to pay for lawsuits? What an utter waste of capital. Why was this man so rich? And why was his money spent in such foolish ways?
Well, it runs in the family at Fox News. Roger Ailes, the former President of Fox News Channel, paid one of his own female anchors, Gretchen Carlson, a huge $20 million after allegations of sexual harassment. Megyn Kelly, also, alleged in her book that Roger Ailes sexually harassed her, desiring to see her in skimpy clothing and making her uncomfortable with off-the-cuff remarks.
O'Reilly was a typical case of the same strange nature that flowed through Roger Ailes: the old perverted rich man making advances at younger women in his company. It is a fact that these lecherous old men are willing to prey on women they work with, using their power relationship as hosts and CEOs to pressure women working at Fox News into inappropriate conversations and behavior.
Andrea Tantaros, another former Fox host, accused both Ailes and O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Her lawyer had said: "I also recall a number of occasions when Andrea complained to me about recurring unwanted advances from Bill O’Reilly, which included an invitation to his ‘very private’ beach house and comment about his perception that she was ‘wild'."
It's all the same story with these media and entertainment senior hosts and executives getting away with things that no ordinary person could shell out millions of dollars to keep quiet. O'Reilly was fired from Fox News back in April of this year, but he had decades of sexual harassment to show for it.
How will culpability and early consequences come for these kinds of actions?