Rupert Murdoch has not done the U S or us a favour by setting up Fox News. It is dishonest and loaded against Democrats or people with sense or manners. Trump would probably have not got where he is without them, and under his White House, Fox News looks like State Owned Television – like the television stations controlled by his mate Vladimir Putin.
The station’s biggest drawcard is a revolting religious bigot named Bill O’Reilly. He and the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, have paid about $13m in settlements to five women who accused the anchor of sexual harassment or verbal abuse. The women accused O’Reilly in cases from the past two decades. According to The New York Times, the settlements were made ‘in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their accusations’. In other words, they bought silence.
The report comes after a difficult year for Fox News. In July, their Chairman was eased out after a very expensive settlement of sexual harassment allegations.
‘The reporting suggests a pattern,’ the Times report said. ‘As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally.
‘He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.’
Fox News released a statement to the Times.
‘21st Century Fox takes matters of workplace behaviour very seriously,’ the statement said.
‘Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously, we have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr O’Reilly.
‘While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr O’Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.’
O’Reilly said on his website: ‘Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity.
‘In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.
‘But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.’
‘Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children,’ he said. ‘My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me.’
You would think at this level, they could serve up better bullshit than that drivel. Thirteen million dollars among five complainants would average more than $2.5 M for each complainant. And what does it mean to deny ‘the merits’ of the claims? And what do you have to do to get fired by Murdoch if you are a money spinner?
The world being what it is, O’Reilly’s ratings will probably go up, although decent companies like BMW are withdrawing their support. He does have one supporter and defender. Donald Trump. So, here we have one dirty pussy grabber looking after another dirty pussy grabber.
Trump, too, buys silence. He recently handed over $25 million to settle fraud claims. And being the idiot that he is, he would have no idea of how shockingly inappropriate it is for the President of the United States to descend into the gutter to shelter a partner in the gutter press.
Mark Latham got sacked here for being offensive on TV. Naturally, a lot of people mentioned some nonsense about ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘the right to offend.’ The sad truth is that a lot of people – generally those who have not done so well in life with the cards that God dealt them – really get a kick out of watching rude people on TV offend others. And the equally sad truth is that rude people offending others is what delivered such wins as they have achieved to rude and offensive people like Farage, Hanson, and Trump.
The gutter is not a pretty place.
Confucius sat with a messenger and asked him, ‘What does your master do?’ He answered, ‘My master seeks to reduce his errors but has not been able to do so.’