As the advertiser exodus from Fox News’ accused sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly swells, his primetime program was reduced to only eight advertisements during its most recent showing, compared to 36 the week before.
so far at least 70 companies have pulled their advertisements from airing during Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor after The New York Times reported on April 1 that Fox host Bill O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox paid around $13 million over the years to five women “in exchange for agreeing to not pursue litigation or speak about their” accounts of sexual harassment involving O’Reilly, which included reports of “verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating.”
The revelations haven’t affected his ratings, however. Are the new viewers die-hard conservatives showing up to support the latest movement talking head to be mired in sexual scandal? Or just rubberneckers hoping to see O’Reilly again lash out against his critics?
But the ratings boon presents a quandary for those advertisers that have objected to O’Reilly’s actions. Their ethical stands come at the expense of more than 3 million opportunities to sell products every night. Many of the companies have not said how long their boycotts would last.
What an odd way to put that, Washington Post entertainment reporter. So we’re asking what the corporate statute of limitations is on being associated with a man accused of the repeated sexual harassment of his female co-workers? He’s been accused of doing it over the span of a decade, and more—would that justify a one-week advertiser timeout, or two?
There is no quandary, any more than they were when advertisers finally began to regard Rush Limbaugh as a toxin. Decent companies do not need Bill O’Reilly; the airwaves are filled with programs not tainted by charges that they’re led by a serial sexual harasser, all at competitive rates. The O’Reilly market is not especially lucrative, compared to others with similar demographics; there would seem to be few advertisers who would be especially eager to cater to an audience of proud harassment-supporters.
There could be, I suppose. We could see a rebranding of returning advertisers, later, as high-profile brands roll out new slogans like Lexus: The Sedan for Perverts or Allstate: You’re in good hands whether you like it or not. But it would be a brave company indeed to embrace such a campaign.
Fox News still hasn’t addressed the multiple lawsuits and complaints, either—though similar complaints towards any other high-profile employee at any other company in America would almost certainly lead to termination. When O’Reilly was the top moneymaker on the network and the company was led by a man who, we now know, was engaged in similar behaviors there was no desire to investigate, much less act. Now that the network’s reputation is in tatters they may not have similar leeway; making the conscious decision now to ignore such behaviors by their top employees will render legal judgments against them in future harassment lawsuits, of which there are likely to be many, far steeper.
— missLtoe (@missLtoe) April 9, 2017
At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—Joe Wilson Responds to Washington Post editorial:
The world awakened this morning to a puzzle of ridiculousness: a Washington Post op/ed that can only be described as a hit piece on Joseph Wilson’s “absurdly over-examined visit” (the editorial’s words, certainly not mine) to Niger, in which the editorial staff claims there was no effort at the White House to discredit Mr. Wilson … while its news pages headlined an investigative piece on the front page entitled “A ‘Concerted Effort’ to Discredit Bush Critic.”
The ironic juxtaposition of the two articles was not lost on Mr. Wilson, who in a private communication to me this morning (sorry, no link) made the following statement:
Sunday’s Washington Post lead editorial once again misrepresents the facts as the paper’s own reporting in the Barton/Linzer article in the same edition makes clear. While I respect the separation of news and editorial function it might be helpful to the Post’s readers if the editorial board would at least read the news before offering its judgments. One of the reasons my trip to Niger has been overanalyzed, as the Post editorial says, is because people like those who wrote the editorial continue to misconstrue the facts and the conclusions.”