After twenty long years of cable TV supremacy, the king of right-wing news has been fired by 21st Century Fox.
“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”
The empire takes another hit. Not too long after the world caught up with Fox impresario Roger Ailes, the bald round disgusting 76 year-old, it turned on his favorite employee: The bald tall disgusting 67 year-old, Bill O’Reilly. Between the two of them, boss and pal sexually assaulted some shocking number of thirty-something News Babes. Everyone had finally had enough.
For a lecture of well-actually on O’Reilly’s sustained success, you might try this piece at Breitbart.
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd called O’Reilly a “leader” in the conservative movement, which is more wishful thinking than reality.
In truth, the secret of O’Reilly’s success was that he was a centrist. He hit the elusive sweet spot that many media outlets covet, but few actually bother to pursue.
Ask a true conservative: Bill-O wasn’t successful because he spouted the sort of populist racism, paranoia and misogyny that reminded high school football players of their coaches [jealous, Breitnerds?]. He was a ratings hit because he was a middling presence. He was your comfy Boise-Buffalo news personality, like Tom Brokaw. Or Tim Russert.
And while your head plays out the cartoon of the Cable King going network mainstream, you can peruse Media Matters’ list of his broadsides leveled at “Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Low-Income People, The LGBTQ Community, Muslims And Refugees, and Immigrants“. Such was his disdain for people who weren’t FOBs [white male, aging, conservative] that Bill-O’s broadcast assaults can’t at first be appreciated – only cataloged and indexed, like a baseball card collection. As media people might say, you can see how closely his “fundamentals” mirrored somebody like Charles Kuralt.
But let us not forget perhaps Bill’s greatest asset: He was exactly as he appeared. Unlike Brian Williams, who tried so hard to come off as the aw-shucks Jersey fireman gone large, O’Reilly was no fake. When Big Bill appeared to be faux-bragging about being a war correspondent, it was true: He was lying about being a war correspondent. Williams was decent enough to feel bad about telling people he’d been shot down over Iraq. But when O’Reilly got caught telling everybody he’d been right there in the Falklands War, his reaction was “Yeah? Fuck you.” He was such an authentic bully that when you called him on his bullshit, he wheeled around and poked a finger in your chest: This is on you, pal. You could probably chisel that on his tombstone.
He was equally authentic with women. He both believed and acted as if they were his de facto handjobs. If you were unfortunate enough to be one in his presence, he laid on thick the Fox Boi charm to make it clear: I’ll hump you in a heartbeat. This was no accident. Ailes knew this was what the FOBs wanted to see and hear [see Media Matters for the many cringe clips].
Luckily for everyone involved Bill needed no coaching. Young women were his masturbatory targets, especially if they worked there at Fox News. Any suitable employee within reach soon became his hand lotion and washcloth.
…the at-times “tyrannical and menacing” O’Reilly would masturbate while on the phone with Mackris, at other points suggesting she purchase a vibrator; engage in phone sex or a threesome with him; and listen to lurid details of his alleged sexual encounters with a cabana masseuse, airline stewardesses, and Thai sex-show workers.
Perhaps most famously, O’Reilly fantasized to Mackris how he’d like to shower with her and fondle her with a loofah, which he mistakenly called a “falafel thing” later in the call, according to a transcript.
So total was his self-appreciation for dominance, he never thought Mackris might not be interested in pleasing him. The idea he might try and conjure up the word ‘loofah’ – instead of ‘falafel’ – lest he be considered an idiot was laughable. What, does she really think he might not remember her name? After he wipes himself on her face? He’s Bill O’Reilly, Q.E.D.
If you guessed he might react badly to the protestations of such ‘things’, you’d be right.
Around the same time, former regular Factor guest Juliet Huddy received a $1.6-million settlement, over complaints that O’Reilly had pursued a sexual relationship with her in 2011 while in control of her airtime, according to the Times. Her lawyers told Fox News that at one point the O’Reilly tried to kiss her, and when she pulled away and fell to the ground, he refused to assist her. He then allegedly worked to “blunt her career prospects,” the Times added.
In light of that anecdote, this isn’t unexpected:
According to court documents from his vicious custody battle with ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly may have engaged in domestic violence. As Gawker reported at the time, the ex-couple’s teenage daughter told a court-appointed forensic examiner that she witnessed O’Reilly “choking her mom” as he “‘dragged her down some stairs’ by the neck.” O’Reilly had told his daughter that her mother was an “adulterer,” according to court transcripts, and that he struggled to stop himself from “going ballistic” around his family.
Dragging his wife around like a rag doll – that’s pretty much Tom Brokaw in a nutshell. Or is the NBC anchor nothing like what we saw on TV? Who knows, maybe he’s really a nice guy.
Taking the entirety of the O’Reilly story in, you might appreciate him, somewhat, in a perverse way. You could say he was something of a real life anti-hero. In some hot place deep within the American conservative Id, Bill-O was conceived to knock down growing threats to white male supremacy.
If post-1980s television were to be the medium whereby non-white-males got mainstreamed, so be it. If immigrants were going to be accepted, he’d be there to beat them back. If blacks were going to be normalized, he’d be there to pick and choose. If Muslims were going to be Westernized, he’d be there to re-Orient them. Bill would be the man to stand athwart multi-channel momentum, yelling ‘Stop!’
He did what he could for as long as he could. In the end though, it was his most personal and vicious campaign that did him in. If women were going to meddle in national politics, and the boardroom, and the workplace (particularly his workplace) then he’d be there too. And they’d either have to embrace their proper roles as women, as he saw fit – as sexual subordinates – or be destroyed. The money trails and lawyers’ claims testify to it: O’Reilly was a lawless patriarch in an enterprise that desperately begged for one.
That’s how one of the world’s biggest assholes rode low-born resentment to cable’s highest ratings. That’s how he was glorified and gushed over, given too much power and credibility, then quietly and consistently covered up, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.
That’s also how Fox News’ women were mistreated. That’s how they were cracked-wise and kidded, how they were babe’d and short-skirted, harassed and sexually assaulted in the front offices – or otherwise cast aside – in one of America’s massive media corporations, year after year. While totally normal man Bill O’Reilly reigned supreme.