Backlash Begins from Fox's Firing of O'Reilly
Although the former Fox News host, Bill O’Reilly released a humble statement in response to being fired from the network, his lawyer released a statement slamming the organization for their decision.
O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc Kasowtiz said repeatedly the mounting sexual accusations against his client were part of a “smear campaign” orchestrated by far-left organizations.
“Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America,” wrote Kasowitz in the statement to several news outlets Tuesday night. “This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organizations bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons. That evidence will be put forth shortly and it is irrefutable.”
The parent company of Fox News, 21st Century Fox officially announced that the network would be cutting ties with their wildly popular host after a series of harassment accusations were brought to light a few weeks ago. The New York Times reported that allegedly Fox was forced to pay about $13 million to O’Reilly’s “victims” as hush money.
The network has suffered in terms of advertising ever since the allegations against O’Reilly hit the media.
“Since then, more than 50 advertisers had abandoned his show, and women’s rights groups had called for him to be fired. Inside the company, women expressed outrage and questioned whether top executives were serious about maintaining a culture based on “trust and respect,” as they had promised last summer when another sexual harassment scandal led to the ouster of Roger E. Ailes as chairman of Fox News,” writes the New York Times.
Apparently, Fox decided to no longer ride it out, even though The O’Reilly Factor was the network’s cash-cow and most popular program. The show brought in $178 million in 2015 and according to the investment bank Nomura, the show accounted for 20% of 21st Century Fox’s profits.
Now the network is experiencing another challenge, the massive backlash from O’Reilly’s loyal army of viewers.
“The network remains stalled there. And Fox, along with 21st Century Fox, remains vulnerable to treacherous traffic flows that pose the most serious threats to its standing since it became the No. 1 cable news network some 15 years ago and claimed its “Most Powerful Name in News” mantle,” writes the New York Times. “First there is Mr. O’Reilly’s own audience, which steadfastly stuck with him — and then some — as the revelations about sexual harassment first emerged in The New York Times. For as long as he has been “looking out for” them — as he puts it — he has sworn to beat back the “secular progressive” forces of political correctness.”
Many of O’Reilly’s fans doubt the allegations and see this as an attack from liberal groups and are disappointed that Fox News let them win.
“Generally, the Fox audience is not going to be happy the network fired him,” said Chris Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media. “They’re going to think it was unfair.”
With that being said, 21st Century Fox believes Fox News will survive.
“By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news,” said 21st Century Fox in a statement. “In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news.
Author’s note: Although Fox News is much more than a news organization, with popular TV shows and movies bringing in massive viewers, the network is still going to take a hit. O’Reilly’s following is large and many will likely boycott Fox News due to what they see as an unjust decision. The road to recovery is going to be long.