Bill O’Reilly, prominent FOX News anchor, has long been considered a quintessential member of the television program. His fame and fortune are continuous in his career, somehow even when being accused by multiple women of sexual harassment.
The New York Times recently investigated the issue and found that a total of five women have recently received large sums of money from either O’Reilly himself, or from the news network, in order to quiet and discourage the women from speaking out against O’Reilly; the agreements consisted of a grand total of $13 million.
According to the New York Times:
The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews.
The reporting suggests a pattern: 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.
The disgusting intimidation and fear tactics being used to protect the television personality sickeningly seem to be working, as the star continues with seemingly no change in his career. O’Reilly continues to deny the merit behind any of the claims, despite the large payout he fed to the alleged victims and the audaciously large protection behind handed to him by the news network. Suspicions that the network is shoveling out money in order to protect its “top asset” despite knowledge of sexual harassment are rising as the scandal prolongs.
Donald Trump has even begun publicly sympathizing with O’Reilly. Trump has stated on multiple occasions that O’Reilly is “a good person” and that he “shouldn’t have settled” because he “did nothing wrong.” However, the credibility of those claims seems damning especially when coming from Trump.
The same Donald Trump that defended his “locker room talk” as simply a “private conversation” with no cruel intentions. This “locker room talk” consisted of various obscenities:
“I did try and f*** her. She was married, I moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married…Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony t*** and everything. She’s totally changed her look. I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it,” he says. “You can do anything. Grab them by the p****,” Trump says. “You can do anything.“
Since then, various women have come forward as victims of sexual harassment and spoken out against Donald Trump. His response: “Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign.”
At the start of the month, Trump himself deemed as Sexual Assault Awareness month. We have a President long accused of sexually harassing dozens of women and showing blatant disrespect toward women and their bodies, defending another accused sexual harasser who refuses to speak out on the allegations and instead throws money at his alleged victims.
One can only hope that soon enough the world will realize that sexual harassment is not something that can be buried or bought out from. Sexual harassment is a crime, and with crime should come punishment.