Conservatives were shocked when Fox News announced that Bill O'Reilly would not be coming back to the station. This news came after it was alleged that O'Reilly had sexually harassed several female colleagues. After investigating the allegations, Fox News decided that they did not want him to return.
Bill O'Reilly was indeed the highest rated, and highest paid, news anchor on Fox News. Many Americans, enjoyed watching his program. But since being fired, despite making a few appearances, O'Reilly has kept a relatively low profile and has not received a notable amount of coverage from cable news.
Bill O'Reilly is now speaking out against being fired at Fox News. His comments came from an interview on Tuesday with NBC's Matt Lauer on "Today."
According to The Hill, O'Reilly believes that his ousting from the network was "a political and financial hit job."
“There were billions of dollars at stake in business deals and they made a business decision that they could prosper without me,” said O'Reilly according to The Hill. “They had a contractual clause that they could pay me a certain amount of money and not put me on the air and they exercised that clause."
O'Reilly's departure came four months after the New York Times reported that the Fox News Network had settled five sexual harassment lawsuits against the host, totaling an estimated $13,000,000. After the settlements became public, investors and advertisers began to flee O'Reilly's program, forcing Fox News to part ways with him.
“You cannot win those lawsuits if you’re a public figure; you cannot win them,” O’Reilly said according to The Hill. “I could do that, but the collateral damage of these lawsuits, the press frenzy — every allegation is a conviction. They don’t look for the truth.”
“This was a hit job, a political and financial hit job,” O'Reilly said. “Every allegation in this era is a conviction ... there isn't a smoking gun.”
Pat Robertson, a former Southern Baptist minister, has recently commented on the sexual harassment allegations aimed at several Fox News hosts, including O'Reilly. According to the Huffington Post, he thinks it is part of a conspiracy theory to destroy O'Reilly's reputation. During his show “The 700 Club” on the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson defended hosts at Fox News and suggested that a conspiracy theory was at the root of the sexual harassment allegations.
“If you wanted to destroy the Fox News, you really wanted to destroy them, what would you do?” Robertson asked. “Well, you would send some salacious material, ostensibly from one of their popular co-hosts or hosts and you’d send it out and then get it publicized and then you have some women complain that she had gotten this salacious material from this co-host and then she would come to Fox, and Fox is so averse to any kind of legal action that they would immediately take the person off the air, so before long you would have decimated the prime-time lineup of all the Fox hosts. Easy to do? Absolutely. Is it being done? Probably.”
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