WaPo's Erik Wemple Tells MSNBC: A Real News Organization Would Fire Bill O'Reilly

After the NY Times released an investigative report on O'Reilly's many sexual harassment lawsuit payouts, Erik Wemple wrote a scathing article entitled "Bill O’Reilly: An awful, awful man.":

I'm one of the longest running media critics of Bill O'Reilly. I began covering him in 2004. Crooks and Liars has chronicled many of his racist, sexist right-wing tomes, dressed up to appear "fair and balanced" to the rubes.

And as a result, I've been blackballed from any Fox News program and I was even not allowed to appear on the Alan Colmes radio program, for which I had made many appearances before News Corp. decided to take a hard line against their critics.

To his credit, Erik Wemple has never shied away from critiquing O'Reilly either.

During the Bush years, many news outlets were hesitant to criticize conservatives from Fox News. Indeed, Fox was given tacit and concrete support from the rest of the media, including critics like Howard Kurtz, who wrote for the Post and had a Sunday CNN program. (It's not surprising that he ended up on Fox News after all.)

One of my major complaints was that outside of a few hours a day, Fox News was one big conservative propaganda outlet for the Republican party. That's why Roger Ailes created the network.

Today, Wemple writes, "Bill O’Reilly, a man without a counterattack."

Yesterday on MSNBC, Wemple was asked this by host Ali Velshi, "Fox does very well in terms of viewership, by Bill O’Reilly. Lots and lots of people watch Bill O'Reilly. Now there are advertisers, sponsors who don't want to be associated with the idea that there are sexual harassment allegations, but the viewers are still sticking with him. How does a news organization weigh those two things against one another?"

Wemple replied, "Well, a news organization basically says we can't have this guy on our air. Fox News, on the other hand, not quite a news organization the way we’ve come to understand them in this country. They just basically dig in, don't say anything, and hope this basically blows over."


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He continued, "Remember, in the past O’Reilly has had scandals. In 2015 he was exposed as either a great embellisher or actually a liar for things that he has stated about his own reportorial past in various hot zones around the world. And what did they do? They just dug in their heels and they called their critics far-left loons, or far-left campaigners and critics, and so on and so forth. And what happened? O'Reilly's ratings increased."

They have the capability to be a true news organization, Shep Smith proves that on a daily basis, but Fox News has never been a real news organization. They only put lipstick on the pig to advance their conservative agenda.

Linda Stasi at The Daily News writes,

Fox News is a foul-smelling swamp filled with women-eating predators. And now that they've paid out millions in sexual harassment suits — which keep on coming, their open secret is open news.

But who are we kidding here? Fox News has always been a dirty old man's swamp. You'd have to be Helen Keller not to see what was right before your eyes.

The on-air female anchors and contributors are overwhelmingly young, gorgeous, and dressed more like high paid escorts than journalists, which was the big boss, sexual harasser Roger Ailes’ vision of women.

It's very sad that it's taken an immense sex scandal that permeated the top executives running the company to finally have the beltway take a serious look at what they've done, not only to their female employees, but the country at large.

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