April 19, 2017

Kirsten Powers, former Fox News analyst and current CNN analyst, told a harrowing tale of how Fox News treated her when Bill O'Reilly harassed her.

It began when he mocked her for being blonde while she was on the air. "He said 'Oh, I'm sorry, there's a lot of blondes in this operation, I can't keep you straight.'," Powers recalled. "Megyn Kelly is coming up and talking about all these blonde's names, and at the end of the segment says 'Thank you for your blondness' to both of us."

He did that on the air, because, as Powers says right after telling this story, Bill O'Reilly is a damn neanderthal, and that may be rude to neanderthals.

But the part of this story that made my hair stand on end was how Fox News handled it.

Powers demanded that O'Reilly apologize. She went to his executive prodcuer and made that demand. She was told, "Well, you know Bill, there is nothing we can about it he's a throwback. He's kind of an Archie Bunker." Nevertheless, he did go to O'Reilly, came back, shrugged and told her no, he's never going to apologize.

So she bumped it up to the next level and told her boss she expected an apology. He shrugged and told her, "What can we do it's Bill. there's nothing we can do, we're sorry this happened to you, but there's nothing we can do."

There was indeed something they could do. They could make him apologize. But this was the Fox News culture.

Powers was undeterred, and went up to Roger Ailes, who really poured on the sexist excuses.

"He said there's nothing we can do, it's Bill, he's a jerk, nobody likes him," Powers said. "And then Roger said you know, 'Bill likes to put up dirty pictures and ask pretty girls to talk about them.'"

Ugh. Putting emphasis on the reason O'Reilly got away with what he did, Ailes continued, "What am I going to do? I don't like him, but he makes so much money there's nothing I can do."

The Almighty Dollar. Of course.

This man was completely disrespectful of the women he was talking to on the air, but he made too much money for Fox News to discipline him?

As Powers observed, "It just spoke volumes that I had to completely handle it on my own, that there was nobody that was willing to say anything to him, just to basically say you can't treat one of our political analysts this way."

Because the Almighty Dollar meant more, and the culture was toxic. Powers did handle it on her own. She refused to appear on his show again for three years. At some point, she decided to go back on it, but on her terms.

Tonight, when you see conservatives cry to #BoycottFoxNews because they miss their bullying, sexual harassing, pig of an anchor, just remember they're the mirror of the man they admire.

(h/t Media Matters)

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