Professor Caroline Heldman, one of the latest women to come forward with a sexual harassment complaint against Bill O’Reilly, suggested last night that there are more sexual predators yet to be named but still prowling the halls at Fox News.
Heldman appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night as part of a panel of women discussing sexual harassment from Bill O’Reilly. Heldman had been a regular liberal guest on O'Reilly's show.
In the first part of the discussion, Heldman said she had been warned about O’Reilly but that most of her hits were done in a remote studio. “But on the occasions where I met him in person, I felt like I needed to take a shower afterwards,” she added. “One of the first things he said, if not the first thing he said to me was something to the effect of, “When I was in college, professors didn’t look like you, ha, ha, ha.”
Heldman said that “the actionable thing” O’Reilly did occurred on December 14, 2011, after she called O’Reilly out for calling her “hysterical” during one of their on-air debates. “I definitely put him in his place” for that, she said, and thought nothing more of it until she found he had edited out the exchange and then stopped having her on his show. Previously she had been appearing weekly or more often.
“So because I called him on his sexist bullying,” Heldman said, O’Reilly blacklisted her. That, she said, “had profound effects on my media career. I was on an upward trajectory and he put a huge roadblock in the way.”
Later, in the second part of the discussion, near the end of her remarks, Heldman revealed Fox has “more housecleaning” to do.
HELDMAN: It was a top-down culture at Fox News. And honestly? [O’Reilly] wasn’t the only one who sexually harassed me at Fox and I think they have more housecleaning to do.
For some reason, O’Donnell, a host I respect and admire, did not ask who else had harassed Heldman.
But while we may not know the other name(s), we do know that Heldman has been treated with sexism and disrespect on other shows and by other hosts. In my last post, I noted how Tucker Carlson, O’Reilly’s soon-to-be-replacement, had asked Heldman, two days ago, if her mother knew what her views on taxes are, as if to suggest that this grown woman, also a college professor with a Ph.D., had done something naughty in holding her opinion.
And in April 2011, eight months before her fateful encounter with O’Reilly, panelist Eric Bolling called Heldman “The Great Dr. McHottie,” in a debate over a union boycott on the Bulls & Bears show. Bolling, currently a cohost on The Five and the host of Saturday's Cashin' In, is about to get his own weekday show.
In other words, it does not look like the culture at Fox has changed just because the network has fired O’Reilly and Roger Ailes and paid out large sums of money to be rid of them and their victims.
Watch Heldman describe her experiences below, from the April 20, 2017 The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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