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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Less than four months after reported serial workplace sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly was forced out at Fox News, he’s returning to cable airwaves on CNN to promote his latest weird amateur history book.

CNN’s Tom Kludt reported on August 10 — less than four months after O’Reilly was allowed to leave behind 21st Century Fox with up to $25 million in hand after several women reported him for sexual harassment — that O’Reilly will soon sit down for an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish.

It’s hard to think of another move by CNN that would be as wholly unnecessary and deeply insulting to its audience as this.

After O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, paid out at least $13 million in settlements with five women reporting sexual harassment by O’Reilly, and after weeks of relentless activism from progressive organizers including Media Matters and Color of Change, of advertisers pulling their ads from the O’Reilly Factor time slot, of more courageous women coming forward to share their own reports of misconduct by O’Reilly, of hundreds of sexual violence survivors asking Fox to do better, O’Reilly was finally deemed too toxic — even for Fox.

He has spent the months since his firing broadcasting his unsolicited thoughts about the news from his office, via  an independent podcast and, now, a video show available on his website for paying members. He was relegated to the sidelines, as ought to be the case for individuals who have shown repeatedly that they take advantage of the spotlight to reportedly harass and demean women. So why the fuck is CNN bringing him back on air?

Unless O’Reilly will be sitting for several questions exclusively about the widespread reports that he sexually harassed at least five women, there is no legitimate reason for this interview. Instead, it actually seems like O’Reilly will be promoting his new history book about the American Revolution, which is dropping in September. It says as much in the CNN Money report yesterday. Who asked for this? Who is the audience for this interview?

O’Reilly’s opinion on literally anything, including but not limited to the Revolutionary War, is not in demand. It’s remarkable that CNN is comfortable giving this man airtime at all.

By booking and airing this interview, CNN is telling O’Reilly that he has a chance to make a comeback, and that his reported treatment of women — for which he has shown no remorse — can be forgotten. CNN is also telling its employees and its viewers that the network cares more about Bill O’Reilly’s history book and ratings than it does about the safety of women.

Good news, though, CNN: It’s not too late to change your priorities.

Header image by Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

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13 responses to “CNN Is Sending The Wrong Message By Hosting Bill O’Reilly”

  1. idamag says:

    CNN is just another right wing propaganda outlet.

  2. Sand_Cat says:

    The American Press, while doing some good reporting, has shown itself repeatedly to be composed of attention whores, and O’Reilly (and Trump, etc.) are reliable draws for attention.

  3. FT66 says:

    If Bill O’Reilly was not good for Fox News because he was fired due to his wrong-doing, how come he is now good for CNN? Sometimes these News Outlets behave like prostitutes always eyeing where they can cash in.

    • bsetrader says:

      Yeah, 14 years as the #1 cable show from Nielson is not “good for Fox?” Is everyone here ignorant douche fanbois of this author?

      • FT66 says:

        You don’t get it. We are discussing about Bill O’Reilly and not Fox News per se. If O’Reilly was clean, why was he fired? Any explanation from you?

  4. yabbed says:

    Boycott CNN. It has become the “equivalency trash bin” of news channels. It is time for America to take a stand against the promotion of the right wing hate agenda. Boycott CNN and refuse to support their sponsors. It’s time for decency in America and O’Reilly is not decent.

  5. bsetrader says:

    This author is a total idiot, calling O’Reilly’s 6th or 7th installment of the Killing series(all of them NYT best sellers) “amateurish weird history” is amateur journalism. He could only dream about attending Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. O’reilly received a masters of Public Administration(Government) there and that is after he received a BA in History from Marist College NY and University of London. There is plenty of demand for quality history books by credentialed authors. To say there is no demand for O’Reilly’s books, all of them, NY Times best sellers just proves this writer doesn’t read himself.

  6. Johnny five says:

    Losers. You people are sick!!!

  7. Bill forfeited his right to be regarded as a “Normal person” long ago. He therefore doesn’t deserve to be given the time of day, let alone be allowed to spread his mischief and deceitful pernicious ideas. Bill is duplicitous, untrustworthy, a sexual predator, to say the least.
    CNN is drowning in a sea of materialism, addicted to advertising revenue. All to entice FOX-oholics seeking desperately to satisfy their addiction for trash and conspiracies, by tuning in to CNN to hear a master of spreading lies and promotion of conspiracies.

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