The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Fox News is distancing itself from its former tentpole personality, Bill O’Reilly, as some of his harassment accusers now want out of their nondisclosure agreements.

The New York Times reported in April that Fox News doled out a total of $13 million in settlements to five women who had accused the “O’Reilly Factor” host of “sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.”

After O’Reilly told the Times he’s “vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” three of the women—Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, Andrea Mackris and Rebecca Gomez Diamond—filed a defamation suit against O’Reilly and the network in December.

motion filed on Tuesday by Fox News’s legal team argues that O’Reilly, who was “dismissed” shortly after the Times investigation, “was no longer acting in the course of his employment,” and so the network “cannot be vicariously liable.”

“Nor can Fox be liable for O’Reilly’s limited statements prior to his firing,” the motion continues, “because those statements were made to advance his personal interests, not those of Fox News.”

O’Reilly’s baggage is not unlike that of Donald Trump, who’s now facing three potentially damning lawsuits regarding alleged extramarital affairs and harassment.

Citing Clinton v. Jones—the Supreme Court ruling that set the legal precedent for former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment—New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter on Tuesday allowed a defamation lawsuit against Trump filed by former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos to proceed.

Also on Tuesday, former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal filed a defamation suit against tabloid magazine The National Enquirer in an effort to nullify an agreement she signed to keep quiet about the affair she says she had with Trump a decade ago. Similarly, adult film actress Stormy Daniels claims Trump never signed a $130,000 “hush agreement” to hide their decade-long affair.

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer and nonfiction MFA candidate at Columbia University.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

MAGA Children's Books

The GOP descent into full-blown conspiracy and fascist hell has not gone unnoticed as of late. With the right-wing dominated Supreme Court poised to finally overturn Roe V Wade and 2022 races focusing on backing Republicans who support Trump's 2020 election lies, democracy and decency are all but dead and Democrats are going to have to turn out big in the midterms to prevent a GOP takeover over the House or Senate.

But while the focus of progressive ire has been over the GOP's assault on reproductive rights, Republicans have also been waging a war on facts and education quite well. After all, they need their voters nice and ignorant to remain in power. Book banning and, sickeningly, book burning is a thing for the GOP in the year 2022. The state of Tennessee, for example, is banning books. In fact, a psychotic trump zealot pastor led an actual book-burning event.

Keep reading... Show less

Pat McCrory

Youtube Screenshot

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}