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Bill O'Reilly makes $32 million turnaround after sex scandal

by Nicholas Mazur - Campus talk editor
Tue, Oct 31st 2017 10:00 pm
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Bill O'Reilly was fired from Fox News this past spring. However, despite scandal and heinous accusations, he has remained a prominent figure in the Fox News circuit. His story raises questions about how we treat sex offenders in this country.

Bill O’Reilly is back in the news again despite being fired by Fox News. All I have to say to that, in my most exasperated tone is, O’really?

Okay, that’s not all I have to say, you folks know me better than that. As much as I don’t want to talk about another disgusting man who tries to deny his own perversion, it seems to be an unavoidable subject at the moment, so let’s dig in, shall we?

As I said previously, O’Reilly lost his job at Fox News in April. This was due to the revelation, according to CNN, that O’Reilly paid 32 million dollars to a legal analyst at Fox News, Lis Wiehl. The settlement was in regards to allegations against O’Reilly that he had a non-consensual sexual relationship with Wiehl, along with several other allegations including sexual harassment.

However, O’Reilly appeared as a guest on Fox News last month in order to promote his book, “Killing England”. O’Reilly is also looking for a new venue similar to his previous. Seemingly to return to life as usual for himself.

Well isn’t that just the bee’s knees? It’s really great to know that there are still some people out there who don’t let life get them down, that just keep on trudging despite hardship. But seriously folks, this raises a lot of questions.

My first: do we, as a nation, understand what sexual harassment is? Do we understand what “non-consensual sex” means? I’m not going to sugar coat it, it means rape. Bill O’Reilly “allegedly” committed rape, then used his immense wealth to get away with it. Why is it that as a nation we seem to not understand the ramifications of this? Of how a victim of this revolting crime feels after this? Or maybe we do understand and we just don’t really care?

That would certainly explain why everytime I look at the news, I hear about some new celebrity who has been revealed to be a perpertrator sexual assault or harassement or God knows what.

Are we just getting desensitized to it? What’s the deal folks? Not only should someone like Bill O’Reilly never be on TV again, he shouldn’t be allowed to promote a book. What a horribly symbolic way to push his own voice, his own twisted words. Why does he still get this platform? I guess taking his freedom of speech away is too harsh, it’s a dangerous road to go down.

My real question: why is this available to him? Why are there still people tuning in to see him, and buying his book to read his words? Why does it seem like, in the end, the consequences for O’Reilly were minimal? Sure, he had a slight setback in his television career and he’s out 32 million dollars, but if you can blow that much money on a settlement you have plenty of money. Guest starring on Fox News after getting fired and having a book coming out seems like a very small setback.

Many women, not just ones who were a victim to O’Rielly, end up signing NDAs, or non-disclosure agreements, thinking they are alone and stand no chance against big corporations like Fox News.

The New York Times dug into an excellent point regarding NDAs. These agreements virtually silence victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace. It is just as important, if not more important, to highlight their silence as it is to highlight O'Reilly's voice.

I don’t blame the women who sign NDAs. We as a nation have turned our backs on the survivors of sexual assault and harassment, on these people who need our help. We call them liars, accusers, people trying to grab 15 minutes of fame. Meanwhile we excuse, ignore and explain away behavior by predators, villains and downright despicable human beings like O’Reilly, who abuse their power in the most perverted, heinous ways imaginable. Then they go on to be guest stars and authors.

What is the glorious takeaway this week? Take your head out of the sand. Stop pretending like this will go away if we keep excusing this behavior if we keep ignoring it. It’s time to take the burden of fear off the shoulder of the victims and give O’Reilly a taste of fear, let him and all his kind know that their time is up and it’s time to run for the hills. No more settlements, no more excuses, no more NDA’s. Let's put it all on the table and get rid of the monsters under the bed we keep telling ourselves aren’t there.

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