So far, 2015 has not been a great year for Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Following the controversy surrounding NBC’s Brian Williams being suspended after he was caught lying about events that happened while he was covering the Iraq War, David Corn over at Mother Jones found that O’Reilly had also lied about events that he had claimed to have personally witnessed on several different occasions.
Naturally nothing happened to O’Reilly because he’s not a real journalist and Fox News isn’t a credible news channel. For them, it’s all about ratings and entertainment instead of journalistic credibility and integrity.
Well, in what might be the most damning allegation against the Fox News host yet, his ex-wife has apparently alleged that he physically abused her in front of their daughter.
According to a report by Gawker:
According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching. The precise date of the alleged incident is unclear, but appears to have occurred before the couple separated in 2010. The same source indicated that the daughter, who is 16 years old, told the forensic examiner about the incident within the past year.
Of course O’Reilly denies these allegations, calling them “100 percent false.” O’Reilly denying this ever happened is not exactly a shock. If you listen to him talk, he’s never done anything people have accused him of doing and apparently the whole world is out to get him. Just look at the situation with Corn where he viciously went after him even though the evidence presented overwhelmingly showed O’Reilly had fabricated details of his stories.
So, either O’Reilly is alleging that this source made all of this up or that his wife and daughter are lying about him. Of course there’s a court-mandated confidentiality order so we may never know. (If it were me and someone accused me of abuse, and I were innocent, I would ask the judge to revoke that order and prove my innocence – but that’s just me.)
Now, does any of this “prove” anything? No. That’s why it’s called an allegation. But I can’t see why a daughter would make something like this up against her own father during a lengthy custody battle… one O’Reilly lost, by the way. While some could easily dismiss allegations such as these from a “scorned ex,” the alleged incident where he drug her down a staircase by her neck was apparently supported by his teenage daughter.
So, what does this all mean? Well, a lot – but also nothing at all.
The question I have is, what does Fox News do? It’s a rhetorical question because I know they’ll do absolutely nothing.
While I could see the network doing nothing if this were the first bit of questionable behavior from O’Reilly, it’s not.
Not only has O’Reilly’s ex apparently alleged he abused her, but there have also been allegations that he’s harassed men she was dating and tried to get her kicked out of the Roman Catholic Church. So when you tie all of that in with the fact Corn produced some rather indisputable evidence showing O’Reilly lied about several different stories he had covered in the past, even though O’Reilly has continued to deny anything he reported was inaccurate, it’s clear that there seems to be a pattern of unethical and immoral behavior linked to the Fox News host, behavior that he doesn’t show any likelihood of ever admitting to.
Again, he denies all of these allegations – apparently the world is just out to get him.
I’m a believer that anyone can have negative allegations falsely heaped upon them by someone out to slander them, but when that list begins to grow from different sources, then I tend to believe there’s something there. And if Fox News were a legitimate news network that cared about ethics and morals, I don’t think O’Reilly would still be on the air right now. But he’s their biggest draw and arguably the face of the network, so he’s not going anywhere.
This is a network that punished absolutely no one when they were caught blatantly trying to fear-monger and slander the city of Paris following the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo and did absolutely nothing to Eric Bolling when he made one of the most disgusting comments about a female fighter pilot I’ve ever heard any prominent media figure ever say.
So, as much as these allegations against O’Reilly are fairly bad – especially considering they were supposedly corroborated by his own teenage daughter – the fact that I’m almost certain nothing will happen to him is more of a testament to the lack of ethical standards at Fox News. It seems that no matter what someone on their network says, does or is accused of doing – as long as they’re still pulling in ratings, Fox News couldn’t care less.