Bill O’Reilly’s inevitable firing

Lauren Fitz and Lauren Fitz

Well, folks, it finally happened. On Wednesday, Fox News took another stand against sexual harassment claims and fired Bill O’Reilly from the network. This is a decidedly huge moment for the conservative-leaning network, as two of their most well-known on- and off-screen personalities have either resigned or been fired in the last year because of sexual harassment claims.

But yet, the firing makes sense. When O’Reilly actually goes on the record and gives, and quote, where he says his position and fame makes him “vulnerable to lawsuits,” shouldn’t that be a concern to bosses everywhere and anywhere? If I was to get a job in the journalism world at this very moment and told my boss that, as a brand new employee fresh out of college, I’m already prone to lawsuits, I wouldn’t be put in such a prominent position in a company.

Multiply that, times 20 years, is where O’Reilly is at. He’s the most-watched cable news show. Fox News itself is the most-watched cable network. The firing, while a good thing, is going to hurt the network. And maybe that’s what the network needs.

After Roger Ailes submitted his resignation back in July, Fox News said that there would be a change in how the network conducts business and said there would be “trust and respect” throughout the offices. That clearly wasn’t the case, as sexual harassment claims continued to mount against O’Reilly.

Which brings me to this: how high up do sexual harassment claims go at Fox News? If the network’s former CEO resigned because of sexual harassment claims and O’Reilly has had to settle multiple sexual harassment suits, what is it to say that other people who aren’t as well-known, but still a visible part of Fox News, have sexual harassment claims against them?

Has this gone on for so long that it’s become a part of business-as-usual at Fox News? We may never know.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the rest of the year pans out, as the network has lost two of its most prolific, or at least well-known, newscasters at the start of the year, since Megyn Kelly left Fox News for NBC and now O’Reilly has been fired. It will be incredibly interesting to see if Fox News is still going to be the most watched cable network after this, and after advertisers pulled their ads from “The O’Reilly Factor,” even with a Republican-controlled Congress and White House. Viewing habits have already changed on the broadcast networks. Will the same happen for cable news networks now?

I guess this goes to show that people with the name Bill O’Reilly, or anything closely resembling the name Bill O’Reilly, should not be trusted after an experience I had in seventh grade with a guy named Bill Riley.

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