It’s Time for Bill O’Reilly to be Weinsteined


by DAVID FRENCH, Columnist, The NATIONAL REVIEW October 22, 2017 10:30 PM

Over the weekend the New York Times published an extended scoop about Bill O’Reilly. It turns out that he recently settled yet another sexual harassment case, this time for a staggering $32 million. The allegations were deeply troubling. Here’s the Times:

Although the deal has not been previously made public, the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, acknowledges that it was aware of the woman’s complaints about Mr. O’Reilly. They included allegations of repeated harassment, a nonconsensual sexual relationship and the sending of gay pornography and other sexually explicit material to her, according to the people briefed on the matter. (Emphasis added.)

The amount was large, but the settlement wasn’t unusual. O’Reilly was a serial settler of sexual harassment claims, yet Fox gave him a lucrative new contract anyway:

It was at least the sixth agreement — and by far the largest — made by either Mr. O’Reilly or the company to settle harassment allegations against him. Despite that record, 21st Century Fox began contract negotiations with Mr. O’Reilly, and in February granted him a four-year extension that paid $25 million a year.

I have a couple of thoughts. First, while I’m very familiar with the practice of so-called “nuisance settlements” — where a company or celebrity settles frivolous claims for small amounts mainly because the cost and hassle of defending the complaint is larger than the potential liability — but no reasonable person would call O’Reilly’s gigantic payment a “nuisance settlement.” O’Reilly has contested the Times story, but actions speak louder than words. As the Times notes, publicly known settlement amounts involving O’Reilly “have totaled about $45 million.”

How many serious allegations must there be — and how much settlement money must O’Reilly pay — before conservatives apply the same standards to him that they would eagerly apply to a liberal of corresponding fame and importance? Yet prominent conservatives are guests on his new “No Spin News,” and he’s consistently a guest on other conservative programs. O’Reilly should be banished from every serious and meaningful conservative outlet just as Weinstein is being stripped of his progressive public platforms. Frankly, there is no need for O’Reilly’s voice in the public square.



  1. I realize that this O’Reilly-to-Weihl settlement was not decided by a judge or jury. Ditto the reported $20 million FOX News-to-Gretchen Carlson payout. And, yes, both women will probably fork over a third of said settlements to lawyers. But the sums involved are so staggering especially when I think of more paltry amounts awarded victims grievously maimed by medical, personal or corporate injury.

    I stand to be corrected. But I haven’t heard of any announced plans by Ms Carlson (who was certainly no pauper beforehand) or Ms Wiehl to target at least some of these payouts to, say, female-empowerment foundations. Regardless, I guess we can anticipate an avalanche of me-too litigation in coming months.

  2. I have to agree in part with the article, if its a nuisance case it should not carry the huge settlement numbers that it has. There is a certain point where the network will draw the line and go to court unless the proof against is a slam dunk for the accuser.


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