We all can admit what we know, that life sometimes just isn’t fair.
It deals harsh retribution for some of us, while others seemingly get away with similar — if not even worse — behavior.
I present to you two cases of men who reportedly have treated women badly. One of them is a noted television news commentator/pundit/ correspondent/personality; the other is a well-known politician.
Fox News Channel has just cut Bill O’Reilly loose after revelations about allegations of sexual harassment became known. None of us can predict at this moment whether O’Reilly’s broadcast career is over. Suffice to say, though, that it doesn’t look good.
It is true that O’Reilly received a healthy severance from his former employer. It’s also true that the allegations from several women haven’t been adjudicated, even though O’Reilly and Fox have doled out substantial settlement payments to several of the complainants.
O’Reilly’s reputation is in tatters and will require substantial repair — if it’s even reparable.
That would be Donald John Trump, 45th president of the United States of America.
What did this individual do? Oh, let’s see. He is heard on a 2005 “hot mic” recording collected by “Access Hollywood” actually bragging about how he has sexually assaulted women, grabbing them by their, um, genital area. What gave him license to do such a thing? Trump told Billy Bush that he could do it because he’s a “star” and that his status as a big-time celebrity somehow enabled him to act like an animal.
This recording became known during the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign. What price did Trump pay for it? Hardly nothing.
He got elected with 304 electoral votes on Nov. 8.
There you have it. The president of the United States is an admitted sexual assailant.
OK, the cases aren’t entirely parallel. Fox News suffered a serious decline in revenue as advertisers withdrew from O’Reilly’s nightly TV show. Trump didn’t have that particular staring him down as the chatter mounted over his “Access Hollywood” recording. All the Republican presidential nominee had to face was whether enough voters would be sickened enough by the revelation to turn to another candidate, such as Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Trump apparently felt immunized sufficiently by his victory in the election to offer a word of support for O’Reilly, calling him a “good person” while the sexual harassment allegations began piling up around him.
I have no solution to this dichotomy. I simply remain baffled beyond belief — given what he has acknowledged about his behavior — that one of the principals in this blog was able to ascend to the highest office in the land.