Tag Archives: Bill O’Reilly

War on Christmas: always been a phony issue

Santa Claus is on his way.

Christmas is about to arrive. We’ll have a good day. We’ll spend some time with our sons, our daughter-in-law, our granddaughter and her brother.

Our time preceding this holy day has been relaxing and full of joy. I refuse to let the “hassles” supposedly associated with the holiday season get the better of me. There are no hassles as far as I’m concerned, so don’t tell me about them.

I want to assure you as well that as I’ve done my shopping — whether for groceries or gifts during this season — I keep hearing “Merry Christmas” from vendors’ employees as I complete my purchases.

Isn’t that cool? Sure it is! It’s also evidence as I see it of the phoniness of the so-called “war on Christmas” that conservative mainstream media tend to suggest is under way. Former Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly was the chief proponent of this phony war; he’s gone from Fox now, but others have mentioned it from time to time.

Donald Trump campaigned for president vowing to insist that businesses with their customers “Merry Christmas,” and not “Happy Holidays.” Fine, except that it’s never been an issue or a problem.

So I want to declare tonight that the war on Christmas doesn’t exist. Let’s just declare victory against a non-existent enemy against this joyous holiday and go about our business.

There. I just did.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Former Fox News talker shows hideous side

Bill O’Reilly is a cable news has-been, but he still commands a substantial audience of true believers who hang onto the crap that flies out of this guy’s pie hole.

Such as what came from his Twitter account today: Justice Ginsburg is very ill. Another Justice appointment inevitable and soon. Bad news for the left.

Hmm. Let’s ponder that one briefly.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just had some cancerous nodules removed from her lung. She is recovering. Doctors believe they got all of it; they also believe the cancer hasn’t spread.

Does the former Fox News talking head say a thing about Justice Ginsburg’s recovery, wishing her well? No. The no-spin phony talks about “bad news” coming to political progressives.

The man knows not a lick of shame. He is utterly lacking as well in class, decorum, decency, sympathy, empathy, kindness.

This individual makes me sick.

I just had to get that off my chest.

Connecting some dots inside the White House

I feel like connecting a few dots. So … here goes.

The 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee was revealed in a decade-old recording boasting about how he could grab women by their “pu***” because his status as a “star” gave him license.

The nominee, Donald John Trump, was elected president.

He declares war on media outlets that he finds disagreeable. He calls them “fake news” and then submits to interviews almost exclusively with Fox News, which was run by the late Roger Ailes.

Ailes, meanwhile, gets hit with complaints of sexual harassment by a number of high-profile female journalists; Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are two of them.

Ailes gets the boot. But his No. 2 man, Bill Shine, stands with him and allegedly covers up for the boss.

Then, just this week, Shine — who left Fox News — has been named deputy White House chief of staff in charge of communications.

So, we have the president — who has a history of sexual harassment complaints leveled against him by many women — hires a guy with a sexual harassment history of his own. The White House underling is now director of communications for the administration.

It’s fair to wonder about Trump’s values. He never rails against accusations of sexual harassment. He defends those against whom these complaints are leveled; he called former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly — who also faced such accusations — a “good man.”

Trump reportedly takes a dim view of the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements, believing that the women who make accusations against powerful men are off base.

Oh, and then his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about a tryst that Trump says never happened.

What do you suppose is the common denominator here? Let’s see. I think it’s boorish behavior toward women, which appears to have Donald Trump’s fingerprints all over it.

Press flack keeps insulting the public’s intelligence

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders fielded a direct question today from a member of the White House press corps: Is Russia a friend or foe of the United States?

Her answer defies all logic and it insults the intelligence of Americans across the board.

Sanders said “it is up to the Russians to decide” if they are going to be friendly or unfriendly toward the United States. Such a goofy response causes many of us out here to say: What the … is she talking about?

I need to remind Sanders what her boss, Donald John Trump, used to say about “identifying our enemies.” While running for president, Trump excoriated President Barack Obama for refusing to identify “Muslim terrorists” by name. Obama’s response was that we are not at war with Islam, but we are at war with those who are mass murderers of Muslims.

Why, then, does the current president identify Russia as a supreme foe of this country? Why does his press flack sing from the White House song book that refuses to identify our adversary — by name!

The Russians have all but declared war on our electoral system. They have sown discord, dismay and discontent among Americans, many of whom have lost total and unvarnished faith in our nation’s election system.

The Russians and their president, Vladimir Putin, are not our friends. Putin is a trained spook. He once ran the Soviet Union’s spy agency. He is, in the words of former Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly, “a killer.” Putin has sanctioned the murder of journalists and anyone who dissents from his public policy.

This man is a friend? It is up to the Russians to “decide” if they are our friend?

Listen up, young lady: You insult our intelligence constantly by spouting such idiocy.

Media getting the lashing they deserve

It hurts a bit to say this, but the so-called “mainstream media” are getting trashed — for the right reasons.

The media have been criticized for the slant of their coverage of news events, of politicians. Conservatives have labeled the MSM as tools of the liberal political establishment. I haven’t bought into that argument.

What’s happening now to the media, though, is an examination of a culture that seems to pervade it. We are witnessing the toppling of media heavyweights because of the way they behave toward women … allegedly.

Bill O’Reilly at Fox News: gone; Charlie Rose of CBS and PBS; he’s toast; Mark Halperin of MSNBC: he’s outta there; Glenn Thrush of the New York Times and MSNBC: he, too, is gone; Michael Oreskes of National Public Radio: see ya later.

What do these men have in common? They all were accused by women of making sexual advances on them, of committing acts of sexual harassment, of sexual abuse. The allegations include groping, prancing around in the nude, making inappropriate remarks … and some things I probably shouldn’t mention here because they’re in poor taste.

The word now is that media outlets are soul-searching. They are schooling their employees — the males at least — on how to behave, how to treat their female colleagues.

What gives this story its extra legs quite arguably is that the media have been covering the sexual misdeeds of others, namely politicians and entertainment tycoons. That coverage has exposed media companies — and the men who report and comment on others’ conduct — to the very revelations we have learned about their own behavior.

As Politico has reported: “We have robust policies in place and have become more focused on communicating those policies across the organization,” said New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha in an email. “In recent weeks, we’ve reminded employees of our Anti-Harassment, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Non-Discrimination policies and we’ve highlighted the many ways an employee can raise an issue or file a complaint, including through an anonymous hotline.”

That’s fine. Now it’s time for the Times and other media outlets to root out the bad actors within their ranks immediately.

Sexual harassment: the ‘norm’ at Fox News?

Eric Bolling has joined a growing list of Fox News talking heads to take a fall because of sexual harassment allegations.

I believe it’s a fair point to ask here what others in other forums have asked already: Is there some kind of corporate culture at Fox that promotes  — or perhaps condones — this kind of thing?

I’m going to go easy on Bolling, whose son has just died suddenly. The man is hurting.

But we’ve had the late Roger Ailes resign as the head man at Fox News in the wake of sexual harassment charges brought against him by the likes of former anchor Gretchan Carlson.

Then the big fish got caught on the sexual harassment hook: Bill O’Reilly was shown the door, again after sexual harassment charges were leveled against the prime-time star. Bill O denied any wrongdoing, even though he — and Fox — shelled out tens of millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements.

I don’t watch Fox as a rule, not because of the sexual harassment allegations, but because of its right-wing political slant, which I find objectionable.

However, I am a fan of at least a couple of the network’s shining stars: Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith both manage to seek and tell the truth reasonably and without outward bias.

I also used to be a huge fan of the late Tony Snow, with whom I was acquainted. I loved a story that Snow once told me about his “mission every Sunday” while he hosted “Fox News Sunday” was to get commentators Brit Hume and Juan Williams — who Snow described as his best friend at the network — to “get into a fight” on the air.

Well, that was then.

The here and now has the network reeling from yet another high-profile talking head tumbling out the door.

Sad, man. Sad.

See ya later, Bob Beckel

Bob Beckel’s dismissal from the Fox News Channel isn’t as big a deal as, say, Bill O’Reilly’s firing or that of the late Roger Ailes.

It’s still a big deal, however.

Fox canned Beckel today in connection with racially insensitive remarks he made to a fellow network employee. Beckel was one of the co-hosts of “The Five,” a network news talk show that airs weekday afternoons. He leans to the left politically and usually found himself on the short end of a gang fight with his co-hosts, most of whom lean to the right.

I always found it fascinating that Beckel was seen as a political “expert.” Why the fascination? Well, he shepherded Democratic nominee Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign to a 49-state landslide loss to President Ronald Reagan.

Fox’s quick dismissal of Beckel does suggest to many observers that the network has been sensitized to misbehavior by its on-air personalities. O’Reilly was canned after revelations came out about the sexual harassment settlements to which he agreed; several women accused O’Reilly of harassing them. And then there is Ailes, the network founder who was let go also for sexual harassment claims leveled against him; Ailes died this week at the age of 77.

I won’t miss Beckel. For starters, I don’t generally watch Fox News. When I have tuned in, I have found Beckel’s analysis to be seriously underwhelming.

Kudos go to Fox for its quick action. Heaven knows the network has taken a beating over the way it (mis)handled the sexual harassment matters.

May this firing signal a change in the corporate culture at the “fair and balanced” network.

O’Reilly gets the boot … then he gets a lot of dough!

I am not too proud to admit that I do not know about a lot of things.

The Bill O’Reilly story has me confused. I’m baffled, befuddled and bedeviled.

Some women accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment. He paid some of them with millions of dollars in settlements. Fox News Channel, where O’Reilly worked until just the other day, shelled out big money, too, to the women.

Advertisers bailed from O’Reilly’s show, costing the network millions of dollars in revenue. O’Reilly then goes on “vacation.” Fox decided this week to cut O’Reilly loose. O’Reilly has denied the accusations of harassment.

Fox felt the pinch from the revenue loss.

But then the network has decided to pay its former talk-show colossus the equivalent of a full year’s salary.

How much is that? It’s being reported to be in the neighborhood of $25 million.

If someone is let go for cause — which is how I am interpreting Fox’s decision to part company with O’Reilly — how does a former employer justify paying out that kind of cash?

What in the name of TV ratings am I missing?

Life isn’t fair, right, Bill O’Reilly?

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.

The politician?

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.

Is a ‘culture change’ in store at cable network?

21st-Century Fox made it official today: Bill O’Reilly, the company’s No. 1 blowhard and ratings juggernaut is gone.

He won’t be returning from his “long-planned vacation,” which commenced suddenly in the middle of this past week.

The reason for O’Reilly’s departure? A steady stream of negative publicity relating to sexual harassment complaints leveled against the veteran TV talk-show host.

O’Reilly paid out millions of bucks to women who had filed the complaints, all the while maintaining his innocence. Interesting, yes? Well, I think so. Fox News Channel coughed up a lot of cash, too, to women who had griped about O’Reilly’s treatment of them.

These media stories usually become the stuff of inter-network gossip. Competing networks — chiefly CNN and MSNBC — have had a field day covering this story for their audiences; Fox, meanwhile, hasn’t done much reporting at all on the difficulties that O’Reilly has brought to the network.

He’s gone now.

For me, it’s no great loss. I quit listening to O’Reilly a couple of Christmas seasons ago when he would allege that some phony “war on Christmas” was being waged by the “mainstream media” and assorted “left-wing pinheads.”

O’Reilly will get a big chunk of cash for, essentially, being fired for cause by Fox. That’s another part of these celebrity stories that baffles me. A big-ticket media talking head screws up, makes a big mistake — in this case, allegedly, several big mistakes — and he’s still able to walk away with a hefty severance package.

Whatever …

See ya in the funny papers, Bill.

As for the network, it lost its news boss — Roger Ailes — over similar accusations. Women have suggested there exists a “culture” of sexual harassment at Fox.

Perhaps we are witnessing a fundamental change in that culture and that female journalists and other “contributors” will feel more welcome and accepted for the talent they bring.