Things just keep getting worse for Bill O’Reilly.
After The New York Times published an investigation over the weekend showing that O’Reilly and Fox have paid out $13 million in settlements in sexual harassment cases with five separate women, news has been rolling in that advertisers are dropping off O’Reilly’s show left and right.
Now, O’Reilly has received a pretty major endorsement — that probably isn’t going to help his case at all. Donald Trump said during an interview at the Oval Office on Wednesday, “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
This from he of “grab ’em by the pussy” and “locker room talk” fame. Trump may think he’s doing O’Reilly a solid by backing him up, but considering the sexual harassment and assault allegations that have been leveled against Trump — and the fact that he all but admitted they were true in the “grab ’em by the pussy” tapes — his endorsement isn’t really making O’Reilly look any better. Let’s just put it this way: Something tells us it’s not going to be the thing that stops all of O’Reilly’s advertisers from jumping ship.
Meanwhile, more and more evidence against O’Reilly is resurfacing, including a 2002 interview in which O’Reilly went on the record saying female anchors and reporters needed to embrace their sexuality and “Eleanor Roosevelt is not going to be anchoring your weekend news, OK?”
The line was in response to his former colleague at Fox News, Paula Zahn, who was upset that her morning show was being advertised as “sexy.”
“If Paula Zahn doesn’t think she’s there partially because she’s a good-looking babe, then she’s in never-never land,” O’Reilly said.
So why, exactly, weren’t advertisers bailing in 2002? Why did they wait until now?