On Wednesday evening, fans of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly were shocked to learn that his network of 21 years was dropping him like a bad habit after unproven allegations of sexual harassment were reported, and his fans noticed something strange about the show when the move was announced.
Weeks of speculative reports combined with so-far baseless allegations against the top rated cable news host first led to advertisers pulling their ads from his show. However, the loss of ads was just the start of O’Reilly’s troubles, as Democrat operative and attorney Lisa Bloom began parading around women from his past in an effort to further smear the conservative’s name to the public.
On Wednesday, the story culminated in the devastating news that Fox was ousting its most powerful voice – the most powerful voice in cable news for 20 years – after Rupert Murdoch finally caved to pressure from his two liberal sons and decided to show O’Reilly to the door. Worse yet, the network, which O’Reilly has been loyal to for two decades, gave him the boot without letting him officially sign off or say goodbye to his fans, which was evident as soon as his show aired last night at 8 p.m.
Fill-in host Dana Perino took to the airwaves to inform viewers of what was going on, and immediately they could see something was wrong – Fox had already changed the name of the show. The logo that once read “The O’Reilly Factor” now only read “The Factor,” proving the Murdochs were doing their former employee as dirty as they possibly could.
“Before we get to the other big stories of the day, we want to address a situation many of you may already be aware of. Bill O’Reilly, who hosted this program for twenty years, is leaving the Fox News Channel,” Perino opened. “We know that you, his very loyal viewers, will have a lot of feelings about this; and we will talk more about it later on in the program.”
At the end of the show, she finally addressed what’s become the hottest topic in politics overnight.
“Bill has been the undisputed king of cable news and for good reason. He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere,” she said. “He has also held his staff to exacting standards in his quest to put the best possible program on the air and they are great.”
O’Reilly was halfway across the world when he received the news. However, later that evening he released the following statement on BillOReilly.com [emphasis mine]
“Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television.
It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today.
I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”
Shortly after it was announced O’Reilly was fired from the network, evidence surfaced that the attacks against him were a smear campaign organized by far-left, Democrat operative David Brock and his group Media Matters for America. In an email, the group bragged about its success in getting advertisers to drop O’Reilly’s show, and said it looked forward to doing even more to get the broadcaster taken off the air.
The fallout from Fox’s horrible decision remains to be seen. However, the move isn’t sitting well with O’Reilly fans, and it’s likely going to cost the network quite a bit of viewers.