Brittle Foxes

From David Zurawik at THE BALTIMORE SUN:

It was hard to imagine a news organization taking any hit comparable to the one Fox News did in August when founder Roger Ailes was pushed out amid charges of sexual harassment.

But the news today that Bill O’Reilly would not be returning to the highest rated show on cable news might be even bigger, because of his status as an on-air personality and the foundation of an incomparable primetime ratings lineup.


Original DVD cover

O’Reilly was forced out in the wake of a New York Times investigation that found he and Fox had paid settlements totaling $13 million to five women. Two of the settlements came after Ailes departure and a vow by management of 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, that it would have zero tolerance for sexual harassment.


Fox News is infested with a sick, predatory, sexist culture, and most of Ailes’ top lieutenants are still on the job. They say they knew nothing of the payments and cover-ups during the last two decades, but that seems impossible.

There’s a bigger cultural story here about the end of a troubling era in which men from the generation of Ailes and O’Reilly ruled and women were at their mercy in the workplace.

Such cultural change does not happen overnight, of course. But the need for a more enlightened corporate culture at Fox has apparently at least been recognized by Lachlan and James Murdoch, the sons of Fox patriarch Rupert Murdoch. How deeply they will be able to cut into the culture to root out such sexist behavior is another question.


A parallel cultural change involves advertisers understanding the economic power of women. The Murdochs cannot afford to let their Fox News brand become any more damaged than it already is with that demographic — even if Rupert Murdoch doesn’t quite understand that change.

Now Fox has to try and pick up the pieces. And it has to start with firing the senior mangers who knew and said nothing — or even participated in the coverups.

O’Reilly was only the face of that sickness at the sorry end of his career. And sorry doesn’t even start to describe how badly things have ended for him and Ailes after all their bombast and bluster.

Now the disease itself needs to be cut out of the culture of Fox.



Filed under Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, humor, Media, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, satire, Sexual Harassment, snark, television

17 responses to “Brittle Foxes

  1. Hopefully this is a needed step forward to clean up Fox News. I think the top brass made an excellent decision to fire/remove O’Reilly from his job. It would seen unlikely t keep someone on anyhow after all the huge companies pulled their ads. This was long overdue. O’ Reilly acted like a pompous ass and king of the mountain. Couldn’t stand the man. He seemed to have a sense of self entitlement among other things. Nice post.

    • This was a decision based purely on financial reasons. There was no acknowledgement of responsibilty, no apologies. Faux news is just as immoral as before, and they will continue to promote their bullshit misogynistic agenda as they have been doing for decades. This was putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.

      • Yes. Faux news is a bunch of sickening, sorry, biased, prejudiced, blabber mouths. I’m wondering if Billy boy will arise from the dust again. I surely hope not. The truth of the matter is that Fox news will not be going anywhere. Who knows, Billy O. might get re-hired again. I put nothing past those perverts.

        • He’ll keep telling his ghostwriters to write more stupid books filled with a bunch of unresearched bullshit. And there will still be morons buying them (though I suspect Faux News will no longer purchase a shitload of them to get them on the bestseller list).

  2. the loony tic

    ‘falafel’ lol! i hope this isn’t a situation like our first black president not making an impact on prejudice. when women figure out a way to get into corporate board rooms then sexism can be swept into the dust pan of history.

    • Let’s hope that, when women do populate boardrooms in greater numbers, that the right women are there. We don’t need any Phyllis Schlaflys or Anita Bryants guiding corporations on how to treat women.

      • vincelamb

        Or Karen Handel, John Ossoff’s runoff opponent who was on the board of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and convinced the organization to terminate its relationship with Planned Parenthood. That didn’t turn out well for her or the Komen Foundation, but not before doing a lot of damage.

  3. Barbara

    Lol haha

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Wow, those waters are badly polluted. Must be a leak in the wingnuttery pipeline upstream. No wonder there’s only one fish and it’s dead.

    The quoted article is right that there’s a lot more pest eradication to be done. Paying out $13 million to victims is the kind of action that a lot of other highly-placed people must have known about, which means they must have known about the allegations for a long time too. They only got rid of O’Reilly when it went public.

    Let’s hope that the most highly-placed of all the “Grabby Old Men”, the orange dingbat himself, soon joins these two in retirement.

    • Maybe that fish got hit in the head with the floating loofah. Heaven only knows what might be on it.

      O’Reilly’s predilections have been known for years. They only got rid of him when the advertisers finally caught on that women buy most of the shit they advertise.

      If I wasn’t so lazy, I would remake the poster and change the title to Grabby Old Men. I need to check with you before posting, Infidel.

  5. vincelamb

    “Fox News is infested with a sick, predatory, sexist culture, and most of Ailes’ top lieutenants are still on the job. They say they knew nothing of the payments and cover-ups during the last two decades, but that seems impossible.”

    “They knew nothing” — now where have I heard that before?