In the midst of an ongoing scandal surrounding Bill O’Reilly in the wake of a NYTimes report that he’d paid out $13 million in sexual harassment settlements, O’Reilly is going on vacation. O’Reilly, however, insists that it is not a suspension, and that he had been planning the vacation since last fall. It is merely a coincidence that the vacation falls in the middle of the week. After over 60 advertisers have dropped his program.
New York Magazine, however, is reporting that tonight’s show may be his last. Fox News is currently conducting its own investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Bill O’Reilly, and there is currently a battle between Rupert Murdoch and his son, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, over whether to keep O’Reilly around. Rupert wants him to stay, while James does not. James is more politically moderate and fought not only to oust Roger Ailes last fall (a battle he won) but to keep Megyn Kelly and transform Fox News into something more akin to a global CNN-like news network. In other words, James is 1 for 2, but it’s looking like he might go 2 for 3 in his battle against Dad.
With more than three dozen advertisers boycotting O’Reilly, Fox staffers speculate the same may happen to O’Reilly, perhaps as early as during his vacation. “The assumption is that he’ll exit in a non-embarrassing way,” one senior Fox News staffer told me.
I hope Stephen Colbert is working on his satirical Tucker Carlson character.