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O’Reilly’s actions No. 1 factor in dismissal

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

Don't cry for Bill O'Reilly.

Fox News may have fired him for sexual harassment, but Big Bill will remain a multi-millionaire author and popular speaker on the right-wing political circuit. He is in no danger of going hungry.

O'Reilly's reputation as an egotistical, me-first personality goes back to the 1970s when he was a twenty-something reporter at Channel 8 in Dallas. Colleagues there did not remember him fondly after he moved on to his next television gig.

To hear O'Reilly tell it, he never sexually harassed women in the Fox News workplace. His inference is that his animal magnetism drew them to him like an aphrodisiac. We doubt that.

It's hard to imagine O'Reilly's bosses allowed him to behave so badly for so many years. One sad allegation that surfaced this week came from a black woman -- a clerk -- who said O'Reilly referred to her as "hot chocolate." He never spoke to her, she alleged. Instead, he grunted at her like a rutting moose.

Credit goes to O'Reilly as a popular entertainer. No matter your political persuasion, he was watchable for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. He made a lot of money for Fox and would still be there if advertisers had not abandoned his show. Car companies, pharmaceutical companies and makers of breakfast cereal finally held him accountable, giving Fox no choice but to jettison him.