Dowell: Should Bill O’Reillys’ show be killed?

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Living in a glass house- Killing the Bill O’Reilly Show

Let me be clear, I am not advocating killing Bill O’Reilly, popular news talk host of The O’Reilly Factor. Actually, O’Reilly has made a lot of money on books he has authored or co-authored titled Killing Kennedy, Killing Lincoln, Killing Patton, and Killing Jesus.

Normally, liberals are the targets of Mr. O’Reilly’s venom, on his popular show that is also a money maker. Lately, he has been a kind of Achilles’ heel for the news outlet that some say, he has personally made famous with his amalgam of entertainment as reporting, caustic interviews with those whom he disagrees philosophically and politically, along with an instinct in appealing to many who believe that America is going too far to the “left,” leaving them without a voice. To them, Bill O’Reilly’s opinions are the gospel, according to Fox News.

His new book, cowritten with Bruce Feirstein, is titled “Old-School.” The newly released book, has become an immediate hit and best-seller. You know what? The book is billed as a defense of traditional values, and includes advice on how man should treat women, respectfully, and not as sex objects. During the first week, sales of the book were astronomical. More than 67,000 copies were sold during the first week of the book’s release. More importantly, the book is destined to become a New York Times bestseller before the end of this month. Last week, Mr. O’Reilly’s newly released book was among the top 15 in book sales on Amazon and No. 1 on Barnes & Noble’s nonfiction bestseller list.

Viewers who regularly tune in to Mr. O’Reilly on Fox News would probably not be surprised at his continued success in writing books in alignment with America’s core family value systems. The irony, however, is that just as his new book was hitting shelves around the country, Fox News, it has been discovered, had paid five women millions of dollars who had accused him of sexual harassment or verbal abuse.

Yes, Bill O’Reilly, a “Messiah” to the conservatives, a so-called impartial arbiter of what is good for America, the moneymaker for a news outlet that severely criticized former president Bill Clinton for such indiscretions, we have discovered, does not live in a “glass house.” You might remember that in October of last year, Fox News interviewed three women, who joined presidential candidate Trump at the time, in a news conference prior to his debate with Hillary Clinton. These women had accused her husband of harassment and even rape. It was believed by some that this was an attempt to cause the voting public to look unfavorably at Mrs. Clinton as a presidential candidate.

Major advertisers abandon sponsorship of Bill O’Reilly

Although the sexual harassment charges and concomitant lawsuits against the news host are now in the public court of opinion, his popularity among those who seek a regular dose of O’Reillian balderdash has not waned. This is not the case, however, with advertisers who are not amused and take sexual harassment and verbal abuse of women as  serious matters. To date, more than 50 advertisers have “killed” the O’Reilly show following the allegations of improprieties against women. Advertisers did not seem to care that O’Reilly is a moneymaker for Fox News. They did not want their names and brands associated with supporting and sponsoring someone who diminishes women by seeing them as sex objects. These companies have major policies in place which recognize diversity and respect for women. They included companies such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Bayer, and GlaxoSmithKline, a multi-billion-dollar company, whose Chief Executive Officer, Emma Walmsley, is a woman. A senior executive at Mercedes-Benz called the sexual harassment accusations “disturbing, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” she said.

Our president, who is a favorite over at the O’Reilly factor, in responding to the allegations against O’Reilly was a bit reticent and stated he didn’t think that “Bill had done anything wrong.”

What do you think? Should the O’Reilly Factor be killed?

Dr. Glenn Dowell is an author and columnist who currently lives in Jonesboro. He has been a guest speaker on major college campuses, including having appeared on TV programs such as the Oprah Winfrey Show. He may be reached at