Economy

Late Night Hosts Have a Field Day with Bill O'Reilly Firing

Late Night Hosts Have a Field Day with Bill O'Reilly Firing

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is applauding the removal of Bill O'Reilly from Fox News, saying the decision signals that network is no longer a "sexual harassment enterprise". Observers say his deep imprint on Fox and other cable news outlets as well as his influence on barbed political discourse will remain intact for the foreseeable future.

On Wednesday, the host of the top-rated "O'Reilly Factor" was sacked amid numerous allegations of sexual harassment dating back to 2004.

Now, the top ratings for O'Reilly's time slot - and Fox's other prime-time shows - could be at risk.

"In many ways, he led Fox's cable news revolution", said Frank Sesno, a journalism professor at George Washington University and former CNN Washington bureau chief. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel", he concluded. Suddenly sexual harassment's a crime?

And 21st Century Fox is much bigger than O'Reilly, Fox News and its aging, conservative audience. Joe Pollak of the right wing Breitbart.com web site wrote a column on Thursday headlined, "Bill O'Reilly's secret: he was a centrist, not a conservative". He is an incredibly talented broadcaster who raised the bar for interviewers everywhere.

Some analysts believe that James and Lachlan Murdoch - the sons of 21st Century Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch - made the call on O'Reilly to change the Ailesian culture at the network and to cement their control following his departure.

Starting Monday, Carlson's show will be followed at 9 p.m. EDT by "The Five", relocating from its afternoon slot.

Earlier this month, Waters had said that O'Reilly "needs to go to jail" when The New York Times published the shocking story that O'Reilly and Fox News had paid out $13 million in addressing sexual harassment complaints against the news host.

The U.S. Attorney's office in NY is investigating how 21st Century Fox handled the Roger Ailes scandal. O'Reilly took his leave Wednesday afternoon, and Fox shares fell 0.9% to $30.39 at the close in NY.

"I owe a lot to Bill O'Reilly", said Colbert. Then he added that they want to continue their commitment in establishing a working environment built on respect and trust. But the New York Times reported that two of the O'Reilly settlements were reached after Ailes left. The company hired a law firm to looking into the allegations immediately after the NYT report, and O'Reilly proceeded on vacation just a few days after.

"Thank god it's stopped now with Bill O'Reilly at Fox", she concluded. At the time, O'Reilly said he planned to return to the program on April 24.


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