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The Literary Rants: Bill O’Reilly and Sexual Harassment

April 24, 2017

(image via wikimedia)

Bill O’Reilly has had a rough couple weeks.  He just lost his show on Fox News.  A bunch of women are accusing him of sexual harassment.  Late night comics are making fun of him.  Advertisers want nothing to do with him.  In other words, it’s the perfect time to write another book!

The common joke is that he’s going to title his next book Killing O’Reilly.  That’s too easy, but O’Reilly set himself up for it with book titles like Killing Jesus and Killing Kennedy.

Normally I stay out of celebrity/political stuff, and I don’t want to pile on O’Reilly when everybody else is creaming him, but Bill O’Reilly sells a lot of books.  As long as people keep buying his books, some publisher will still be willing to put those books out.  And I’m curious if these charges will affect his book sales at all.

After covering news and politics for so long, Bill O’Reilly should have known that sexual harassment is nothing to mess with.  I take it so seriously that I make sure that I’m never alone with a woman at work.  I keep doors open.  I don’t make comments about appearances.  I don’t have lunches or dinners with them.  When I talk to women, I always look directly at their eyes and foreheads and that’s it.  I’m an expert on women’s foreheads.

I’m not in a position of power (plus I’m not rich, famous, or attractive), so maybe I’m not the type of guy who gets accused, but there are a lot of rich, powerful, and famous people out there who never get accused of sexual harassment, so if it happens a lot to one guy, it makes me wonder. When it comes to the work environment, there are things you can do to make sure you don’t get accused of sexual harassment (besides paying women not to say anything).

I’ve probably just jinxed myself.  Great.

My issue with Bill O’Reilly (besides the possible sexual harassment thing) as a celebrity author is that celebrity authors often don’t write their own books.  To me, it’s a dishonest way to make money.  True, it’s also a victimless way to make extra money.  Nobody really loses from it.  The celebrity makes money from the book.  The unknown coauthor makes money that he or she otherwise wouldn’t have made.  The publishers make money.  And fans of the celebrity get pleasure from reading (or at least buying) the book.  Nobody really cares if the celebrity really wrote the book.  Even so, it seems dishonest to me.

Now that O’Reilly no longer has a show on Fox, he can take this opportunity to write a book all by himself.   If he wrote his Killing O’Reilly book, he wouldn’t need a coauthor for research or anything like that (except for maybe a lawyer to strike out everything that’s incriminating).

I rarely watched O’Reillys show, but his meltdown video  from his Inside Edition days is a family favorite.  My daughters have never watched The O’Reilly Factor either, but they’ve seen his “We’ll do it live!!!” meltdown several times, and it never gets old.  That’s how people under the age of 20 (or 30?) know who Bill O’Reilly is.  And whenever somebody in my family gets frustrated with a task, we shout: “I’ll do it live!!!”

Bill O’Reilly’s first step to potential media recovery is the podcast, which makes sense because he has a built-in following and people want to hear his side of the story.  But he might not want to talk too much about the sexual harassment thing, not if he wants to write his bestselling book about it.  He could still use a podcast to talk politics and do interviews and it might look a lot like his old show.

The other good thing about a podcast is he has complete control over it, with no corporate execs looking over his shoulder or bungling crews forcing him into a meltdown.  In other words, Bill O’Reilly can “do it live!!!!” whenever he wants.  If we learned anything from O’Reilly’s Inside Edition meltdown, it’s that he likes to “do it live!!!”

From → Pop culture

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