Bill O’Reilly has been a fixture at Fox News for almost 20 years. His fans see him as a beacon of light in a society that has become immoral. However, Mr. O’Reilly has also been a lightning rod for criticism from those who see him as pretending to take the moral ground, but not actually being moral.
Bill O’Reilly has survived several scandals in his career. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Andrea Mackris Sexual Harassment Scandal
Bill O’Reilly had been very controversial before, but the controversy over the alleged sexual harassment of his producer, Andrea Mackris, took that controversy to new territories in late 2004. The Smoking Gun, a site that originally published transcripts from tapes that were destroyed, reminded readers of the 10th anniversary on October 13, 2014.
“On this date in 2004, Bill O’Reilly was accused of sexual harassment by Andrea Mackris, an associate producer who worked with the TV host at Fox News Channel. Mackris’s New York State Supreme Court complaint is bursting with examples of the 65-year-old O’Reilly’s alleged sleaziness (which apparently was surreptitiously memorialized via Mackris’s tape recorder).”
The article adds the tapes of O’Reilly’s phone calls, according to the transcripts of the lawsuit, dealt with vibrators, falafels, Thai sex shows, “taking out” Al Franken, and many other topics. Bill O’Reilly denied the allegations and settled the case out of court for millions of dollars.
Bill O’Reilly Surprised to Dine With ‘Civil’ Black People
In September of 2007, Bill went to Harlem’s most popular soul food restaurant, Sylvia’s, with Al Sharpton. As the New York Daily News described, his discussion of it caused a huge backlash.
“Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly really, really needs to get out more. After sitting down to eat coconut shrimp at Harlem’s most famous soul food restaurant with the Rev. Al Sharpton, the talk show host told his radio listeners he was surprised that Sylvia’s was a perfectly normal, civilized restaurant.”
O’Reilly told his audience that he couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s and any other restaurant in New York City.
“There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, M-Fer, I want more iced tea,” O’Reilly said, later accusing the media of taking his comments way out of context.
Bill O’Reilly: The Falklands War Warrior
The Fox News host teared apart NBC Anchor Brian Williams after he falsely claimed to be nearly shot down by a helicopter during the US invasion of Iraq. Then, Mother Jones came up with an article about Bill O’Reilly’s own alleged war stories.
The article noted that O’Reilly has constantly told his audience that he was a war correspondent for CBS during the Falklands War in 1982, and that he knows what it’s like to experience combat. He said his photographer got run down, hit his head, and was bleeding. He dragged his photographer to safety as am army was chasing them.
Susan Zirinsky, a longtime CBS News producer who worked with O’Reilly during that time, said that nobody from CBS got to any “war zone.” Bob Schieffer, a CBS News lead correspondent who covered the war, confirms what Zirinsky said.
Bill O’Reilly Physical Assault
Bill O’Reilly went through a three-year custody dispute with his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy. Most of the documents related to the case were sealed. However, in 2015, Gawker learned that there was testimony accusing Bill of physically assaulting his wife in the couple’s home.
Bill’s older daughter allegedly claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck. O’Reilly has completely denied any of this had ever taken place.
Slaves Treated Well
Bill O’Reilly, when talking about Michelle Obama’s statements about waking up in a house built by slaves, confirmed that slaves did assist in the construction of the White House. Then, he added that the slaves were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government. Many condemned O’Reilly for his “stupidity” for defending use of White House slaves.
As the Washington Post notes, O’Reilly claimed he was smeared. And it appears O’Reilly didn’t have any bad or racist intentions. But his facts couldn’t be verified because of the lack of records.
No doubt that Donald Trump has been elected, O’Reilly’s critics have become more enraged, especially due to the fact O’Reilly constantly gave Trump a platform to speak on his show. You can bet there will be plenty more Bill O’Reilly scandals whether they amount to fake outrage or not.
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]