Bill O’Reilly is gone. Just as many others in his shoes before him have been disgraced over sexual issues and cried “foul,” so too is Bill claiming the so-called real truth is yet to come out. However, while others may have tried desperately to fade into the background and hope for us all to have very short memories, Bill seems to want to keep the issue afloat until he can present a side of it that puts him in a better light.
He may or may not get to complete his The Spin Stops Here tour after all the “objections” and/or anti-tour petitions are tallied up, but that still remains to be seen. Apparently for him, the game isn’t over yet.
In an April 24 Washington Post article, Callum Borchers wrote “…on the day he was originally scheduled to return to Fox News from vacation, the deposed King of Cable News spoke out on a podcast Monday night about the sexual harassment allegations that led to his ouster and hinted at a campaign to clear his name.
“O’Reilly’s highly anticipated remarks (heavy traffic temporarily crashed his website) did not resemble the launch of an apology tour — not in the least. They sounded more like the start of a revenge tour. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the podcast:
“‘I am sad that I’m not on television anymore. I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.
But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.
Now, I can’t say any more because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it. However you, as a loyal O’Reilly listener, have a right to know, I think, down the lane what exactly happened. And we are working in that direction, okay?’”
The article went on to explain that O’Reilly had already settled the harassment allegations, had already received $25 million severance pay from Fox News and had no pending litigation, since his settlement from Fox apparently precluded him from suing the network; so the question has been raised as to why he stated that he couldn’t say any more.
Yet as with practically all those who have been accused of sexual misconduct, the bigger the “bigshot” (shorthand for the very well known, the very rich and/or the very powerful), it is common and even expected that they will deny all charges. One would therefore think that those who are so accused must be of a higher calibre than the rest of us, since they are always telling us that the truth will come out, meaning we suppose, that all those women are liars and they are just out to get the accused for some conspiracy kind of reason or such.
According to that Washington Post article, “When O’Reilly says ‘the truth will come out,’ he is not talking about the conclusion of some ongoing lawsuit. It appears that he is talking about an effort on his part to cast himself as the victim of some kind of left-wing conspiracy….It looks as if O’Reilly is determined to make the case publicly that he was unjustly targeted, smeared and ruined by his liberal detractors.”
Perhaps the big problem with sexual accusations that are never admitted to by the males so accused is that many men simply cannot believe that what they did is so very wrong. They may well know that they said such and such, or did such and such, but they refuse to think of it as wrong, bad, or worth all the “fuss.” And they therefore will immediately downplay their words and their actions (hoping against hope, I would imagine, that no one caught them on video or made a secret recording), so it will end up as “only” a he said/she said accusation, granting the “bigshot” a chance to let his celebrity — or whatever he wants to call it — carry the most cache with the public, allowing him to make the women involved look like they’re just after some money or some publicity or have some vendetta against him.
I cannot make a general all-inclusive statement that all those sexual innuendos don’t matter and women just exaggerate feeling offended to make a quick or big settlement to keep things quiet. But I can offer some small, however shabby, defense for the men who say those offensive things and make such unacceptable moves on today’s woman. What would that be, you might wonder.
I was recently watching some old Turner Classic Movies that starred the whole slew of the rack pack — Frank and Dean predominantly. While those movies can be fun once in awhile for the retro-aspect of it all, they also show us what many women had to put up with in the sexual harassment area of ordinary male-female relationships, and that includes how some men would react to the random woman just walking by. (The portrayal of all that sexual harassment seems to be very close if not right on as I remember it from my earlier years.)
For those men who never grew up, or seriously want to think of themselves as just some version of Frank or Dean (or the “smooth” man of their personal choice), they may consciously or even subconsciously imitate their “hero,” thinking they are giving the woman a big compliment for which she should be grateful. If no one ever called them on it, or put a stop to it, it no doubt continued, perhaps right into bigtime trouble. Which reminds me of a true story:
A well-to-do couple held parties at their house every Saturday night, and it usually included all the other well-to-do neighbors. The husband felt it was okay for him to always make his sexually-suggestive comments to any female who was at the party, even though his wife told him repeatedly that she wished he would stop. One Saturday a neighbor asked if it would be okay if she also brought along her son, who was home on leave from the military for a few days. The hostess told her of course. No one else at the party knew the son, and the son didn’t know anyone else there. During the party, the husband made his usual sexually-slanted comments, this time to the mother of the servicemember. Because the husband did this all the time, ignoring his wife’s insistent requests to stop, he felt they would just be accepted as they always were. But this time, the son was outraged because they were made to his mother, and after everyone had gone home, the son came back to the house with the police in order to make a formal charge against the husband. Maybe because the sexual harassment charge didn’t seem like enough, the son threw in a “threatening me with a gun” charge, to make the police pay more attention to him. To help justify that charge, all the police had to do was glance around at the husband’s gun collection.
The bottom line to this story is that one never knows how a man’s sexually-slanted comments or moves will be accepted, and while not inflicting them on a woman for their own sake should be sufficient to not do it, some men might want to know that in this case, the man’s arrogance in thinking that his comments were more than okay cost him his job, all his savings and more to hire lawyers to defend him in court, his house, and almost the loss of his wife, to say nothing of both he and his wife having to bear and endure all the local newspaper stories and gossip about his ongoing court case, leaving them devastated and penniless, thanks to that one husband’s persistence in saying whatever popped into his head.
As with any such story, even if one “wins” (the husband was found not guilty on the gun charge) the damage will already have been done, and rebuilding one’s life to what it was before would likely be impossible.
Men, especially those who feel like they can toss around any old remark like Frank and Dean did in the old days, to any woman — even those they don’t know, had better think hard before they just let loose with their sexual “compliments” (or whatever they think they are doing) and end up like another Bill O’Reilly (if famous or powerful), or just another “husband,” as in the story above, who loses everything for the sake of his big and offensive mouth.