After a series of sexual harassment charges against Fox News, Bill O’Reilly were exposed, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) boldly declared him worthy of jail in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.
A recent New York Times investigation uncovered that Bill O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox have walked through at least five sexual harassment cases since 2004, resulting in the paying out of over $13 million toward his victims. According to the Times:
The reporting suggests a pattern: As an influential figure in the newsroom, Mr. O’Reilly would create a bond with some women by offering advice and promising to help them professionally. He then would pursue sexual relationships with them, causing some to fear that if they rebuffed him, their careers would stall.
This is a shocking reveal in the aftermath of former Fox chairman Roger Ailes’s dismissal in July of 2016. Fox officials responded to this scandal by claiming that they were passionate about maintaining the corporation’s values, and could not tolerate disrespectful behavior like that of Ailes in the workplace. According to a statement from James Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch, Fox’s CEO and co-executive chairman, Fox intended to “continue our commitment to maintaining a work environment based on trust and respect. We take seriously our responsibility to uphold these traditional, long-standing values of our company.”
It is clear that O’Reilly is not receiving the same treatment in a situation of higher magnitude. Many critics believe that this is because of his show’s extreme popularity. From 2014 – 2016, “The O’Reilly Factor” brought in over $446 million just in ad revenue. The program was even rated the No. 1 cable news show in 2016.
In response, dozens of advertising companies have chosen to stop running ads on O’Reilly’s program, but his views have gone up since Monday. He also received support from President Trump, who expressed his opinion in an interview with the Times on Wednesday that O’Reilly is “a good person.” As a man who faced harassment charges himself, Trump even went so far as to free the host from blame:
Personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled, because you should have taken it all the way; I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.
While many higher-ups are supporting O’Reilly, Maxine Waters is calling for justice, bringing light to the root of the matter: the accepted , yet unacceptable treatment of women. In the MSNBC interview she states that was “not surprised” by Trump’s response:
Well, it’s coming out of the mouth of a man who has said some horrible things about women. Don’t forget he talked about grabbing women in their private parts. And because he was important he could get away with it. And so they are two of a kind.
She goes on to emphasize the consequences O’Reilly and Fox will face for their conduct:
It’s all catching up with Bill O’Reilly and that sexual harassment enterprise that they created over there at Fox. And it’s catching up with them, and you have over 30 advertisers who are taking away their advertising. They are not wanting to do business with them anymore because of the way they have created this record of sexual harassment.
She has a heart for exposing the entire scandal for what she believes it truly represents:
This really is a sexual harassment enterprise, it shouldn’t be in America that you can sexually harass women and then buy your way out of it because you’re rich
She sums up by expressing her strong conviction of their deserved penalties:
They need to go to jail. Bill O’Reilly needs to go to jail.
The bold backlash from Waters comes as no surprise, as she recently dealt with an inappropriate and possibly racist comment from O’Reilly about her hair. A “dumb joke” that he later apologized for fueled a strong response from Waters that not only justified her, but empowered women across the nation:
I am a strong black woman and I cannot be intimidated, I cannot be undermined; I cannot be thought to be a friend of Bill O’Reilly or anybody. And I’d like to say to women out there everywhere. … don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people, to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do
There is no doubt that Maxine Waters is speaking out for the rights of women in America no matter what the President, or anyone else for that matter, has to say. Her passion is admirable, and we could all learn a thing or two from her conviction about her own identity.
Credit: The Blaze