At Fox News, a wall of overpower surrounds Bill O’Reilly

Fox News and a star horde Bill O’Reilly seem to have grown a plan in response to allegations of sequence passionate nuisance and a mass defections of advertisers from O’Reilly’s program: Say as small as possible.


The happy TV celebrity has pronounced zero on a atmosphere about a debate given it pennyless over a weekend. Fox News has all though abandoned any stating about it in a broadcasts and on a website; a one acknowledgment was a 25-second summary on a “Media Buzz” module on Sunday. It has not mentioned a advertiser reaction.

Fox’s primogenitor company, meanwhile, has cramped a comments to a brief statement released Saturday saying, in part, that it “takes matters of workplace function really seriously.”

Dozens of advertisers have dangling their sponsorship of O’Reilly’s top-rated program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” since the story broke that O’Reilly and Fox have staid 5 claims that he tormented women during Fox, profitable out $13 million given 2002. A sixth woman, who has not sought payment, pronounced she, too, was pressured for sex by O’Reilly and was punished during Fox when she refused.

Fox News’s only matter on a matter was one released Tuesday from a tip ad executive, Paul Rittenberg, who pronounced ads cold from “The O’Reilly Factor” would be changed to other Fox programs.

The network declined again Thursday to respond to questions. Fox’s parent, 21st Century Fox, did not respond during all when asked for comment.

The takeaway from Fox’s non-response isn’t clear. On one hand, a miss of understanding statements for O’Reilly could simulate central disapproval, while Fox has shown no external signs that it has trained O’Reilly or that it intends to retaliate a biggest star.

Conversely, a sweeping of overpower could paint a best of a array of bad options. By not responding publicly, O’Reilly, Fox and 21st Century might be anticipating that a courtesy surrounding a emanate will eventually subside.

So far, O’Reilly’s assembly has not usually stranded with him — it has grown. “The O’Reilly Factor” captivated 3.8 million viewers Tuesday night, according to Nielsen, a 20 percent boost over a program’s ratings a week before and 19 percent some-more than on a same date final year.

O’Reilly’s overpower in this instance stands in sheer contrariety to a final time he was a story. After Mother Jones repository published a square in 2015 doubt O’Reilly’s claims about stating on a Falkland Islands quarrel in a early 1980s, O’Reilly mounted an assertive campaign to plead a article’s premise.

In several interviews with reporters, he called a story “slander” and labeled a principal author, David Corn, “a liar” and “a guttersnipe” who should be put in “the kill zone.” O’Reilly also warned a New York Times reporter, Emily Steel, that if a Times’ coverage of a subject was false or inappropriate, he would be “coming after we with all we have. You can take it as a threat.” (Steel was an author of the Times story, published Saturday, about O’Reilly’s nuisance settlements.)

O’Reilly’s conflict on Corn and other reporters in 2015 did not relieve a controversy, however. News organizations shortly dug adult other instances in that O’Reilly had farfetched his exploits as a reporter.

For Fox, a stream debate is difficult by a tie to a incomparable liaison about a network — a sexual-harassment allegations that led to the ouster of a chairman, Roger Ailes, final year.

Given that context, O’Reilly and Fox might have no choice though to keep silent now lest they remind people of a progressing scandal, Corn said.

“O’Reilly lives to fight,” he said. “But in this instance, who’s he going to attack? The women? Anything he can contend would usually lengthen a newsiness of this scandal. His usually play is to wish this passes. It contingency make him very, really unhappy that there’s no one for him to insult here.”

(O’Reilly addressed a emanate Saturday in a brief matter portraying himself as a aim of opportunistic people.)

Crisis government experts, however, contend overpower is frequency a good thought in a midst of controversy.

Michael Fineman, who heads a crisis-counseling company, advises clients in such situations to put out all a contribution during once, take shortcoming for a controversy, demonstrate regard for those influenced and make assurances of reform.

In this case, that might meant Fox should mislay O’Reilly from a air, temporarily or permanently, pronounced Steven Fink, a author of “Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing a Message.” Fink pronounced NBC News sent a clever and calming vigilance to viewers and shaken advertisers in 2015 by suspending anchor Brian Williams for 6 months after anticipating that he farfetched several stories.

“As prolonged as O’Reilly’s on a air, we don’t consider this story will die,” Fink said. “In an epoch of amicable media, there are adequate people who will not let this go by quietly.”

But Eric Dezenhall, a Washington-based communications counselor, pronounced Fox and O’Reilly have really few choices. “Crisis government is a art of navigating monstrous options,” pronounced Dezenhall, who has seemed on O’Reilly’s show. “The doubt is not either overpower is a best option. It is a doubt of it being a slightest awful choice given a accumulation of variables we only don’t know about as outsiders.”


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