Oh what a difference 3 years makes. On Wednesday, USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she had made complaints about Bill O’Reilly to then Fox News chief Roger Ailes. Speaking on an incident in which she felt victimized Powers stated:
She recalled one incident in which O’Reilly “got Margaret’s name wrong, and she said, ‘Hey, get my name right.’ And he said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry there’s a lot of blondes in this operation, I can’t keep you all straight, Megyn Kelly is coming up.’ He starts telling all these blonde names. And then at the end of the segment he says, ‘Thank you for your blondness,” to both of us.
According to Powers, she then went to Roger Ailes and was told:
“There’s nothing we can do. It’s Bill. He’s a jerk. Nobody likes him.’ And then Roger said, ‘You know Bill. He likes to put up dirty pictures and ask pretty girls talk about them… And then he said, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t like him, but he makes so much money, there’s nothing I can do. That was the culture.”
While these accusations have been gleefully touted by the mainstream media, they are utterly contradicted by an opinion piece written by Kirsten Powers in 2014. Writing for her USA Today column on September 9, 2014:
Sexism is a serious problem and a serious accusation. It’s true there are many people who dismiss women as unserious and out of their depth not because they are, but because they are women. Bill O’Reilly isn’t one of them.
I know. As a Fox News contributor, I’ve worked with him for eight years, including weekly segments where we often disagree heatedly. O’Reilly does not discriminate when it comes to expressing tough judgments. Anyone with a passing familiarity with his work knows this, which is what makes Harf’s accusation so irresponsible.
On the same day Powers was making her accusations against O’Reilly, the successful Fox News Host was fired. While admittedly we do not have access to all of the information leading to his termination, if this is representative of what is out there the whole thing is flimsy and stinks of knee-jerk reactions. With their best talent leaving Fox News lately either willingly or involuntarily, the once bastion of Conservative news may now be a sinking ship.
Image used with permission from Surian Soosay via Creative Commons 3.0. Obtained from Flickr.com.