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2017 has been quite a year for Bill O'Reilly, whose massive viewership heights on Fox News were soon followed by the network kicking him to the lucrative curb, following the public revelation that the he and the network were responsible for paying settlements to various women who sued O'Reilly for sexual harassment. Now accustomed to being off the air, the conservative host is saying that he should have been less accepting of the initial advertiser backlash pointing to Sean Hannity's recent issues as a form of inspiration.
This was no accident that our sponsors were attacked. This was very well organized. They tried it with Hannity. Hannity fought back. I should have.
Bill O'Reilly gave an interview with John Bachman of Newsmax TV (via Mediaite), where he talked specifically about his absence from Fox News, as well as those still around on the cable news giant. And apparently with Sean Hannity as an inspirational example, O'Reilly thinks that he might have stood a better shot at keeping his hosting job had he just stood his ground and retaliated once the advertiser exodus began. It's hard to tell whether that would have been a good strategy or if he was just floating a pipe dream out there.
After all, comparing Bill O'Reilly's situation with The O'Reilly Factor's advertisers to Hannity's controversy is like apples and oranges. The stories about O'Reilly's harassment lawsuits came out after former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was ousted from the company for similar allegations and legal matters. And there were a slew of major companies that pulled advertising from the highly-rated timeslot in the days leading to O'Reilly's firing, which occurred while he was on vacation.
Sean Hannity, who was rumored to be thinking of leaving after his colleague's firing, was meanwhile facing a backlash over making false statements on air about the murder of Seth Rich, an employee at the Democratic National Committee. Hannity kept pushing an unfounded conspiracy theory about the murder that Fox News had already distanced itself from after retracting an earlier story about it. As heinous as that was, the blowback didn't do too much to hurt Hannity by way of the few advertisers that left, and it all soon went mostly back to normal. Not exactly the same build-up as O'Reilly's situation.
With the past behind him, though, Bill O'Reilly has many years of liberal-slamming left to go, and while he's currently trying to turn his website into a media empire, it sounds like he's at least willing to work for someone else in the future. Here's what he told John Bachman about any future employers.
Whoever I work for is going to have to have a lot of courage.
In more ways than one, I'm sure. While Bill O'Reilly isn't currently housed anywhere on the small screen, you can always find him on Twitter and other online sources. If you're wondering what WILL be on TV in the near future, head to our summer premiere schedule for all your primetime needs.