Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News ousting arrived with a “staggering” golden parachute, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the end of the crotchety guy. There’s a fair chance that we’ll hear more about what he calls “unfounded claims” (all of the sexual harassment allegations) on Monday. How so? Well, O’Reilly’s pushing his own podcast (via his website) that airs at 7pm EST, and he wants you to pay $4.95 to hear him vent. The dude never addressed the allegations on-air at Fox News, but now, he’s a free agent, so maybe he’ll go there.
Everyone (and their mom) has their own podcast right now, and most people know better than to try and charge in such a crowded market. However, O’Reilly is making this a premium service that will only be available to his website subscribers. Although he’s done the podcasting thing for years, he’s advertising like it’s a continuation of his Fox News show: “MONDAY. The No Spin News Returns.” He must have secured the rights to use “no spin” as a catchphrase, or perhaps such permission was part of his exit package.
Seriously though — who asks people to pay for a podcast?
Perhaps there really is enough interest, at least in a trainwreck sense. After all, the paparazzi are currently trailing the former O’Reilly Factor host. He was photographed in slippers and sweatpants near his Long Island home before he went shoe shopping at “Eric Comfort Shoes.” 2017 is shaping up to be weirder than we imagined, y’all.
Meanwhile, there’s plenty of other news involving both O’Reilly (whose emails surrounding exit negotiations have already “leaked”) and Fox News. The Washington Post has published a report about how the Murdochs gambled while re-upping O’Reilly’s contract — while being aware of the already settled claims paid by Fox and O’Reilly — and it didn’t pay off:
In effect, Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, who run 21st Century, took a calculated risk. They re-signed O’Reilly — Fox News’ most valuable asset — fully aware of his history but in the apparent hope that they could continue with business as usual, according to knowledgeable people at the company. Just to be safe, however, the company added an unusual feature to O’Reilly’s new contract: A clause permitting 21st Century to terminate him, with up to a year’s salary as severance, if new allegations arose.
There’s also some fresh news about the ongoing racial discrimination suit brought by multiple black employees at Fox News. New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman details how seven employees will be joining the suit next week. In the process, more allegations against Accounting Director Tammy Efinger are being lodged, and the details are horrifying:
According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Slater demanded that black employees hold “arm wrestling matches” with white female employees in her office, just down the hall from Ailes’s office on the 2nd floor of Fox headquarters. “Forcing a black woman employee to ‘fight’ for the amusement and pleasure of her white superiors is horrifying. This highly offensive and humiliating act is reminiscent of Jim Crow era battle royals,” the letter says, referring to the practice of paying black men to fight blindfolded at carnivals for white spectators’ entertainment.
Previous allegations against Efinger include reports that she insulted black men as “women beaters” and questioned the paternity of one employee’s child while mocking her credit score. She also allegedly referred to accounting as the “Southern” department. Between this mess and the O’Reilly cleanup — he still insists that the network caved to a “smear campaign” against him — the environment at Fox News sounds insufferable right now.