Bill O’Reilly and his soon-to-be (reportedly) “staggering” golden parachute were returning from his Italian vacation when news of his firing arrived. As the dust settles, people are starting to realize that O’Reilly’s career was delivered a fatal blow by a reporter that he threatened in 2015.
O’Reilly’s alleged predatory behavior toward women has been ongoing for many years, but what put the wheels in motion for his ousting was an April 1st article from the New York Times. Reporter Emily Steel delivered the damning news that O’Reilly and Fox paid a $13 million cumulative total to silence five women who accused him of sexual harassment. This news led to dozens of advertisers dropping O’Reilly’s show, and a few weeks later, his career is as good as over.
And guess what? In 2015, O’Reilly came after Steel while she co-authored this critical article about how he apparently embellished tales relating to his 1982 coverage of the Falklands war for CBS News. When contacted by Steel as she researched her piece, he threatened grave repercussions: “I am coming after you with everything I have. You can take it as a threat.”
At the time, Steel tweeted out O’Reilly’s threat against her.
This morning, the Financial Times‘ Matthew Garrahan reminded the world of what happened in 2015. Steel kept her nose down for years but — lo and behold — she’s ended the career of the man who wanted to end hers.
“We were just trying to follow the facts of our story. We really had to dig to get this information. There’s a reason why these settlements were for so much money, was to keep these women from talking. There was a lot of resistance.”
However, Steel was quick to point out that these two O’Reilly pieces were “unrelated” to each other, and she was only doing her job while “unearthing” the maneuverings that surrounded the sexual harassment-based settlements.
She says this tactic also applied to her research about O’Reilly’s early-career war coverage, which had already been called into question by Mother Jones. The outlet alleged that O’Reilly had pulled a Brian Williams move while claiming that he was reporting from the Falklands, but he may have actually been in Buenos Aires, and he claimed to have rescued his photographer in the process.
All Steel was doing was attempting to discern what really took place back in 1982, but O’Reilly pounced on her. Man, he’s gonna be steaming once he hears about this comeuppance.