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Amidst bombshell Bill O’Reilly accusations, conservative Fox News viewers show themselves to be giant hypocrites 04.06.17 at 4:28 pm ET
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Donald Trump (left) and Bill O'Reilly (right) have both been accused of making unwanted sexual advances towards several women. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Donald Trump (left) and Bill O’Reilly (right) have both been accused of making unwanted sexual advances towards several women. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Every day, millions of bible-thumping conservatives tune into Fox News, the network that’s enabled alleged serial sexual harasser Bill O’Reilly for roughly two decades. They’re all incredible hypocrites.

It’s been nearly nine months since disgraced CEO Roger Ailes was forced to step down after more than a dozen women said he made unwanted sexual advances towards them. But that was apparently just the start. Earlier this week, the New York Times published a bombshell exposé, detailing five women who accuse O’Reilly of equally crude behavior. They’ve settled for a combined $13 million, with three of the five agreements being struck in secret. Two additional women, former Fox personalities Wendy Walsh and Andrea Tantaros, also say O’Reilly acted inappropriately towards them. (Tantaros mentioned O’Reilly in her suit against Ailes.)

The stories are sickening. Andrea Mackris, a former producer on O’Reilly’s program, says the 67-year-old anchor told her to buy a vibrator and called her when it sounded as if he was masturbating. Others, such as former Fox personality Juliet Huddy, say O’Reilly attempted to impede their career prospects when they rebuffed his advances. Huddy was transferred to WNWY, an affiliate station, after she says she pulled away from O’Reilly when he tried to kiss her.

Fox News is currently under federal investigation over the possibility it failed to notify shareholders about settlement payments made to employees who accused Ailes of wrongdoing. It appears as if the network worked to protect O’Reilly, too. Since 2004, O’Reilly and Fox have settled three suits in private. Attorneys for 21st Century Fox, the station’s parent company, also took part in aggressive offensives in apparent attempts to silence O’Reilly’s accusers.

Before Mackris sued the company, Fox News and O’Reilly filed a pre-emptive lawsuit, claiming she was seeking to shake them down for $60 million. A public relations firm was also hired to slander Mackris, and leak unfavorable stories about her to the tabloids.

In a statement, 21st Century Fox, which had been aware of O’Reilly’s behavior since at least 2002, said it’s addressed the issue with the star anchor. For his part, O’Reilly denies the allegations.

“Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,” his statement reads. “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline. But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children.”

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Bill O’Reilly agrees with Mike Francesa about women not being able to coach men’s teams 03.10.17 at 11:41 am ET
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Bill O'Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa's back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Bill O’Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa’s back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

On his radio show last week, WFAN host Mike Francesa said it would be “impossible” for a woman to coach a men’s sports team. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly agrees.

In a segment Thursday with HBO “Real Sports” contributor Bernard Goldberg, O’Reilly defended Francesa’s logic –– though he slightly misconstrued the Sports Pope’s words.

“I don’t disagree that women can coach a men’s basketball team. Twelve players … it could happen. He was talking about baseball and football and I agree with Francesa, it would be almost impossible on a number of different levels for that to happen,” he said.

Francesa wasn’t just talking about baseball and football, however. He made a blanket statement about women coaching all men’s sports teams.

“Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to have to manage 25 men? Or 50 men? Do you know how impossible that would be?,” he asked. “It wouldn’t be tough, it would be impossible. You’re gonna tell me that you would think a woman would walk into an NFL team and coach as a head coach 15 assistants and 50-60 men?”

A caller pressed Francesa on whether he thinks former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, who won eight champions with the Lady Volunteers, could’ve coached men. He said no.

“NBA? No,” he said. “She would have said, ‘I don’t belong there.’ But she could not coach an NBA team, nor would she even wanna try.”

This week, Francesa expounded on his take, saying he thinks it would be a publicity stunt if a men’s team hired a female coach. That’s an asinine statement to make, considering there’s nothing worse for a franchise’s publicity than a losing season. Seemingly no club would sacrifice on-field or on-court success for the sake of a short-term PR boost.

That’s not to say Francesa’s argument doesn’t have a kernel of truth to it. It probably would be difficult for an accomplished female coach to be in charge of a men’s team –– just because of its unprecedented nature. There isn’t a single woman coaching men at the collegiate level, and in the NBA, there are only two female assistants: WNBA great Becky Hammon with the Spurs and two-time Olympian Nancy Lieberman with the Kings. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Women have risen to the highest levels in other male-dominated fields. Why not sports?

Naturally, after briefly addressing Francesa’s claims, O’Reilly and Goldberg turned their attention to a familiar target: the liberal PC police.

“(They) will punish you if you’re not PC enough and that’s what’s happening here,” Goldberg said.

Francesa, who reportedly makes $5 million per year, is almost certainly not being punished. In fact, his ratings have probably increased as a result of this episode.

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