Bo Dietl ran a bigoted campaign and spied on women reporting sexual harassment at Fox; he should have no place in the media

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Conservative pundit Bo Dietl was thoroughly embarrassed in New York City’s November 7 mayoral election, receiving just 1 percent of the vote as an independent candidate. Media outlets should follow New York voters’ lead and spurn Dietl and his bigoted antics in the future.

Dietl is a private detective who gained some level of fame for his autobiography One Tough Cop: The Bo Dietl Story, which was made into a poorly reviewed Stephen Baldwin movie. Dietl also appeared in bit parts on television and film over the years. He was even in a series of commercials for Arby’s, where he was “on a mission to expose the truth about fresh slicing” (Arby’s did not respond to a request for comment about whether it is open to hiring Dietl again in the future).  

Dietl is also a conservative pundit, appearing frequently on radio programs and on Fox News, where he was a contributor until 2016. He used his Fox position to push anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, sexist, and racist rhetoric. He once said that the country has to start profiling “guys that look like Aba Daba Doo and Aba Daba Dah” and said we should “stop worrying about people's rights” in the Muslim community. He also said that Katie Couric “looks Oriental” because “she’s got her eyes pulled so far” and that “we are being raped in this country by illegal aliens.”

Dietl also worked off air for Fox News to dig up dirt on former Fox News employees who reported Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. The New York Times reported this year of Dietl’s spying work:

According to Mr. Dietl and several former staff members, [his] firm was first hired in 2004 by [Fox News’] outside counsel, Epstein, Becker & Green, to investigate Andrea Mackris, a producer on “The O’Reilly Factor” who had accused the host, Bill O’Reilly, in a lawsuit of making sexual comments to her.

[…]

Then, last summer, sexual harassment allegations arose, first from Ms. Carlson, who sued Mr. Ailes, and then from others, including Ms. Tantaros, who leveled accusations against Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly in her lawsuits.

Again, Fox News hired Epstein, Becker & Green, and again the lawyers summoned Mr. Dietl.

Mr. Dietl cast a wide net for the inquiries into Ms. Carlson and Ms. Tantaros, which occurred simultaneously, according to former staff members, including Mr. Dietl’s top investigator at the time, a fellow former police officer, Mark Pucci.

Mr. Pucci said he had compiled a list of leads and ultimately traveled to Virginia to try to find someone he believed to be an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Carlson’s. Other investigators combed through records and videos. One investigator tried to persuade the ghostwriter of Ms. Tantaros’s book to provide compromising information about her. Several staff members followed the women in hopes of overhearing them discuss plans for extravagant purchases.

Dietl also reportedly has a long history with Breitbart.com head Steve Bannon. The Times wrote that the two met in the 1990s through the entertainment industry and “Bannon soon hired the investigator to work on ‘domestic’ issues related to a divorce, said Mr. Dietl, who declined to elaborate.” (New York magazine reported that “Dietl denies having investigated Bannon’s ex-wife, and he rejects the characterization of his work on behalf of Ailes as in any way nefarious or intimidating.”)

Dietl’s campaign was predictably terrible:  

The morning after the election, Dietl tweeted to commentator and Reform Party official Frank Morano: “I Lost last night but I’m still a multimillionaire your [sic] still a Fat Looser [sic] in the looser [sic] Reform party.”  

Bo Dietl has no place working in the media given his toxic history.

Video by Alazar Moges.