Erik Wemple: A Real News Organization Would Fire O’Reilly

Washington Post's Wemple: “A News Organization Basically Says We Can't Have This Guy On Our Air. Fox News, On The Other Hand, Not Quite A News Organization The Way We’ve Come To Understand Them In This Country”

From the April 4 edition of MSNBC Live:

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ALI VELSHI (HOST): So here’s the issue, Erik. Fox does very well in terms of viewership, by Bill O’Reilly. Lots and lots of people watch Bill O'Reilly. Now there are advertisers, sponsors who don't want to be associated with the idea that there are sexual harassment allegations, but the viewers are still sticking with him. How does a news organization weigh those two things against one another?

ERIK WEMPLE: Well, a news organization basically says we can't have this guy on our air. Fox News, on the other hand, not quite a news organization the way we’ve come to understand them in this country. They just basically dig in, don't say anything, and hope this basically blows over. Remember, in the past O’Reilly has had scandals. In 2015 he was exposed as either a great embellisher or actually a liar for things that he has stated about his own reportorial past in various hot zones around the world. And what did they do? They just dug in their heels and they called their critics far-left loons, or far-left campaigners and critics, and so on and so forth. And what happened? O'Reilly's ratings increased. So whenever Fox News can get itself into a situation where they can tar their critics as being liberal, or lefty, or something like that, then they get stronger. So this is a dynamic that doesn’t necessarily weaken Fox News every time.


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