CNN's Kirsten Powers Recounts How Fox News Buried Her Reports Of Harassment By O'Reilly
From the April 19 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
KIRSTEN POWERS: I think that it's stunning because Bill O'Reilly was Fox News; he had so much power there and it was sort of unthinkable that he would ever leave there except on his own terms. And I did his show regularly for a long time. And I was thinking about an incident that had happened early on in my career there where I was on air actually with Margaret Hoover, who's at CNN now, on a regular segment -- we were on every Monday -- and he got Margaret's name wrong, and Margaret said, “Hey, get my name right,” and he said, “Oh, I'm sorry, there's a lot of blondes in this operation, I can't keep you all straight.” Megyn Kelly is coming up; he starts throwing all these blondes' names. And then at the end of the segment says, “Thank you for your blondness” to both of us.
So I went to his executive producer and I said he needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again or I'm not doing his show anymore. And I was told basically, “Well, you know Bill. There is nothing we can about it. He's a throwback. He's kind of an Archie Bunker.” And I said, “Well, if you mean he's a neanderthal, then we're on the same page. He can never do that again. I'm a political analyst here.” Went to Bill, came back, said no, he's not going to apologize. So then I went to my -- I was called into my boss's office. I was told, “What can we do? It's Bill. There's nothing we can do. We're sorry this happened to you, but there's nothing we can do.” I complained to Roger Ailes. I was told the same exact thing: “There is nothing we can do, it's Bill, he's a jerk, nobody likes him.” And then Roger said, “You know Bill, he likes to put up dirty pictures and ask pretty girls to talk about them.” And so the whole thing was sort of Bill -- oh and then he said, “What am I going to do? I don't like him, but he makes so much money there's nothing I can do.” That was the culture.
ANDERSON COOPER: Who was it that said that?
POWERS: Roger Ailes. And so this was the culture, which was Bill was just too big and there was nothing you could do about it. So I did quit his show and I didn't do it for two or three years. This was in an election year, this is the biggest show at Fox. And then about three years later, I went back and I said, “Look, I'm willing to give this another try.” And he said, “Sure.” And I came on the show, and I never had another problem. We actually ended up having quite a good relationship. But it just spoke volumes that I had to completely handle it on my own, that there was nobody that was willing to even say anything to him, just to basically say you can't treat one of our political analysts this way.
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