CNN's Brian Stelter: Bill O'Reilly Has Been Counseled To “Not Address” Accusations Of Sexual Harassment
Stelter: "He Has Said The Claims Against Him Are Meritless, But Others Inside Fox Have Known His Reputation For A Long Time”
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From the April 4 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront:
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ERIN BURNETT (HOST): Brian, let's just understand, first of all, the scale of all of this. This has happened literally in about a day, in response to a New York Times story over the weekend. It was a couple of companies, now it's 18.
BRIAN STELTER: 18.
BURNETT: How many more are left?
STELTER: Today was the tipping point, there were two advertisers yesterday, we have been calling these companies, now today every hour there were new firms added to the list. And these are only the ones that are saying it publicly, Erin. Privately, inside Fox there are other advertisers that have also told Fox "Move our ads away from O'Reilly."
They haven't said it publicly yet, though the numbers are going to continue to grow beyond the 18. However as you said, they have only moved their ads to other shows on the Fox News schedule. So, this may not be hurting Fox's finances, but it is hurting O'Reilly's reputation.
STELTER: It is a PR disaster for him.
BURNETT: Right, and I mean just on the basics of it -- if they're not going to run ads on his show, fine. They can move them for now, but eventually the highest rate on the show -- the rated show on the network isn't able to get the ad dollars, I mean it will effect the bottom line.
STELTER: That's right, it's all about the money. That's right.
BURNETT: And the question is then "What does he do tonight?" Is it just going to be --
STELTER: Last night, he didn't speak of this at all last night, and I'm told he's being counseled to stay quiet, do not address this. You know, he has said the claims against him are meritless, but others inside Fox have known his reputation for a long time. This New York Times story was not entirely surprising over the weekend.