Megyn Kelly calls out Bill O'Reilly's lie that no one ever complained about his behavior
"I know because I complained."
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From the October 23 edition of NBC's Megyn Kelly Today:
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MEGYN KELLY (HOST): In response to The New York Times, 21st Century Fox says that it has taken concerted action to transform Fox News, including hiring new leadership. [Bill] O'Reilly calls the Times reports a "malicious smear," claiming that no woman in 20 years ever complained to human resources or legal about him. Maybe that is true. Fox News was not exactly a friendly environment for harassment victims who wanted to report, in my experience. However, O'Reilly's suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know because I complained. It was November of 2016, the day my memoir was released. In it, I included a chapter on [Roger] Ailes and the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News, something the Murdochs knew I was doing and, to their credit, approved. O'Reilly happened to be on CBS News that morning. They asked him about my book and about Ailes, who by this time had been forced out in disgrace. O'Reilly's response?
BILL O'REILLY: I'm not that interested in this.
GAYLE KING (CO-HOST): No?
O'REILLY: No, I mean, it’s over for me.
NORAH O’DONNELL (CO-HOST): In sexual harassment? You’re not interested in sexual harassment?
O'REILLY: I’m not interested in basically litigating something that is finished, that makes my network look bad. OK? I'm not interested in making my network look bad. At all. That doesn't interest me one bit.
KELLY: I did something that day I've never done before. I wrote an email to the co-presidents of Fox News, Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, an email I have never made public, but am sharing now because I think it speaks volumes about powerful men and the roadblocks one can face in taking them on.
Bill Shine called me in response to my email, promising to deal with O'Reilly. By 8:00 pm that night, O'Reilly had apparently been dealt with. And by that, I mean, he was permitted, with management's advance notice and blessing to go on the air and attack the company's harassment victims yet again.
This is not unique to Fox News. Women everywhere are used to being dismissed, ignored, or attacked when raising complaints about men in authority positions. They stay silent so often out of fear; fear of ending their careers, fear of lawyers, yes, and often fear of public shaming, including through the media. At Fox News, the media relations chief, Irena Briganti, is known for her vindictiveness. To this day, she pushes negative articles on certain Ailes accusers, like the one you are looking at right now. It gives me no pleasure to report such news about my former employer, which has absolutely made some reforms since all of this went down. But this must stop. The abuse of women, the shaming of them, the threatening, the retaliation, the silencing of them after the fact. It has to stop.