Two women who worked with Bill O'Reilly describe the culture of "abusiveness and bullying" at Fox News that helped him thrive
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From the October 26 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:
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AMANDA CARPENTER: I think there's a pretty clear playbook that these men use against women who come forward. First, they smear them, then hide behind legal action, and then they go before the media and say "I'm really the victim, I'm really being hurt here." Bill O'Reilly is also on tape saying that his children are being hurt, which, I'm sure he's going through some anguish -- probably self-inflicted. But, the real problem I think, and Gretchen Carlson is an advocate for this on your show previously, is how NDAs and court action --
JAKE TAPPER (HOST): Nondisclosure agreements.
CARPENTER: We don't know what happened. And, I think that deprives other women who have worked with O'Reilly, and other women who had settlements -- Maybe they could have been spared that pain had those women or the network known what had gone on. And so, I think we really need a fuller understanding. But you know, it's just tough. I did the O'Reilly show for probably a year and a half, and it's just -- It's never a great story to hear that, yes, a woman came through it and got paid $32 million but, that was something I was so proud of on my résumé and now I just don't know what to do with it.
TAPPER: And you worked at Fox as well.
KIRSTEN POWERS: Yeah. Well, look, the other thing is that Bill O'Reilly wouldn't have been able to thrive if he hadn't had enablers around him. And that's the other thing we see with all of these situations. And I can tell you, being at Fox News -- I've said, I was not sexually harassed by Bill O'Reilly, I want to be clear about that, but there was a lot of abusiveness and bullying that happened there that, was also enabled. And so, I think that, if you look at the people who are at the very top who are enabling that, even some of them were women. And so, I think that we have to look at the institutions that are around these people, that are helping them, who are -- At Fox it was the PR person intimidating people that if you went up against somebody that you would get a bad news story planted about you. And the journalists who play along with that. There's just a whole institution around it that had women just living in fear of not just losing that job, but maybe never working again.