I think it is pretty safe to say that our President is a big fan of Fox News; “Watch
@JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.” – Donald Trump tweet 3-25-17. Honestly, that may be an understatement given that he actively promotes their programming and apparently relies on them for intelligence briefings as well; “Why doesn’t Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton – sale of Uranium?” – Donald Trump tweet 3-28-17. Yes, it appears that Fox News and Donald Trump were a match made in “sensational” heaven.
Apparently this mutual admiration club has more in common with each other than I thought. Last year, the Chairman and CEO of Fox, Roger Ailes, was fired amid sexual harassment charges leveled by several female employees. Big settlements occurred, and high-profile personnel left but at the end of the day the continued perception was and is that Fox News is the bastion of conservative values. Now the New York Times is reporting that five women have also made allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior against Fox News’ superstar, Bill O’Reilly, and that these women have received settlements totaling around $13 million.
Is this a big story? I guess it depends on which side of fence you are on and more importantly, at least from my vantage point, how you interpret and acknowledge your values.
Over the last thirty-five years or so, at least as far back as Ronald Reagan, the Conservative movement has been aligned with the Christian Right and Fox News, since its inception twenty years ago has been the mouth piece for not only Conservatives but also the Republican party. Now I don’t have a particular problem with this. I freely acknowledge that there is a liberal basis among many in the news media, but this isn’t a new phenomenon.
Where I struggle though is how can Conservative Christians continue to support a culture such as Fox News? I guess the same way they reluctantly support our President, whatever or whoever is aligned with the big R in Republican is about as good as it is going to get. But for Conservatives, those rural Joe’s and Betty’s that pushed Donald Trump up the leader board, Bill O’Reilly is as close to Conservative Media Royalty as it gets. He is the Moses to Ronald Reagan’s god.
Much like our President, Bill O’Reilly is no boy scout, hell none of us are, but Mr. O’Reilly’s “issues” with women go back many years and even include an accusation by his own daughter of domestic violence against his then wife. He sounds like a real Prince Charming but never the less he is Bill O’Reilly the man who along with Rush Limbaugh (another scalawag) led Conservatives out of eight years of liberal darkness.
Franklin Graham, the self-appointed leader of the Christian Right, is a frequent guest on Fox News. He is also an ardent supporter and defender of President Trump. How does a pious holy man like Franklin Graham justify the obvious sexist and discriminatory culture of Fox News and the past and current transgressions of Trump? I get it, “He without sin cast the first stone” but at some point doesn’t Graham’s and other Conservative Christians silence about what is obviously a horrible culture for women at Fox News become a validation of their actions? Joe and Betty Deplorable, what do you think?