- Apr 18
'The O'Reilly Factor' is getting harder to keep alive
Richard Drew / AP
Paul Farhi has an ominous take, consistent with what we're hearing from inside Fox, in the lead story of the WashPost Style section, "A hard spin to maintain O'Reilly's TV career":
"All at once, [the vacationing] Bill O'Reilly is fighting for his TV life. The future of O'Reilly's long career at Fox News may hinge on a sexual-harassment accusation raised by ... Wendy Walsh, [a relationship expert and, at one time, regular O'Reilly guest] who has alleged that O'Reilly propositioned her in a Los Angeles hotel in 2013, then retaliated against her when she rebuffed him."
The players: "The originator of the 'No-Spin Zone' has ... left his public defense to a well-known spin doctor, Mark Fabiani, a former spokesman for president Bill Clinton."
Why it matters: "Walsh's allegation is potentially the most explosive of all: Fox News was apparently unaware of it until she raised it for the first time in an interview with the New York Times this month."
What everyone at Fox is talking about: "Her complaint has triggered an investigation at Fox by the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the same firm that uncovered widespread harassment allegations against ... Roger Ailes."
The bottom line: "[A] negative finding by the law firm could force the hands of Fox News Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan, who run Fox's parent company."