Bill O’Reilly has the coldest, meanest, creepiest eyes I have ever seen; the kind that make you feel as though he might actually crush you just for the fun of it.
I had the displeasure of looking into those eyes ten years ago when hosting a booksigning for the Fox News star to promote his latest angry rant – Culture Warrior - a book about the “culture war” between good upstanding traditional Americans and bad progressive Americans. Blah, blahdiddy, blah…
I was working as an event manager for Barnes & Noble’s west-coast flagship store in LA when a call came in from head office asking me to host an event to help “smooth things over” with the man I like to call Bill Oh Really? who was threatening to cut ties with Barnes & Noble after being offended by something a senior executive had said. The reason for his anger was so petty that I don’t even remember the specifics but when a prolific best-selling author like Bill O’Reilly threatens to have nothing to do with a bookstore chain that means a massive loss in revenue (we’re talking many millions of dollars) so something had to be done and I, apparently, was the person to do it. My god, what does that say about me?!
Well, I had a reputation for being good with celebrities which is funny because I can’t stand most of them. Actually, that’s what probably made me good at my job. I didn’t fawn over them for simply existing, wasn’t “thrilled” to meet them and breathe in the same air (although there were a couple of delightful exceptions). I really just didn’t give a shit that they were famous because, from my experience, most famous people are massively self-involved and as a result, extremely boring.
But with Bill O’Reilly I had none of this indifference. I passionately disliked the man and everything he stood for. And yet part of me was looking forward to managing his event. I looked forward to not allowing him to bully me, intimidate me, or possibly grab my arse. I saw it as a challenge and I’m pleased to say I met the challenge despite the fact that he walked around like he owned the joint, towered above me, and… oh, those hateful eyes that tried to throw me off balance. The pure creepy American Psycho evil of them doesn’t come across so much on camera but in person it is a scary thing indeed.
Now ten years later the monster has been ousted. Boy, it took long enough!
A letter sent to Fox employees this week states,
“Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”
What a massive load of bullshit. If they gave a damn about that sort of thing they would have dealt with him years ago when it first came to light that he was a bully who sexually harassed women in the workplace. Instead they stood by him as he faced various allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour with five settlements totalling $13 million.
The only “consistent commitment” Rupert Murdoch has is to making exorbitant amounts of money, regardless of the personal cost to his employees, particularly those of the female variety. No, the only reason they now say they want to foster a supportive work environment is because advertisers are running away in droves.
No wonder they’re called Fox News. Aren’t foxes supposed to be sly? Although there’s no fox on earth as sly as a human one.
So if your cash cow starts gobbling up more than he’s shitting out you send him off to slaughter. No loyalty amongst powerful, misogynistic, rich guys.
But hey, Bill O’Reilly will be fine and dandy. He’s arrogant enough, rich enough, powerful enough, and famous enough to just keep repeating the same performance, just on a different stage.