- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News fame — or, these days, Beleaguered Bill O’Reilly of Fox News fame — has seen more than 30 advertisers flee his “The O’Reilly Factor” airwaves in recent days over reports of sexual harassment.

But he was just granted a bit of breathing room with Angie’s List.

“We do not have plans to change our ad buy,” the Indianapolis-based online company said in a statement, explaining why its executives are sticking with “The O’Reilly Factor,” at least for the time being. “The advertising strategy we have long used at Angie’s List is meant to reach as many people as possible with news that our service exists and is available to them. We place ads across a wide spectrum of venues intending to reach as many viewers/listeners/readers as possible without taking a position on the viewpoints of the venues themselves. Just as we trust members to make their own hiring decisions, we trust them to make their own media consumption decisions.”

That’s a sharp difference from the company views of Eli Lilly, Mercedes-Benz, Allstate and others that have distanced themselves from the Fox giant and pulled ads or halted planned advertising campaigns.

The troubles for O’Reilly started when The New York Times, over the weekend, reported about $13 million in payouts — from O’Reilly personally or his employer — to a handful of women who’ve accused him of sexual harassment over the years.

O’Reilly denies the allegations — which are just allegations, despite the payouts — and said he gave money to his accusers to shield his family and particularly his children from embarrassment. He also said that his influential presence in the media world makes him a target for such allegations. And O’Reilly has some big names in his defense. President Donald Trump just came out and made this statement about the Fox star: “I think he’s a person I know well. He is a good person. I think he shouldn’t have settled … I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

But if perception is reality, O’Reilly’s got a problem.

So does Fox, which is still stinging from the fallout of sexual accusations and settlements tied to its former chairman, Roger Ailes.

And apparently, so does Angie’s List.

Social media posters weren’t so happy with the company’s decision to stand by O’Reilly show ad buys.

One wrote, in response to Angie’s statement: “@AngiesList Made my decision to cancel all the more easier!”

Another, apparently offended by Angie’s reference to the sexual harassment scandal as a “viewpoint,” wrote this: “Sexual harassment is not a ‘viewpoint.’ You’re not spending your ad money wisely and we’re paying attention.”

Regardless of all the off-camera drama, O’Reilly’s ratings continue to flourish. But no matter how big the star, the money matters. And if “The O’Reilly Factor” can’t keep its advertising, the future of the guy whose tag line is “looking out for you” might not be so rosy, no matter how the dust on all the sexual harassment allegations settle.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide