Bill O’Reilly said he is “sad” that he is no longer on television during his first podcast since he was fired from Fox News last week. But O’Reilly vowed that “the truth will come out” regarding the circumstances of his sudden departure amid a growing sexual-harassment scandal.
“I was very surprised how it all turned out,” O’Reilly said of his swift ouster from Fox News, the place his show “The O’Reilly Factor” called home for two decades. O’Reilly said of the yet-to-be-revealed “truth”: “I don’t know that you’ll be surprised, but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. It’s a lot of stuff involved here.”
He stopped there.
“I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it,” O’Reilly said. “You as a loyal O’Reilly listener have a right to know, I think, down the lane what exactly happened, and we are working in that direction.”
Those listeners were apparently making a concerted effort to find O’Reilly on Monday evening. Around the time his podcast went live on his website, Google searches for “how to listen to a podcast” spiked, according to Google Trends.
The former Fox host’s ouster came weeks after a bombshell New York Times report said O’Reilly and Fox News had paid $US13 million to several women who had accused O’Reilly of sexual indiscretions over the years. Other accusers followed, which led nearly 100 companies to pull their advertisements from O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. time slot on the cable network.
The advertiser exodus dramatically changed the shape of his program. O’Reilly soon took a vacation, and was fired days before he was expected to return.
O’Reilly had framed the withering criticism he faced amid the scandal as politically motivated. According to an email circulated among him and his representatives, O’Reilly thought the advertiser exodus was just a ploy engineered by the liberal-leaning media watchdog, Media Matters, and appeared to float the idea of bringing that to the attention of 21st Century Fox executives.
He ultimately backed off from that. 21st Century Fox announced the next day that O’Reilly would not return.
O’Reilly is expected to receive a multimillion-dollar payout from the cable network.
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