Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump and television personality Bill O'Reilly. (Photo: Getty)

Donald Trump Thinks Bill O'Reilly Is Great, In Case There Was Any Doubt

Days after Times investigation reveals O'Reilly or Fox paid out $13 million to settle sexual harassment lawsuits, president says Fox News host 'is a good person'

Andrea Germanos

As nearly two dozen companies pull their advertisements from Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," President Donald Trump has come to the defense of the show's host, saying he's a "good person" who didn't do anything wrong.

A New York Times article published Saturday revealed that five women who worked on the show or worked for Bill O'Reilly have received payouts totaling roughly $13 million to settle sexual harassment or verbal abuse claims.

The women who made the allegations "have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances, and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O'Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews," Times reporters Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt wrote.

But according to Trump, O'Reilly "shouldn't have settled."

Speaking to the Times for an Oval Office interview, Trump said of O'Reilly: "I think he's a person I know well—he is a good person."

Instead of reaching settlements, O'Reilly "should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong," Trump said.

Trump himself was at the center for controversy on the campaign trail when the Washington Post unearthed a 2005 video in which he told "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush that "when you're a star...you can do anything," including kiss women without their consent or "grab them by the pussy."

The new controversy surrounding the loofah fetishist, however, has not lead to his removal as the National Organization for Women (NOW) called for on Tuesday; Fox reportedly renewed his contract. 

The Times also noted that

Two [of the five] settlements came after the network's former chairman, Roger Ailes, was dismissed last summer in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal, when the company said it did not tolerate behavior that "disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment."

Just hours after the publication of that story, "Ailes was hit with another sexual discrimination lawsuit," as USA Today wrote Monday.

NOW President Terry O'Neill said, "Mr. O'Reilly's case is part of a larger culture that condones the harassment and objectification of women at Fox News. Men like Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Ailes will never be stopped as long as their behavior is allowed to continue, even supported, by their employer."

"For too long women have endured dangerous sexism at the hands of powerful men and powerful institutions," she said. "Fox News is too big and too influential to simply let this go. Women have the right to go to work without facing harassment. Fox News apparently doesn't get that basic concept."

Neither, it seems, does Trump.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Docs Show DHS Watchdog Delayed Telling Congress About Deleted Secret Service Texts

The Project on Government Oversight says the records reveal a pattern of Inspector General Joseph Cuffari "rejecting proposals to inform Congress about the Secret Service's resistance to oversight."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Dictatorship Never Again': Massive Pro-Democracy Protests Sweep Brazil

"Democracy involves changing the government and eliminating neo-fascism," said one prominent protester, "but above all, ensuring that the working class, the people, have the rights guaranteed in the Constitution."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Door to Real Progress': Jayapal Makes Case for House Passage of the IRA

"It's an achievement we can all feel excited about—especially when we dig into the details," said the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Julia Conley ·


Officers Kill Gunman Who Tried to Breach FBI Office in Ohio

Though the suspect's identity and potential motivations are not known, the attack follows fear of far-right retaliation for this week's federal search of former President Donald Trump's home.

Jessica Corbett ·


House Dems Urge Biden to Provide Assistance to Cuba Amid Fire Disaster

"Now is the time," said Reps. Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, and Gregory Meeks, to "prioritize humanitarian engagement, environmental protection, and regional cooperation."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo