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Bill O’Reilly and the powerful men accused of preying on women in the workplace

By Petula Dvorak,

Wealth and power have allowed men to get away with sexual harassment and abuse for ages, that’s not new.

From Bill Cosby to Bill Clinton, from Dominique Strauss-Kahn to Donald Trump, high-profile men have been accused of preying on women in very ugly ways. And many of them duck allegations and legal consequences for years or even decades — right up until the gratifying day that their victims finally take them down.

Which brings us to the well-deserved downfall of Bill O’Reilly, the combative Fox News host who joined his heinous pal, former Fox chairman Roger Ailes, in the unemployment line this week.

These two men are accused of using their positions to sexually harass and abuse the women in their workplace over and over again.

For years, women who worked with O’Reilly — the co-author of a book on “Old School” values — said the talking head verbally abused them, called them up at home and described lurid (and ridiculous) sex acts he wanted to perform on them. He allegedly told his associate producer that he was masturbating while talking with her and offered others promotions in exchange for sex with him.

This is a guy who was recorded telling that associate producer that he wanted to fondle her with a falafel, though he actually meant a loofah. Yet somehow that wasn’t embarrassing enough to get him off the air.

Nor were the court records that had his teenage daughter describing the way he was “choking her mom” as he “dragged her down some stairs” by the neck. Nah, keep that guy on the air and let him promote his books on family values.

Let’s put aside the ethics and morality of those accusations to just look at the corporate cost of such accusations — the lawsuits filed, the hours in negotiations with lawyers, the $15 million in settlements. And still nope. Those things weren’t enough to make Fox News say adios to a guy who gets millions of viewers by spending all his time ripping into others from the comfort of a TV studio.


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