The O’Reilly Factor continued to go up in flames on Wednesday as the number of advertisers abandoning Bill O’Reilly’s primetime Fox show has doubled since this morning when PoliticusUSA counted 21 companies that have withdrawn their ads from the time slot.
Just over 12 hours later, that number has nearly doubled with The Huffington Post reporting that more than 40 advertisers have abandoned O’Reilly’s sinking ship.
“Since Monday night, more than 40 companies that advertise with Fox News have announced they’re splitting from the show,” HuffPo reported.
The decision by dozens of corporations comes as a result of an explosive story in The New York Times, which reported that O’Reilly has paid out $13 million in settlements because of sexual harassment allegations made by various women over the years.
This story has become so big that even Donald Trump issued a response to the controversy in an interview with The New York Times.
“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump reportedly said. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled… Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
While O’Reilly’s program appears to be in a state of stunning collapse, with advertisers seemingly abandoning it every hour, it’s not at all surprising that the president is rushing to the Fox host’s defense.
After all, Trump is a man who refuses to speak ill of anybody who has spoken favorably of him – whether it’s right-wing hack O’Reilly or Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped orchestrate the biggest attack on America’s democratic process in history.
It should also be noted that Trump himself has a similar history when it comes to his treatment of women. He is, after all, a thrice-married adulterer who is on the record bragging about sexually assaulting women. Trump, too, has faced similar allegations as O’Reilly.
But now it’s out of the hands of O’Reilly or even Trump. It’s up to Fox News to choose what’s more important to them – making money while fostering an environment of sexual assault, or doing the right thing.
For organizations with a shred of morality, this would be an easy decision. But this is Fox News, after all.