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The Hits Keep Coming as 21 Advertisers Have Now Dumped Bill O’Reilly

Yesterday morning it was two sponsors – Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai.

By lunch time it was eight. By the time folks sat down for supper, it was 16.

This morning it is 21 corporations that have withdrawn their ads from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Fox News is facing what The New York Times calls “a major advertising revolt” and singer Bette Midler among many others was reveling in it, tweeting,

“Looks like Bill O’Reilly’s next on the scaffold, and I’m popping Champagne! Fox watchers turn a blind eye to predators; no morality at all.”

No indeed, as O’Reilly has threatened to sue accuser Wendy Walsh. But O’Reilly’s stock has fallen so low he cannot even scare his accusers into silence and MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell blithely responded by inviting his audience to chime in with their opinion.

The list of advertisers fleeing to greener pastures is a long one. According to CNN, the following companies are now shunning Bill O’Reilly:

Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW of North America, Mitsubishi Motors, Lexus, Constant Contact, Bayer, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Orkin, UNTUCKit, Allstate, Esurance (which is owned by Allstate), T. Rowe Price, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Credit Karma, Wayfair, The Wonderful Company, TrueCar, the Society for Human Resource Management and Coldwell Banker.

Coldwell Banker was the most recent, contritely announcing its decision late Tuesday night via Twitter:

It’s looking so bad for O’Reilly that former Guantanamo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis quipped,

Though Bill O’Reilly has famously rejected the idea of reporting on his own behavior, Fox News has been forced to, with Paul Rittenberg, Fox’s executive vice president of advertising sales saying,

We value our partners and are working with them to address their current concerns about the O’Reilly Factor. At this time, the ad buys of those clients have been re-expressed into other FNC programs.

So while this revenue is not lost to Fox News, it is lost to Bill O’Reilly’s show, a sudden and painful fall from the pinnacle of success as the most popular cable show not only on Fox but in the United States.

Media Matters for America president Angelo Carusone said in a statement that “Bill O’Reilly’s ad rates will not only suffer, but they will never recover.”

There is some good news in there for O’Reilly too, as comedian Harry Shearer teased in honor of Fox producer Andrea Mackris’ 2004 sexual harassment lawsuit against O’Reilly for (among other things) describing how he wanted to rub “One of those mitts, those loofa mitts” over her privates:

“This Just Not In™ Good news for Bill O’Reilly. As other sponsors flee The Factor, Loofah signs up.”

O’Reilly is going to have to be content with public humiliation. He has more than earned it.

His threats to sue one of his accusers has only resulted in Lawrence O’Donnell telling the Loofah Lad,

“Hey @OReillyFactor please sue me too because I believe Wendy Walsh. Retweet if you agree.”

As of this writing, some forty-thousand of you have agreed. Bluff called. Ball in your court, Fox News.

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