Sexual harassment is a supremely gray area we pretend is a hard science for the sake of political expediency. A solid chunk of men accused of sexual harassment are innocent. A solid chunk never accused are guilty. It’s like trying to pick out the gay kids at a British middle school. Good luck.
The smoke and fire axiom is largely tired and lazy, but the amount of circumstantial evidence alone surrounding male behavior at Fox News is striking. Beginning with a lineup of bleached blond women in tiny skirts relaying the news. We’re grownups. We know that a “ranch” off the strip in Vegas means something different than in Cheyenne. Put straight old men in charge of the cheerleading squad and untoward shit is going down.
Fox News latest sexual harassment cut job is their sacred cow, Bill O’Reilly. He’s not any Joe, he’s the top earner at the company. Earlier this month the New York Time compiled a list of the harassment charging ladies on O’Reilly’s rap sheet. He’s paid them off to the tune of thirteen million dollars. O’Reilly calls the harassment claims unfounded. Which is technically true. The settlements claim no admission of guilt. I did nothing wrong, here’s three million because it’s a Tuesday.
There are time when rich and famous people pay people simply to go away. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard come to mind. It’s unfair to assume every old dude of privilege walking around an office filled with 20-something females is going to be a locker room talk standout. Though it’s mostly fair. And O’Reilly doesn’t strike you as a Johnny Depp rollover kind of man child.
The days of the Mad Men office place are long gone. Imagine that’s hard for an older guy who used to dig the shit out of that space. You can’t say or do shit around the office that might even hint at being sexually suggesting or even create self-described uncomfortable feelings. There’s clearly a double standard as many women are crude as fuck and harassment is practically limited to male-on-female. Life is unfair. Baby boomers are the last to know a lighthearted work environment.
O’Reilly and his peers had a good run. They’re all loaded and will delight in a retirement in a locale where dick jokes are laughed at by coquettish young women. There are no sexual harassment laws on Cosby Island.
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