Maxine Waters: Bill O'Reilly 'needs to go to jail'

Rep. Maxine Waters and Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly

NEW YORK (AP) — While dozens of brands have said they're pulling ads from Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" because of harassment allegations against its host, others remain to court the biggest audience on cable television news. Among the big-name sponsors dropping the show are Advil, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, BMW, Jenny Craig, Bristol Myers Squibb and Reddi-wip/Con Agra.

"This is a surprisingly quick and strong exodus of advertisers", said Jane Hall, a professor at American University's School of Communication and a former Fox media analyst.

Since then, at least 50 companies have withdrawn advertisements from his top-rated show.

O'Reilly said in a weekend statement that being a well-known public figure makes him vulnerable to lawsuits and that the settlements were made to put "any controversies" to rest.

That approach is similar to the one the company adopted during Ailes' struggles last summer, which culminated with him being sued by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson for harassment. "The advertising strategy we have long used at Angie's List is meant to reach as many people as possible with news that our service exists and is available to them".

Research firm Kantar Media determined that Rosland Capital was the top advertiser on O'Reilly's show for 2015 and the first nine months of 2016, according to the report. She claimed O'Reilly tanked her career opportunities at Fox News after she refused to join him in his hotel room following a business meeting.

Ending O'Reilly's show without evidence his appeal is dwindling carries a risk: It could ignite a backlash among fans. She previously said her greatest desire is to lead President Donald Trump to impeachment.


It's essentially up to Rupert Murdoch and his sons to decide when or if O'Reilly has become a liability.

Since The New York Times had revealed five settlements amounting to $13 million made by O'Reilly or Fox News against the allegations, the news channel has lost almost 15 of its advertisers.

Representatives for 21st Century Fox told the Times that O'Reilly denies the "merits of these claims" but that he "has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility". "And so, I just want you to know that the president didn't do himself any good standing up for Bill O'Reilly". "I can not be thought to be afraid of Bill O'Reilly or anybody".

As a result, some women at Fox have "contempt" for O'Reilly and "cynicism" about the Murdoch family's sincerity, according to Folkenflik. The consequences for low-wage workers can be even more severe, as they "often have little bargaining power" and "are least able to absorb the financial blow of a reduction in hours, or of sudden changes in their work schedules that make it hard for them to arrange child care or transportation to work".

"This is about money", Robinson said.

Waters added: "Bill O'Reilly needs to go to jail".

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