WASHINGTON, D.C. — APRIL 20, 2017 — This morning on News One Now, host and managing editor Roland Martin spoke with Media Matters president Angelo Carusone and GetEQUAL co-director Angela Peoples about television host Bill O’Reilly’s being fired from Fox News yesterday. O’Reilly had been with the network for 21 years and was the host of The O’Reilly Factor, one of the top-rated cable news shows on television. O’Reilly’s firing came about after it was revealed earlier this month by The New York Times that the network had settled five cases of sexual harassment for more than $13 million dollars, and more women have since come forth with sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly.
“His business model was misogyny, preying on racial anxieties, and misinformation and he actually was rewarded for that at Fox News. This was not a decision that Fox News made of its own volition. They were forced to do this. Just three weeks ago they re-signed his contract. They knew not just about all of the reports from these women but had actively worked to cover it up and to silence them and re-signed his contract anyway,” said Carusone. “When advertisers were making a decision, they were not looking just at dropping Bill O’Reilly’s show. They were preparing to drop all of Fox News because they finally started to internalize what the culture was over there. They could no longer be associated with that, because of how that affected their own staffs and employees and the message that that sent.
Added Peoples, “They actually are only bowing to the pressure when it comes to their bottom line because we have activists that are pushing for corporate accountability and this is actually a trend that we have seen be very impactful across a host of issues. It’s coming because corporations and banks are getting pressured by their customers to not be in business in states or with institutions that are pushing bigoted polices. This is a trend that we’re seeing. I think that it shows in fact that corporate accountability is working much more effectively than we see politically accountability in our country.”
Fox News Fires Bill O'Reilly Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal
(courtesy credit: TV One/News One Now)
Martin also spoke with Florida state senate minority leader Oscar Braynon II about racial slurs made by Florida state senator Frank Artiles while in conversation with his black coworkers, fellow senators Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston. According to his coworkers, Artiles used the n-word in reference to the election of Senate President Joe Negron, and also called Gibson a b-word. He has twice apologized for his actions, including on the state senate floor yesterday. Members of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus have filed a formal complaint and are calling for his resignation.
“He’s an equal opportunity offender. He offended the black lawmakers that were in front of him, he talked bad about the senate president, he spoke bad about some of the members in his own party, he used the n-word, he used the p-word, he used the b-word. He was just all-around talking bad about people in general. I think he needs to definitely take a look at how can someone like him represent the diverse district that he has,” says Braynon. I think he has to take a look inside himself and make that decision. I also believe that in our rules it says conduct unbecoming of is reason for possible expulsion. So that’s where the complaint has been made. The chairman of the black caucus made that complaint so I think that’s probably going to come to pass.”
Added Peoples, “This is a culture of folks that are in power that are saying things – one thing in front of the camera so that they can appear to be following the line which they think and know that the general public is with – and then actually speaking very violently and disgustingly in private. The only reason we know about this conversation is because those two black lawmakers in Florida said something about it. There’s no recording to my knowledge of him saying these things but because they spoke out, because they made it public, this is how we know. We need more of that. Otherwise this culture that we know exists in newsrooms and on college campues and clearly in our state legislatures is going to continue.
Florida State Senator Under Fire After Using Racial Slur https://youtu.be/Ksj4NF30oGk
(courtesy credit: TV One/News One Now)
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