Fox News Channel’s biggest star Bill O’Reilly finally weighed in on Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against O’Reilly’s boss, Roger Ailes. Appearing on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers last night, O’Reilly said he stands behind Ailes “100%” and ranted about an “out of control tabloid society” that targets famous, powerful wealthy people –into which group he put himself and Meyers – with “frivolous lawsuits.”
Calling Ailes “the best boss” he’s ever had, and a “straight shooter,” the FNC primetime host predicted 95% of people who ever have worked for Ailes would say same.
The “deplorable situation” of “frivolous lawsuits” O’Reilly complained, will not be resolved until judges make people who bring “frivolous lawsuit” pay for all trial costs.
Until last night, O’Reilly had not publicly discussed the suit. Some media pundits speculated that was because O’Reilly settled a sexual harassment lawsuit by his former producer back in 2004 ending, without an apology on his part, what he called a “brutal ordeal.”
Back then, O’Reilly agreed to drop his extortion suit against Andrea Mackris and her attorney, Benedict Morelli, according to coverage of the situation by WaPo’s Howard Kurtz – now Ailes’ colleague at FNC. Kurtz said at the time parties agreed to keep the details confidential, but said O’Reilly was “humiliated” by the suit, which charged he spoke to Mackris about sexual fantasies. Back then, O’Reilly said he was a “huge target,” as is Fox News.