About 2 weeks ago, news on Bill O'Reilly's most recent sexual assault scandal caused Fox News to surprisingly drop O'Reilly and his show completely. This sudden, but needless to say justified separation from O'Reilly surprised many, considering the numerous sexual assault allegations collected by O'Reilly spanning over ten years and the tendency for the major conservative news corporation to take these allegations and sweep them under the rug. This major development has not only called into question the true reasons behind the firing of Bill O'Reilly, but it has also led to the recognition of Fox News' prevalent flaws, and how its portrayal of media and current events is leading to such blatant attitudes of racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism to date.
Fox News is known among the masses as a go-to media outlet for inaccurate, and completely baseless news coverage. The hosts of the network have done so much in the perpetuation of the stereotypical racist conservative, from trying to portray the KKK as functioning members of society, to accusing Barack Obama of hating white people. The news outlet always loves playing the victim card, however also loves assigning the blame to anyone besides themselves.
Patterns of sexual assault, harassment , as well as sexism are not only are prevalent off the show, they can also be clearly seen live on television. From one host stating that "Men gave you [women] the kitchen" to Bill O'Reilly himself asking two women if "There must be some downside to having a woman president", it is clear that the men, and even women in some cases, are stuck living in another era. What is troubling is not only the comments made by these hosts, but the blatant unawareness, or maybe even unconcern, for what they say. It is almost like what they say is commonplace for them, which may be even more troubling than using these words to intentionally degrade the women.
Fox News does a fantastic job perpetuating these damaging stereotypes against women and people of color on screen, they manage to carry out these actions off screen as well. The corporation has been able to sweep Bill O'Reilly's numerous sexual assault allegations, spanning all the way back to 2004, under the rug, leaving O'Reilly unscathed. These allegations have flown over his head, and while the victims of his actions are forced to deal with the repercussions of sexual assault, Fox News goes hard to work in order to tarnish and blame the victim by all means possible. This is rape culture, Fox News is a leading force in the perpetuation of rape culture.
Many applaud Fox News for its newly acquired insight in their firing of Bill O'Reilly. People see Fox News in a better light for forcing a sexual assaulter to truly realize the consequences of his actions. But this is not the case. Fox News did not drop O'Reilly out of the goodness of its heart. Fox News only dropped him because their numbers were falling. All that matters to Fox News is the numbers and the ratings, and once advertisers started pulling their ads from his show, Fox News took the best reason they could find, and used it to drop him. Fox News is still as, if not more, problematic than ever, and while the left may be embracing and celebrating changes and progress, a good portion of our country is still under the influence of a reckless, perpetuating and ignorant broadcast corporation.