Former Fox News host and conservative radio host Glenn Beck believes that Bill O’Reilly’s forced departure from Fox News Channel marks the beginning of the end for the cable news giant.
“It’s not going to go away right away,” Beck told the Hollywood Reporter of Fox News, “but you’re seeing a significant weakening. Who’s the big bad wolf that will stand in the door?”
Beck was referring to Rupert Murdoch, who assumed the role of Chairman and acting CEO of Fox News following Roger Ailes resignation as CEO in July amid allegations of sexual harassment by former host Gretchen Carlson.
While Ailes filled the role of a staunch defender of Fox News Channel’s original mission, Murdoch isn’t up to the task, Beck said.
Murdoch’s two sons, Lachlan and James Murdoch, are not fans of the conservative-leaning news network, and are determined to “kill” it off, Beck argues.
“Roger is gone, and Rupert had to deal with the family — that the family and the wives and the children would kill it, and you’re seeing the end of the Fox News Channel,” he said.
“We talked about this when we were there,” Beck said in reference to his tenure at Fox News from 2008 to 2011.
Beck’s hardline stance on many politically heated issues led to an advertiser boycott on his Fox News show, leading to his departure from the network in 2011.
O’Reilly was subjected to a similar fate. More than 60 advertisers dropped out of O’Reilly’s program following a New York Times report that Fox and the host had paid $13 million over several years to five different women who accused him of sexual harassment.
21st Century Fox announced in a statement Wednesday that “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”
On The Glenn Beck Radio Program Wednesday, Beck said he was shocked at the allegations against his former colleague.
“He had access to very beautiful women,” Beck said of O’Reilly. “We never saw him utter a word that was even blue humor. He was so buttoned up when he was around us, I find these charges hard to believe.”
He cautioned his listeners about assuming O’Reilly’s guilt in light of his numerous settlements over the past 15 years. Settlements do not equate to guilt, Beck stressed.
Other conservative commentators disagree with Beck’s cautioned stance. Conservative radio host Mark Levin announced Wednesday that he “despised” O’Reilly, in part because of “this conduct in the past.”
“Let me be quite clear about this as an attorney. There are allegations and then there are allegations. Some are more meritorious than others,” Levin said.
“There’s enough there, a pattern with the guy that it’s quite obvious he has some issues,” Levin said of O’Reilly.