Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is quite the enigma, if “enigma” meant “man who settled multiple sexual harassment claims after apparently making inappropriate statements to female colleagues.”
Sometimes, it’s so hard to tell what’s really on his mind. Sure, sometimes on The O’Reilly Factor he seems to say exactly what he’s thinking, but other times I feel that his mind is elsewhere, as if he were really just contemplating a time when he propositioned a colleague or threatened to sabotage her career. Here are some examples:
1. That time when he was interviewing Katie Couric and was either thinking about the documentary she produced or a time when he propositioned a colleague
It’s so hard to tell! Sure, it’s completely possible that Bill O’Reilly’s mind is focused on Fed Up, the documentary Couric produced that looks at the food industry, high sugar levels, and obesity in America. Or, he could be remembering a time when he described sexual fantasies involving a female producer and told her to buy a vibrator, and then sued her for extortion.
2. That time when he was biting his tongue with the architect of Dodd-Frank or telling himself not to predict out loud that five women would receive settlements from accusations relating to his conduct by the end of 2016
Surely Bill O’Reilly had a lot to say to former Rep. Barney Frank, a liberal Democrat who was a lead drafter of the 2010 financial reform bill, who is shown here looking at the wrong camera. But imagine how much he had to say about how he had invited a Fox News personality to his house in Long Island and had said that he could “see [her] as a wild girl.” Whether he was ruminating over one or the other topic is a total mystery.
3. That time when he was standing in front of a giant Time magazine cover that said “What Would Lincoln Do?” and boy can I tell you exactly what Lincoln wouldn’t do
Hint: it has something to do with simultaneously making sexual advances at a group of women and also being a uniquely powerful media figure who can exert influence over their careers. But it is truly impossible to know whether that’s what Bill O’Reilly was thinking about here. His mind is like the Schrödinger’s cat of sexual harassment.
4. That time when he was chatting with Oprah and was focused either on maintaining a nice, polite conversation or silently counting the number of advertisers his show would lose if his sexual harassment allegations became public to see if he could afford another one
Sharp readers will notice that this image comes from the same event as number 3 (see the Time magazine Oprah is holding?). But the alternative photo for this item was a picture of O’Reilly being interviewed by a Girl Scout, which is a little too dark even for this list.