On a podcast Monday, Bill O’Reilly spoke for the first time in person after his ouster from Fox News. The widely popular host told his audience that when he is finally able to reveal the truth about what led to his dismissal, his audience, like him, would be “shaken.”
On Wednesday, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox News, announced that the company had parted ways with the widely popular long-time host, stating, “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.” The company also decided that O’Reilly would not be allowed to bid his audience farewell on air.
O’Reilly was on a scheduled vacation when the hammer came down, but quickly issued a statement in response, calling the company’s decision “tremendously disheartening” and based on “completely unfounded claims.” On Monday, he finally had the chance to address the issue on air, but only did so very briefly and in vague terms. In his brief remarks, however, he made clear that he maintains his innocence and suggested that what his audience would eventually learn would disturb them. Below are his full remarks on the issue from Monday’s podcast:
I am sad that I’m not on television anymore. I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out. And when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised, but I think you’re going to be shaken. As I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.
Now, I can’t say any more because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information, OK. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it. You, as a loyal O’Reilly listener, have a right to know, I think – down the lane – what exactly happened. And we are working in that direction, OK?
During the podcast, O’Reilly laid out his current vision for his new broadcast, which will air Monday through Thursday, describing it as an extended version of his “Talking Points Memos” that will “cover the world each day.”
O’Reilly was forced out at Fox after reports that he had been the subject of sexual harassment complaints by five women and had paid out, according to The New York Times, some $13 million in settlements. The channel had lost a slew of advertisers because of the scandal.
O’Reilly has consistently maintained his innocence, denouncing the allegations as “unfounded,” and his representative has slammed the pressure put on Fox as part of a “smear campaign” conducted by the “far-left,” for which there is some evidence.
Though O’Reilly was forced out in unceremonious fashion, his recently negotiated contract with Fox News reportedly gave him a payout in the tens of millions, so he’s certainly not hurting financially. But if Fox wanted him to go out quietly, he’s made it quite clear already that he intends to do no such thing. This should get even more interesting in the coming weeks and months.