As the old loyalty oaths during the Red Scare used to begin, “I am not now, nor ever have been…” a fan of Bill O’Reilly or his nightly show, “The Factor”. I’ve never watched a single full hour.

Some people just take themselves too damned seriously.

That said, I’d like to state for the record that I’d love to see any or all of these complaints of sexual harassment against Bill O’Reilly, or Roger Ailes, submitted to some legal forum, a court where the Rules of Evidence prevail, just so Americans can be treated to what it is that is trying to pass as actionable sexual harassment these days. It seems the old formula of “he said, she said” is being replaced by “he ogled- her heart chilled.”

Drink to me only with thine eyes…and I will own thy farm. (Ben Jonson)

We’ve watched this develop for a long time, and it explains why the politically correct prefer to try their cases in the media where an out-of-court settlement is all but guaranteed. All that has been needed to close the circle has been to find a way to compute and collect damages.

The corporate shake-down seems to be best way, for neither Roger Ailes nor Bill O’Reilly even have to enter a plea, let alone make a sworn statement. No finders-of-fact (juries) need to be impaneled. The Rules of Evidence do not apply, only the ruling Code of the Bottom Line, which today overrules every standard of ethics. While Ailes has been sued personally, I’m not sure O’Reilly ever will, and I suspect in both cases, FoxCorp may subrogate any settlement just to insure these cases never see the light of day in court.

That much I think is a given. When  Jesse Jackson began shaking down corporations in the 90s, he never knew the eagerness of the Brand to protect its good name.

When I first heard about the multiple charges made against Roger Ailes my first thought was the old Hollywood “casting couch” gag that had some truth back before talkies and into the 30s. An old Babylon tabloid reader since I was a kid, I’ve read several tales of starlets sleeping their way into entry-level speaking roles, from which, if they were lucky, a few careers blossomed. No doubt some of those studio bosses were genuine satyrs, but if one of Fatty Arbuckle’s parties was any indicator, Hollywood was beset with good-time girls who just showed up looking for a good time, with free booze, snacks, a naked swim in the pool and quickie out by the bushes without a single word about a spot in the chorus line of Busby Berkeley’s next extravaganza.

So today, for some just getting past the rope line at the Boom Boom Room is reward enough.

Ailes doesn’t fit the casting couch type, but then again, neither did Alfred Hitchcock. But to hear Tippi Hedren tell it he was sexually obsessed with her, although, since I never read her book, I don’t know if he ever laid a glove on her. And other than the filming of “The Birds” I’m not sure if Hitchcock ever had what lawyers call “opportunity” to harass or assault her at other times.

Ailes on the other hand personally interviewed and hired virtually every one of the Fox News staff, and the women all knew that their looks were part of the contract. Fox became the envy of the media that they could find such a capable bevy of pretty women who were smart, savvy, and great lookers.

But if Alison Camerate, who left Fox in 2014, and has joined with other former Fox sisters to file suit against Ailes, is any indication, Tippi’s accusations against Hitchcock were out-and-out felonies compared to the she-said-he-said’s that have come to the surface so far.

I was looking more for an Ailes who asked his interviewees to “stand up, turn, now raise your skirt above the, a little more”. “OK fine.” “Are you wearing underwear? What color? (Shudders.)

But so far, all I can find is a lot of back stage complaining that Ailes and O’Reilly have behaved more like Lenny and Squiggy.

It would have been more believable if they had just come out and called them “racists”.

Yes, a real trial would be a benefit for us all.


Citizen With Bark On