2017 strikes again! The O’Reilly Factor show is off the air.
I feel like I lost a long-time friend and didn’t get to say “goodbye”. Even my children who are only primary age students know Bill O’Reilly by name as they see you on TV every week. Once you read my email, “From Pastor Steve Cioccolanti in Melbourne, Australia.” You pronounced my name correctly on international TV. The Cioccolanti clan was quite amused. We trusted you because, unlike the others, you kept a fiercely independent, non-partisan perspective. We named our little white puppy after you. “Reilly!” was heard in our house for 11 years till we buried him last year. You are our family. On the 18th of April, you were on the air. On the 19th, just overnight, your show was gone.
The O’Reilly Factor has been on air since 1996. You took us to the No Spin Zone, taught us a Word of the Day, punished many pundits and improved their vocabulary by omitting “at the end of the day,” and fearlessly told the urchins, “Don’t be a Pinhead!”
Who now will be our culture warrior? Who will fight against the War on Christmas in the mainstream media? Who will uphold traditional values on air? May be Tucker Carlson. He said he’s got “big shoes to fill” as his show was moved to your primetime spot, but he wouldn’t mention your name. No one on Fox News seems to be able to mention your name after the news broke. I watched the reaction and realized: everyone is in it for themselves.
It reminds me of the time when David asked the Lord, should he go save the men of Keilah from the Philistines? God told him he should. David saved the men of Keilah, then asked the Lord, “Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the Lord said, “They will deliver you.” (1 Samuel 23:12). Fair-weather friends. The moral is: God wants us to help even those who will betray us. Help them and move on.
What about your enemies? CNN and the Left gloated. The Lord has something to say about that.
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, And He turn away His wrath from him.” (Proverbs 24:17-18).
When people gloat, the Lord says, their turn will come. Just live long enough and you will see it.
The biggest question many viewers such as my family have now is: How can Fox News remain “fair and balanced”? Sacking a loyal employee who built their brand for 21 years over unproven allegations is neither fair nor balanced; it’s politically correct. Our society has become controlled by political correctness. People are waiting to catch someone slip up and say the wrong thing. Without a visible dictator like Assad or Kim Jung Un, we will end up becoming a society where everyone has to keep their mouth shut. Syrians and North Koreans must look at our abuse of freedom as insane. When good people become muzzled, they let evil triumph. My plea to the Silent Majority is, “Wake up!” Otherwise you will be next.
Did you, Bill O’Reilly, sexually harass the 5 women who accused you? I don’t know. You’ve probably done something wrong, as all of us have at some point in our lives. What I do know is this scenario is straight out of the Clinton Playbook. Personal accusation is what they tried to pin on Donald Trump to defeat him in the US election, but he weathered it. Trump had the stamina, the money and machine to fight it. Melania fought The Daily Mail over false allegations and won an apology and $3 million from them. But the little guys do not have such resources to fight false, personal accusations.
This is what they did to Roger Ailes last year. In July 2016, the former CEO of Fox News resigned over sexual allegations. They did it to you.
End of an Era on Fox News
Does your sacking indicate the end of an era for Fox? Does it show us that Rupert Murdoch’s sons Lachlan and James Murdoch are at the helm of their father’s 21st Century Fox? We know they didn’t like your show. They seem to be left-leaning. This is what often happens to the heirs of a multi-million dollar empire. They easily get things handed down to them, so they more readily believe in the entitlement mentality. They’re not “old school” or a “bold fresh piece of humanity” that got reprimanded by Catholic nuns. They’re no altar boy, no history teacher in the madhouse of public school, no foreign correspondent who made his own reports from the battlefield, not even an author of one bestselling book. No, James and Lachlan represent the super-elites.
James married Kathryn Hufschmid, an Oregon-born model who works for the Clinton Climate Initiative. It doesn’t get more married to the Clintons than that. Bill, you always shunned from conspiracy theories. Now that you have a bit more time to think, you might consider whether there is a leftist conspiracy to bring down conservative voices? Might there be a Clinton Playbook the elites subtly follow to publicly undermine their opponents?
Whatever you will do in future, you will have a lot of support for all the good work you’ve done over the years. We judge you by your fruits. Jesus said a tree will be known by its fruits (in Matthew 7:20). You’ve given a leg up to up-and-coming guys like Jesse Watters who now has his own show “Watters World” and Greg Gutfeld who managed to get his own show “The Greg Gutfeld Show”. Who watches that? He might be unemployed today without you! You have been gracious to most your guests, and when you weren’t, as to Barney Frank, we’re all glad you let the corrupt have it. Who on TV will be looking out for the folks now?
On a serious note, I should mention what we’ve heard about the accusations that hurt you. One of the accusers was a black woman who claimed she was traumatized that you made a grunting noise. I don’t know if you were clearing your throat or acting like an animal. What else? Once you were alone in an elevator with her, and when she got off, she was “mortified” you said, “Looking good girl.” That was labelled “street harassment in the office” and “workplace violence.” This happened 9 years ago allegedly. The ladies of The View ate it up.
The accuser’s attorney Lisa Bloom said, “I want to be clear, this was a targeted effort by a small group of women, including my other accusers, Pequita and me, to bring down Bill O’Reilly. We did that! This is what women can do…” The female accuser with a nearly 10 year old allegation gloated, “I felt triumphant.”
I can hear Solomon say, “Vanity of vanities.” We used to feel triumphant after an achievement, like making a successful show for 21 years or building a suspension bridge. Now we feel triumphant after a destruction. Make a powerful man kneel before a minority woman’s vanity, this is called “triumphant”. No one seems allowed on TV to question when a woman accuses a powerful man. Was it Shakespeare who said, “Vanity, thy name is woman”? Not quite, but it is a cultural meme that’s attributed to no one else. How sad. How true. This woman and her female lawyer got to feel “triumphant”. The lesson? Don’t be alone in an elevator with a woman. She might bring it up 10 years later.
Solomon wrote, “He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.” (Proverbs 17:5) The prophet Micah said,
“Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me.” (7:8)
My Tip of the Day is when God closes one door, it’s because He’s got a bigger and better plan waiting for you. God took Joseph out of his father’s house, in a rather unpleasant manner, and despite the fact that Joseph was the favorite son, because he would have never become the Prince of Egypt by staying Number 1 in his father’s house.
You would not have left Fox News as quickly as you did were it entirely up to you. Now you have time to finish all your books. Now you might consider what you always said you wouldn’t do, running for President of the United States of America.
If none of those things seem to be on the table for you, you are always welcome to preach a sermon at my church, Discover Church, in Melbourne, Australia.
My second Tip of the Day: You might be asking, “Who’s looking out for me?” Consider it a sign from Heaven you shook hands with the Pope at the same time of this unpleasant news. God knows when we need encouragement and how to give it to us. Many of us Christian pastors and leaders stand with you as we pray that God redeem you, offer a second chance to you, and guide you into His more perfect calling. One day I believe we will shake hands.
God bless you, Pastor Steve Cioccolanti
P.S. Should Bill O’Reilly run for President? read my reply on Quora.