Bill O'Reilly Is Drawing a Fraction of the Crowds He Once Did for Speaking Events
Former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s disgraceful history of alleged sexual harassment is cutting into his ability to sell tickets, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik revealed on Sunday.
During a panel discussion about O’Reilly’s reported $32 million sexual harassment lawsuit, Zurawik reflected on the fact that Fox News chose to renew the host’s contract even though executives were aware of the litigation.
“This speaks to the larger question of Fox News,” Zurawik said. “This doesn’t change Fox News. Twenty years of a culture that Roger Ailes established and that continued takes more than firing just the head of it. And now we see how deep-seated it is.”
“O’Reilly is trying to get a new TV job,” CNN host Brian Stelter reported. “He was back on Sean Hannity’s show a month ago. I don’t think he will ever be back on Fox in the wake of this revelation. But what about Sinclair or Newsmax or OANN? Do you think O’Reilly will ever be back on TV?”
Zurawik, however, suggested that O’Reilly’s days hosting television are over.
“I think he’s been pushed to the margins,” Zurawik explained. “Although, especially with conservative media in this country, I predict nothing. Nothing surprises me sometimes when I see — once you take your news platform and say, we’re a political tool or, like [Breitbart chief Steve Bannon], we’re a weapon. Nothing surprises me because I look at it through a lens of journalism.”
“I’ll tell you something about O’Reilly,” he continued. “I think he’s been marginalized in some ways that Glenn Beck has been marginalized. If he’s going to put his credibility up against The New York Times, he’s going to lose.”
Zurawik revealed that he had attended a stadium event headlined by O’Reilly and Dennis Miller on Sept. 22.
“I went to it at Royal Farms Arena because I wanted to see what kind of effect this had on his audience,” he recalled. “It seats either 11,000 or 14,000. They wouldn’t tell me how many they had reconfigured it for. If there were 2,500 people in that audience, it was surprising.”
In fact, Zurawik said that the event organizers asked him to move so that the show would appear to be more crowded.
“I bought a ticket in the upper-tier,” he remarked. “They came up before the show and said, ‘Would you please sit down on the floor so that essentially it looks like we have some people here.’ Bill O’Reilly has been marginalized.”
“This arena was almost empty by the standards of a sell-out. It was empty seats in the second row, empty seats in the third row. Nobody is going to want him on TV.”
Watch the video below from CNN.