What do we do now at 8:00 PM?

O'Reilly's gone, and it's going to leave a hole.  My wife and I didn't watch him every night, but we did quite a few.  We often we laughed at his pomposity; he wound up in a village in Central America where people were shooting and so would describe himself as a combat vet.  Many times he referred to himself as a Harvard grad while never (to my knowledge) mentioning Marist College, but overall he connected with people, got the stories out there, hit them hard, and would follow up.  His was the best news and opinion show on the air, and in a self-deprecating fashion, the man would often enjoy a good laugh at himself.

We and millions of other viewers, male and female, liked him.

He also nurtured talent: Megyn Kelly and Jesse Watters come immediately to mind.

But he's been toppled in a very modern and despicable manner: for things he may have said to women.  There is, as far as I know, no woman who ever smacked him or threw a drink in his face, no video or recordings proving he said these things, no notes or emails from him, no witnesses, and no confession.  But what there was was blood in the water.  Twenty million dollars Fox paid earlier to Gretchen Carlson after she said Roger Ailes said something offensive.  Twenty million – enough to motivate every client of every slip-and-fall hack lawyer from here to Hawaii.

And in the case of O'Reilly, they all seem to have it all lined up.

However, the affair is not without its share of irony, because Rupert Murdoch in the person of Fox itself has gleefully spent any amount of time of late ridiculing college students offended by speech, and – let's be honest – over the course of twenty-odd years, paid O'Reilly any amount of money to do in public what he is accused of doing in private: offend people.

Somehow the label "pinhead" comes to mind.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of the acclaimed The Things I Want Most and the new e-book What Sort Of Parents Should We Be? (in print next week).  See it here.

O'Reilly's gone, and it's going to leave a hole.  My wife and I didn't watch him every night, but we did quite a few.  We often we laughed at his pomposity; he wound up in a village in Central America where people were shooting and so would describe himself as a combat vet.  Many times he referred to himself as a Harvard grad while never (to my knowledge) mentioning Marist College, but overall he connected with people, got the stories out there, hit them hard, and would follow up.  His was the best news and opinion show on the air, and in a self-deprecating fashion, the man would often enjoy a good laugh at himself.

We and millions of other viewers, male and female, liked him.

He also nurtured talent: Megyn Kelly and Jesse Watters come immediately to mind.

But he's been toppled in a very modern and despicable manner: for things he may have said to women.  There is, as far as I know, no woman who ever smacked him or threw a drink in his face, no video or recordings proving he said these things, no notes or emails from him, no witnesses, and no confession.  But what there was was blood in the water.  Twenty million dollars Fox paid earlier to Gretchen Carlson after she said Roger Ailes said something offensive.  Twenty million – enough to motivate every client of every slip-and-fall hack lawyer from here to Hawaii.

And in the case of O'Reilly, they all seem to have it all lined up.

However, the affair is not without its share of irony, because Rupert Murdoch in the person of Fox itself has gleefully spent any amount of time of late ridiculing college students offended by speech, and – let's be honest – over the course of twenty-odd years, paid O'Reilly any amount of money to do in public what he is accused of doing in private: offend people.

Somehow the label "pinhead" comes to mind.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of the acclaimed The Things I Want Most and the new e-book What Sort Of Parents Should We Be? (in print next week).  See it here.

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