According to Library Grape, in 2003, “a Florida Appellate Court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing, and distorting information by a major press organization.” This court ruling left modern media unaccountable and allowed Fox News to legally lie to viewers. Recently, Fox News has been plagued with scandal from alleged sexual harassment accusations and guest stars walking off their set during the 2016 Republican National Convention. It is now evident Fox News is guilty of unprofessional practices both on-air and behind the scenes.
Fox News petitioned the court to protect their lies using their First Amendment rights. These rights protected their lies and gave them the freedom to intentionally mislead their American and international audiences.
“The Hollywood Reporter” disclosed, after the dismissal of Roger Ailes from Fox News former employee Rudi Bakhtiar, spoke out about her own sexual harassment experience after she signed a three-year contract with the station in 2007. Bakhtiar claimed she rejected the sexual advances of a co-worker who was about to be promoted, which resulted in a dramatic decrease of her planned appearances for the station.
Bakhtiar stated, she knew she would be fired because of her rejection of the unwanted sexual advances and the formal report she filed to document her experience. She also claimed the station paid her an undisclosed amount of money to never discuss the situation. She decided it was time to speak up after Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of sexual harassment. Fox News has continued their unprofessional practices it appears to be evident both on-air and behind the scenes.
On July 21, 2016, PerezHilton explained, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly started a public feud with Montel Williams after he walked off the set of the show at the Republican National Convention (RNC). Williams was scheduled to appear on the “O’Reilly Factor” but decided to walk off the set after the program decided to change the topic of the interview without Williams’ approval. The segment was supposed to air live on Wednesday, July 20, from the RNC.
Williams later told CNN, his interview was supposed to be a discussion about the speech he gave on LGBT rights and a recent poll that claimed President Barak Obama was a racist. When Williams arrived at the RNC he was informed his LGBT conversation was off the table and the only topic to be discussed would be the controversial poll. Williams explained this was unprofessional since he was not notified of the change prior to his arrival.
After finding out Williams walked off the set, O’Reilly stated he was a coward and would never be welcome to appear on his show again. “The Hollywood Reporter” discussed the unprofessional act by Fox News and the “O’Reilly Factor” because it was a disrespectful and unprofessional practice to scrap the part of the interview that was the most relevant to the guest.
The “O’Reilly Factor” also showed its unprofessionalism when O’Reilly argued Williams walked off the stage because of some “gay thing.” This statement made it look as though O’Reilly never had any intention of discussing Williams’ LGBT speech. Williams claimed, this was the first time in five years he decided to not participate in a scheduled appearance.
The conflict and scandals surrounding Fox News have metastasized in the past few weeks. Salon focused their attention on the fact Fox News decided to change the topic of discussion to speak solely about the first African-American President being a racist. It was suggested, Williams may have felt the interview would have used him as a vehicle to wrongly insult the current president.
The “O’Reilly Factor” aired live during the third night of the RNC but the majority of the attention was given to Ted Cruz who refused to provide an endorsement for the Donald Trump. Additionally, there were references to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who wore an outfit that left her shoulders bare. There has been speculation these attacks on Kelly are the result of her own report of sexual harassment within Fox News. This past week has been difficult for Fox News because there has been evidence supporting their unprofessional practices both on-air and behind the scenes.
By Kristina Lasher
Edited by Cathy Milne
PerezHilton: Bill O’Reilly Blasts Montel Williams For Walking Off His Show Over ‘Some Gay Thing’ — But Montel’s Response Is FIRE!
The Hollywood Reporter: Montel Williams Walks Off ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ Says O’Reilly Is the “Coward”
Salon: “We know who the coward is”: Montel Williams fires back at Bill O’Reilly over RNC flap
The Hollywood Reporter: Former Fox News Reporter Speaks Out on Firing, Retribution Following Sexual Harassment Claims
Library Grape: Fox News Has a First Amendment Right to Lie – Updated
Image Courtesy of Susan Melkisethian’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License