In the wake of Bill O’Reilly’s removal from the Fox network, all sides have weighed in on the matter.
The Left, naturally, has demanded that he be barred from the public square and, for good measure, replaced with a woman and/or racial minority host. The farthest reaches of the Right, however, have declared that the Activist Left and PC Culture have taken a major scalp in their movement to destroy America. Or something.
The truth of the matter is that this, like so many things, isn’t as clear cut as Right vs. Left. In fact, this whole situation has very little to do with politics in general and more to do with human decency and a business decision.
It is Leftist Activism and PC Culture that got O’Reilly booted from Fox News. It wasn’t the scandalous nature of the allegations, the cost of the settlement to quiet them, or the massive revenue losses incurred with high-paying advertisers suddenly drop because of the scandal. That’s what O’Reilly’s defenders honestly want us to believe.
My colleague, Kim Ross, wrote about it this morning, and she is indeed correct that the Right does have a morality problem. But let us go a little bit further. After all, in the tribal society we’ve become, morality isn’t important. Power is.
In our society, we’ve watched as things become less and less about morality and even ideology and more and more about the good of the tribe. The tribalism of the Left and Right is more about gaining power than it is about doing what we feel is right. It didn’t start in the 2016 election, but it was made painfully obvious during that strenuous campaign cycle.
We’ve called the Left on this for years. In Washington, no matter what happened, Democrats defended their own. They constantly defended their own while slamming their opponents as racists, bigots, etc. in order to throw off the allegations their peers are facing. During the same time, however, the Right was undergoing a civil war of sorts – the establishment versus the conservative. We didn’t actually see the same tribes the Left was forming taking shape on our own side.
But, it happened, didn’t it? It happened when the conservatives decided that every time someone in the “establishment” said or did something, it was wrong. Every time a conservative did or said something, an “establishment” supporter would dismiss them ambitious, disingenuous, and self-serving.
Then 2016 happened, and the definition of “establishment” grew wider and wider, and the “conservative” tribe grew and grew. Now, if you aren’t with the tribe, you’re a cuck, liberal, or member of the PC culture (or, to quote our long lost friend Moe Lane, “embrace the healing power of and, brother”).
Those defending O’Reilly refer to him as a great man who has done the movement a lot of good. What is casually ignored are multiple allegations from both before and after Roger Ailes’ own scandal was discovered, the bitter and vindictive legal war he waged against his ex-wife, and his temperament on the set.
The Republican Party is the party in power, though. So we have to defend our own. Bill O’Reilly is the victim of PC Culture, or liberal news that is jealous of Fox News’ success, or activist liberals. That’s the story many on our side want to go with. God forbid we admit something is wrong with someone on our side, or we might lose some of that precious power we gained in 2016.
At the rate we’re going, we won’t have that power for long.