I’ve come to the conclusion that the Right has a morality problem. It is evident in the leaders of the party and some of the pundits we misguidedly idolize.
Bill O’Reilly is the latest example.
The creator of the “No Spin Zone” was officially let go from Fox News after the disclosure of sexual harassment allegations, which had included payouts to accusers totaling $13 million, and the loss of dozens of advertisers. On Tuesday, O’Reilly’s attorney issued the following statement:
Bill O’Reilly has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America. This law firm has uncovered evidence that the smear campaign is being orchestrated by far-left organization bent on destroying O’Reilly for political and financial reasons.
That evidence will be put forth shortly and is irrefutable.
The Right has a horrible, knee-jerk habit of blaming the Left for everything. Yes, smear campaigns are a real thing. However, we have a tendency to lean toward that being the case every time. It’s much easier to place the blame elsewhere instead of cleaning your own house. Former Fox News chairman and sleazy CEO Roger Ailes was also accused of sexual harassment, and he left the network last year. It’s safe to say the environment at Fox isn’t what its shiny promos and smiling anchors portrayed.
Misplaced and stubborn loyalties are a problem among members of the Right. There is too much allegiance to a man (or woman), and not enough to ideology. We should raise the bar on what’s right, not resort to the oft-used “What about Bill Clinton?” Right now the issue is a different ‘Bill’ who plays for our team, and we should be just as disgusted.
It’s safe to say the GOP tendency to compromise was on full display this past election cycle. The party chose Donald Trump, a man whose past is overflowing with his own sexual indiscretions. He was (and still is) given a pass because of his bold, brash nature. I guess “telling it like it is!” should relieve the accused of some guilt.
Recently, President Trump even defended O’Reilly.
“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump told the Times. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Trump’s defense of O’Reilly was similar to his defense of former Fox News chief Roger Ailes last year, when Ailes was facing a litany of sexual harassment allegations.
“I think they are unfounded just based on what I’ve read,” Trump said of the accusations against Ailes. “Totally unfounded, based on what I read.”
I’m sure the viewership at Fox won’t change all that much. After all, the bulk of Fox’s sycophantic viewers are largely the same group who elected Trump.
If the Right prefers standing firmly on the moral high ground, it can’t cave to the temptation to defend the indefensible. We’re different from the Left, but we’re still made up of flawed individuals who are pulled by fame and money. They’re not worth protecting just because you agree with them on the Second Amendment, taxation, and national security.
Sure, I’ll wait to see if the ongoing drama turns out to be an actual smear campaign as promised facts are presented. For now, though, I don’t put it past Bill O’Reilly to have done exactly what he’s accused of. His spirited crusade against political correctness shouldn’t lure us to ignore his transgressions nor betray our principles.
Don’t be a pinhead.