“I feel like a woman who works at Fox News—I’m touched. But I’ll get to that.”
That’s how Bill Maher welcomed his opening wave of applause on Friday night’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher. The HBO host was referring to The New York Times’ story this week revealing that O’Reilly and Fox News paid out $13 million to five women who have accused the right-wing network’s most popular and lucrative TV host of sexual harassment.
“The women who made allegations against Mr. O’Reilly either worked for him or appeared on his show. They have complained about a wide range of behavior, including verbal abuse, lewd comments, unwanted advances and phone calls in which it sounded as if Mr. O’Reilly was masturbating, according to documents and interviews,” reported the Times. Two of the settlements reportedly came after Fox News honcho Roger Ailes was pushed out last summer in the wake of over a dozen sexual harassment allegations, including by former network stars Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly.
After mentioning the confirmation of Scalia disciple Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Maher joked, “Bill O’Reilly was so excited he groped himself.” Then he got into it. “Aw, Bill O’Reilly had a rough week. We learned at the beginning of the week that he has settled harassment suits from women for three more—in addition to the two that we already knew about, and another two who weren’t suing but are speaking out,” said Maher. “Bill says he’s a target, but that’s seven. That’s kind of a lot. Not to everybody. Bill Cosby said, ‘Call me when you get to thirty.’” “Bill’s other defense is that he says over at Fox News they had a sexual harassment hotline and nobody called it. Well, nobody knew it was there,” he added. “Also, it wasn’t a great one. They would answer the phone, ‘Fox News sexual harassment hotline—what are you wearing?’”
Maher then mentioned that the O’Reilly revelations came in addition to Roger Ailes being ousted because he thinks “twenty women” accused him of sexual harassment. “So, something I think is going on over there,” said Maher.
It didn’t stop there. “One accuser of Bill O’Reilly says he would call her and she could tell that he was masturbating—possibly because he said, ‘I’m masturbating,’” joked Maher. “And you know, apparently Bill doesn’t take rejection well, because there’s this woman Wendy Walsh who’s speaking out this week and she said that after she refused to go up to the hotel room with him he didn’t like that, and the first thing he did is insult her handbag.” “I mean, all these women, their stories vary a little bit,” he continued. “The one constant is: no one wants to fuck Bill O’Reilly. That seems to be the thing! Poor Bill O’Reilly. I mean, whether he’s offering you a job or threatening the one you have, it’s never worth it to fuck Bill O’Reilly.”