Fox News employees have been lining up left and right—mostly right—to defend their boss Roger Ailes against the sexual harassment lawsuit put forward by now-former host Gretchen Carlson. Wednesday night, it was Fox News MVP Bill O’Reilly’s turn.
Asked by Late Night host Seth Meyers what he makes of the allegations made by Carlson, O’Reilly called it a “very sad situation.” But that doesn’t mean he feels much sympathy for the woman who claims she was humiliated time and again by their boss.
“I’ve worked for Roger Ailes for 20 years,” he said. “Best boss I’ve ever had. Straight shooter, always honest with me. And I believe that, over the years, he’s been in the business for 50 years, 95 percent of the people who have worked for Roger Ailes would say exactly the same thing that I just told you.” O’Reilly chalked up the lawsuit to that fact that as a “famous, powerful or wealthy person,” Ailes was a “target.”
“You’re a target, I’m a target. Any time, somebody could come out and sue us, attack us, go to the press or anything like that,” he said. “And that’s a deplorable situation.” The host proceeded to advocate for a system by which, “If you file a frivolous lawsuit and you lose, the judge has a right to make you pay all court costs.”
“Until we adopt that very fair proposition, we’re gonna have this out of control, tabloid society that is tremendously destructive,” O’Reilly said, adding, “I stand behind Roger 100 percent.”
With that Meyers thanked his guest for taking his signature “no-spin” approach to the question, though at no point did O’Reilly even attempt to give Carlson the benefit of the doubt and admit that, as a man of Ailes’ age, it would be unlikely for him to be privy to any alleged wrongdoing. Even if 95 percent of people are willing to vouch for Ailes, it’s that remaining 5 percent that someone should be worrying about.