When people think of FOX News, most are keenly aware of Bill O’Reilly and what he meant to the news network. O’Reilly was a fixture on the conservative news giant for two decades. However, his tenure at FOX did not end well for either party.
Multiple sexual harassment scandals ultimately led to O’Reilly’s dismissal. About the same time former network Chairman Roger Ailes was buried by similar accusations of sexual impropriety, the former host of “The O’Reilly Factor” fell from grace.
It was not a good time for O’Reilly or his former employer. Reports of over 50 advertisers yanking their ads, was obviously a strong motivator. Rupert Murdoch, the Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox, wanted to try to keep O’Reilly on board.
Nevertheless, Murdoch’s sons, James and Lachlan, pushed for the popular host’s dismissal. In the end, FOX News could not weather another scandalous storm. O’Reilly was shown the door. During his tenure at FOX, O’Reilly wasn’t known for his calm and collected temperament.
On more than one occasion, he blew his top, even going off the rails on-air. Apparently, even though he’s no longer under the pressure of the public spotlight, O’Reilly’s temper can quickly explode.
A couple of weeks ago, O’Reilly was at New York’s JFK airport. He was booked to fly from New York to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Evidently, the flight got delayed. JetBlue records show it was about a five-hour hiccup in the schedule.
This is an inconvenience, but not that out of the ordinary. Flight delays happen. Passengers who are inconvenienced may sit around and complain, but few go nuclear on airline employees. O’Reilly did.
O’Reilly told his side of the story to the Daily Mail, but when assessing the level of intensity, something was lost in translation. The back-and-forth between O’Reilly and the JetBlue worker was extremely heated, with most of the intensity coming from O’Reilly.
The former FOX News host screamed at the employee, “You f*cking scumbag! Don’t talk to me like that.” O’Reilly may be 72 years old, but he’s also 6’4”. He does not present a feeble picture of elder frailty. The entire exchange cannot be heard, but it was clearly laced with curse words.
No one is clear if O’Reilly threatened the employee. However, the JetBlue worker is heard telling O’Reilly, “You’re threatening me with violence, man.” Regardless of whether there were any actual physical threats of violence, this was not a good look for O’Reilly.
O’Reilly’s temper implosion was a response to a delay in his flight that was not outlandish by air travel standards. Heaven help airline employees if one of this hothead’s flights ever gets completely canceled. Better duck or run for cover.