Sunday, April 09, 2017

The Price Of Doing Business

Some things don't come as a surprise or a shock. Barbecue sauce, for example, is really bad for your teeth because of all the sugar it contains. There was a guy named Sylvester Graham who invented graham crackers. Corporal punishment is still permitted in nineteen of our fifty states. Money you found on the street is taxable income. These aren't the kind of things that would cause someone to change the way they live their life, but rather they are realities could cause me to reconsider picking up that next penny I find on the sidewalk.
Add to this list: Fox News is facing another round of sexual harassment lawsuits. The lack of audible gasps at that last sentence is all the proof I need to suggest that harassment is pretty much business as usual at the home of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Sean is far too busy harassing most of the civilized world with his whirlwind blather to be caught up in anything as tawdry as poking, pinching, prodding or suggesting any of those things to his Foxmates, but he is most surely not above defending the slobbering beasts who have offices in the same building. A lot of it took place in the Twittersphere, so you may have missed it. Last summer while Roger "The Hut" Ailes was being assailed by his female employees, Sean tweeted, "Brian talk to the hundreds of woman at Fox that I talked to this week both on air and off. They say it all BS." In reply to those who questioned his boss's conduct. This came just after he helpfully supplied us all with a list of women who claimed to have been harassed/assaulted by Bill Clinton. Exactly how this shows up as a defense for Roger Ailes is not fundamentally clear, but no one wants to be told that the glass house in which they are living could use a little less hurling of stones.
Which brings us to Mister O'Reilly. Twenty million dollars has already been paid to former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson to keep all those lurid details about office encounters from becoming more public. Thirteen million more dollars have been spent to silence the claims of five more women who insist they were the the objects of Bill O'Reilly's desires. Desires they did not share or care to experience. Here comes yet another, Doctor Wendy Walsh, who spilled the beans at a press conference this past Monday. In a world where "he said, she said" is a game that most of us would rather not play, it becomes a little more clear when it turns out to be "she said and she said and she said and she said and she said," and so on.
It starts to sound a lot like the kind of environment where such things are simply part of the culture. And not the kind of culture where you feel smarter and better for having experienced it. The kind of culture they make by sticking a swab in the back of your throat and make you gag just a little bit.
Or a lot.

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