Former Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers says she was stunned by Bill O’Reilly’s ouster from the network this week because she believed if he ever left, it would have been up to him.
Powers told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she had her own issues with O’Reilly but, surprisingly, the two ended up having “quite a good relationship.”
Cooper asked the CNN analyst about her experiences of working with O’Reilly and she talked about a period of years when she refused to go his show:
“Early on in my career there, I was on the air with Margaret Hoover … and he got Margaret’s name wrong and she said, ‘Hey, get my name right’ and he said ‘Oh, I’m sorry, there’s a lot of blondes in this operation, I can’t keep them all straight.’
[ … ]
And at the end of the segment says, ‘Thank you for your blondeness’ to both of us. So I went to his executive producer and told her ‘He needs to apologize and never do that again or I’m not doing his show anymore.’ And I was told basically, ‘Well you know Bill. There’s nothing I can do about it, he’s kind of a throw back, he’s an Archie Bunker.'”
Powers said that O’Reilly refused to apologize and she kept going up the chain of command to complain about it – eventually ending up in the office of Fox founder and former network executive Roger Ailes:
“I was told the same exact thing, ‘There’s nothing we can do. It’s Bill. He’s a jerk, nobody likes him.’ And then Roger said, ‘You know Bill, he likes to put up dirty pictures and have pretty girls talk about them.’
[ … ]
This was the culture. Bill was just too big and there was just nothing you could do about it. So I did quit Bill’s show for about two or three years – this was an election year and the biggest show at Fox.”
She says she eventually went back on O’Reilly’s show and they had a much better relationship:
“[A]bout three years later I went back and said, ‘Look, I’m willing to give it another try’ and he said sure and we never had another problem. We actually ended up having quite a good relationship.”
Fox News announced that O’Reilly was out this week while he was on vacation.
Independent Journal Review reported that there were several sexual harassment complaints about the TV icon.