The week before the world knew about the big settlements for women allegedly sexually harassed by Bill O'Reilly his Fox News ratings were about 2.3 million. Post-scandal, they were at about 3.8 million. Here are the details from The Washington Post.
Sure, about 50 advertisers are boycotting O'Reilly. They range from Mercedes-Benz to Angie's List.
But, come on, those businesses aren't getting their marketing message out to O'Reilly's audience. Their bottom line already might be delivering bad news because of that.
What seems likely is that Adam Smith's Invisible Hand will bring back the advertisers.
Last week, on Abovethelaw.com, lawyer-journalist Kathryn Rubino played with the issue if the free market provides justice more efficiently than court.
At the time, advertisers were fleeing. The head of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch, had to notice the flight of advertisers.
The hope was that Murdoch would make the business decision to force O'Reilly out. That punishment could accomplish what the courts might not had. The alleged victims agreed to settle. Litigation is always a big gamble.
What we might find out this week is that the Invisible Hand has no ethical underpinnings. In essence, the free market's only value system operates according to optimizing profits.
As long as O'Reilly remains profitable at Fox News, he probably will hold on to his job. So, it might be good that the U.S. has a very sophisticated legal system. That could be where justice will have to happen. But, will any complaint about O'Reilly actually make it to the courtroom?
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