Allegedly he made getting ahead or even keeping a job at Fox News binary: Play the sexual game or your career path abruptly ends.
It would have been delightful to have all this come out in a court of law. But that seems unlikely. Those allegedly sexually harassed had agreed to settlements.
However, as lawyer-journalist at Abovethelaw.com, Kathryn Rubino, points out, what could achieve a kind of justice is the hard punch from the Invisible Hand. That, of course, was Adam Smith's metaphor for the operation of the free market system. Here you can read Rubino's article.
Already, about 20 advertisers have pulled their promotions from "The O'Reilly Factor." They range, notes Rubino, from Mercedes-Benz to the Society for Human Resource Management.
This is business. And O'Reilly's ultimate boss - Rupert Murdoch - is all about business. That means if the Invisible Hand keeps striking blows at Fox News, O'Reilly could be gonzo.
He could become a pariah like Roger Ailes. Society no longer looks away from issues of sexual harassment. It is perceived not right up there with child abuse but pretty close.
This is a fairly new development. When we Baby Boomer female were finally getting well-paying positions in Corporate America and Inside the Beltway we had to learn fast how to deflect sexual advances.
Most of us realized we would be perceived as Cry Babies if we reported it. Or, worse, we would be forced out. If ignoring it didn't stop it, we applied for transfers to other departments.
To my surprise, since I am not traditionally beautiful, it happened to me. Once. Pretending I didn't understand what was happening was effective.
Will the court system become less embraced as a tool to end sexual harassment? That would be a positive development since it is so slow. But, as Rubino hammers, it does make the brutal details public. My hunch is that the Invisible Hand will deliver the smackdowns which destroy sexual bullies.
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