It hasn't been a good week for Bill O'Reilly. A jaw-dropping investigation published last weekend by The New York Times detailed how five women have accused the Fox News host of sexual harassment or improper conduct, which led them to receive settlements adding up to $13 million. As a consequence, advertisers have been dropping from his show The O'Reilly Factor like flies. But hey, at least now O'Reilly knows that his good friend President Trump has his back.
During an interview with the Times, the president slammed the outlet for not following up on unfounded allegations surrounding former national security adviser Susan Rice. And then, he went on to defend O'Reilly.
"I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person," Trump said.
He added, "I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong."
Let's emphasize that: "I don’t think Bill did anything wrong."
A comment like this from the U.S. president is a punch in the gut regardless, but perhaps even more so this month — a.k.a. National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. In fact, the president himself issued a proclamation last Friday about this same topic.
"We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it," Trump said in a statement. "Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated."
The proclamation goes on to say: "My Administration, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, will do everything in its power to protect women, children, and men from sexual violence. This includes supporting victims, preventing future abuse, and prosecuting offenders to the full extent of the law."
But apparently, the women who have accused O'Reilly of sexual misconduct are excluded from this promise of protecting survivors. Because, you know, it's possible that what O'Reilly did was just some "locker room talk"! How could anyone know, right? After all, "When you're a star, they just let you do it."
Have a great National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, everyone.