Kirsten Powers: Fox News Bosses Refused to Act on Her Bill O’Reilly Complaint

Bill O'Reilly is seen at The
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers said that she complained of inappropriate comments made by Bill O’Reilly, but was told by then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes that there was nothing he could do about it because O’Reilly made too much money for the network.

Appearing on “Anderson Cooper 360” on Wednesday to talk about O’Reilly’s exit from the network amid sexual harassment allegations, Powers recalled that at the beginning of her career as a political analyst she appeared regularly on “The O’Reilly Factor” along with Margaret Hoover.

Powers told Cooper that O’Reilly’s downfall was “stunning because Bill O’Reilly was Fox News. He had so much power there and it was sort of unthinabke that he would ever leave there except on his own terms.”

She recalled one incident in which O’Reilly “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 you all straight, Megyn Kelly is coming up.’ He starts telling all these blonde names. And then at the end of the segment he says, ‘Thank you for your blondness,” to both of us.

Powers said that she then went to O’Reilly’s executive producer and said, “He needs to apologize and he needs to never do that again, or I am not doing his show anymore.”

“And I was told basically, ‘Well, you know, Bill. He’s kind of a throwback. He’s kind of an Archie Bunker. And I said, ‘If you mean he is a Neanderthal, then we are on the same page, I am a political analyst here. So he went to Bill, came back, and said, ‘No, he’s not going to apologize.’ So I went to my boss. I was called into my boss’s office and was told, ‘There’s nothing we can do. We are sorry this happened to you.'”

Then, she said, she complained to Ailes, who resigned from the network last year amid allegations of sexual harassment.

“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 ask pretty girls talk about them… And then he said, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t like him, but he makes so much money, there’s nothing I can do. That was the culture.”

She added, “This was the culture that Bill was just too big, and there was nothing you could do about it.”

Powers said that she quit his show, but returned about three years later and gave his show another try. Then, she said, “we had quite a good relationship.”

“It just spoke volumes that I had to completely handle it on my own,” Powers said. “There was no one who was willing to say to him, ‘Hey you can’t treat one of our political analysts this way.'”

She added that women of her generation “learn to tolerate” such comments. “You just come to expect this will be part of your job, and that is not OK,” she said.

“A lot of women just don’t talk about these things because if you make too much trouble, your career is over,” she added.

O’Reilly has denied the merits of other accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct.

Fox News parent 21st Century Fox announced in a statement earlier on Wednesday that it was severing ties with its star host.

“After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” the company said.

 

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  1. Laura says:

    I just read and listened to this. As a women I don’t find that remark offensive at all. She clearly has never been truely harassed. Geezz what a snowflake. She always annoyed me on Fox News.

  2. Brad says:

    Lets see, pretty good looking, no kids, married for the first time at the age of 42, and it lasted 3 years. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that she’s probably a raging, high maintenance, pain in the ass, who takes herself way too seriously.

  3. formerdemocrat says:

    After suffering listening to her childish mindless rants he implied she was a dumb blonde which is true unlike bill I can mute her useless clueless babbling

  4. Katharine Pasch says:

    I still do NOT see what he said as being sexual harassment nor rudeness, really. It is true there are lots of blondes.
    This just doesn’t seem to rise to being anything to be punished for, much less be complained about. What am I missing?

    • Toni says:

      Fox has to clean house, get rid of all the female workers. Any new workers must sign a waiver that they will agree to all offices and entire building w surveillance cameras to protect the interests of the co.

  5. Sharon says:

    O M G
    I watched her all the time on Oreilly’ s show.
    She is just pisssed because he made he look like a ditz who could not quickly answer a question.
    If she was so horrified why did she ever consent to return to his show?
    It Figures she a Lefty, and a snowflake ! Are we surprised?

  6. Ed says:

    Commenting on being “blonde” is not sexual harassment. Period. In her own words it was not based on gender or otherwise. Just the color of their hair. And actually it’s kind of funny. But it’s well known that Powers has never had a sense of humor and takes herself far more seriously than she should. At least on the air. Besides, based on many of the insane things she has said on the air, I wouldn’t ask her the time without double checking! Distorted world view.

  7. Daniel says:

    It’s kind of comical that Powers actually thinks she’s on TV because she has opinions that people care about. She’s on TV because she’s cute. If a blonde joke bothers her, she’s a delusional nut job. “If you don’t sleep with me I’ll ruin your career”. That’s harassment. “Be nice to me and I’ll have you on my show to raise your national status” is not harassment. She has no business being on the show on merit.

  8. mimiakamom says:

    KIRSTEN WAS ALWAYS AN ASS**LE AND I WAS GLAD SHE NEVER CAME ON AGAIN. SO, THE LITTLE BIMBO WAS OFFENED AT THAT SILLY REMARK. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!CNN AND MSNBC IS EXACTLY WHERE ALL THESE FOX THROWAWAYS SHOULD GO .. I THINK BILL OREILLY WILL SURVIVE WITHOUT FOX NEWS TOO. I JUST HOPE HE’S VINDICATED IF HE’S INNOCENT.

  9. cowgirldiva says:

    That was Bill’s sense of humor…!! He said it on the air, right..?? Did she also get offended that Bill used the last names of most of the women and didn’t call them by their first name for fear that would be too familiar…?? PLEASE..!! He didn’t try to hide his sense of humor and anyway the example that this silly woman just related was definitely NOT sexual harassment…!!! These silly girls need to grow the heck up…!! What a LAME story…!!

  10. Rosalyn Bruce says:

    Kirsten Powers was usually a bit difficult and had an attitude. His comment to them about blonds was anything but sexual – he was teasing. Instead of having respect for a man that had proven himself to be successful in many areas, she and many others delighted in tearing down his character. She is liberal and didn’t seem to like the idea of having to prove what she said. CNN would do well if they could afford to place O’Reilly on prime time and watch their ratings soar!

  11. yvonne says:

    Kirsten is a snowflake and man hater and Hillary lover. That being said, she will cry wolf to destroy anyone against her party. She and the other women were liberals and did not like Bill for his party choice.

  12. Tom says:

    Somebody took her 5 min.

    • Lisa says:

      Belittling her humiliation is typical of you old sexist idiots. You’re so afraid of losing your place, that you have to put down your own daughters, sisters, and wives.

  13. bhoney says:

    So many conservative female anchors/correspondents are being rebranded as victims of white male abuse. Because they have no black men to cry rape with, their white male colleagues are being made to take the fall. After years of peddling hate and fear many have maxed out in their communities and realize they need to move on to more neutral venues. But before they can do that, they must rid themselves of the ultra racist banners they’ve been waving and as always, the white woman as victim schtick is used. This trick is as old as the U.S. herself and not even the mighty white man himself can fight it once it has been deployed. You’ve been warned. Piss off white women and they’ll accuse you of rape, or calling them “blonde.”

  14. Sherry mccarthy says:

    Typical thin-skinned liberal “snowflake.” If not for O’reilly, would anyone even know who she is? Would anyone have bought her book? Would anyone have even known about her book? O’Reilly gave her a stage. And how does she return the favor…publicity whore! I will miss O’Reilly, his wit, and his brain.

  15. Toni says:

    Omg
    Wow oreilly really needed a screener for guests on his show. He apparently meant that she should just shutup and be glad she was given a national spot on the show, her name was going to be on the label, he’s too busy to memorize hundreds of nonfamous guests, he was obviously just making the remark to himself outloud, like shutup lady go home and take care if your kids oh you don’t have any and you’re divorced probably who knows. Omg get over yourself or stay home. Blondie noname.
    Hahahaha

    • Rick says:

      I bet ailes and oreilly are sorry they ever gave ANY WOMAN a shot at working there when they could have had real workers, men.

  16. Billy got just what he deserved, just years too late. Bye Billy. Lmao

  17. Fred says:

    Omg how does her husband put up with that…….ohhhh yahhh she’s divorced.
    Hahaha. She knows everything, like all other women.

  18. squeesh says:

    I’m surprised O’Reilly got kicked to the curb, but I think it definitely has to do with the fact that Ailes wasn’t there to cover his back anymore, and there’s also the fact that at least a huge number of sponsors stopped advertising on his show. Anyway, he deserved it,since he brought all that on himself. Never cared much for him anyway—he’s shown himself over the years to be nothing but an arrogant bully,and a racist on top of that. Not sorry to see him at all.

    • cowgirldiva says:

      Bill O’Reilly has done more in one year of his life for other people than you have probably done in your entire life..!!
      How many wheelchairs did you donate to vets…??
      How many caring laws have you sponsored in Congress..? What kind of advocate have you been for the downtrodden..??
      How much of your profits did you give to charity..??
      How many history books have you written to be sure that people learn about our country accurately…???How many movies have you made which not only educated us but entertained as well..??
      How much REAL news have you provided night after night after night in order to educate people with REAL facts..???

      This whole thing with Bill O’Reilly has been a witch hunt/smear campaign to take down a good man who has done more good in his life than bad and made the world a better, more interesting place to live and enjoy..!!

      I hope you get exactly what you deserve and that it comes to you very soon..!! To celebrate and rejoice in the hatred of a good man is shameful..!!

  19. George Lewis says:

    Kirsten, he made some blonde jokes. He displayed his earned power. He didn’t rape you. He didn’t touch you. He aided your career. What about respecting him & his iconic accomplishments? Did he even ‘leer’ at you? If he did, did you dress in a way that normal visual men would be attracted to look, or were YOU ‘prim & proper’? So did you use your sexuality as part of your toolkit? Isn’t it a 2 way street?

    • Judging by you comment George you are no stranger to harassing women. What a sad piece of….work. Discusting.

    • squeesh says:

      Lewis:
      Typical stupid sexist response—-tired of men always claiming O’Reilly did nothing wrong and that it’s always the women’s fault. He’s finally been held accountable for his actions,and it’s long overdue. The days when men could treat the workplace as their own personal harem is long over,bit apparently no one gave either Ailes or O’Reilly the memo on that.

      • George Lewis says:

        Hi squeesh. Learn something about the business world. Bill O did nothing wrong. Also nothing wrong with the long legged & cleavage bearing news bunnies that attract viewers (who aren’t interested in viewing the Candy Crowleys & Michela Pereiras LOL).

        Bill was let go primarily because the Murdochs want British regulatory approval to acquire a larger stake in SKY NEWS. Combine that with the likelihood that Bill was near retirement (plus seemed to start having some ‘senior moments). Tucker is backed up by excellent FOX NEWS producers (unlike his stints at prior networks). Moving THE FIVE into prime time is also a brilliant move (Dana Perino & Martha Macallum are okay (pretty but not sexy) but lack ‘pizazz’. Perhaps Melissa Francis wasn’t ready. Ainsley Earhardt is needed where she is on FOX & FRIENDS (unfortunately seated next to sleazy ‘hands on’ Doocy). If anyone should depart FOX it’s Doocy & Sheppard Smith.

        Power garners privilege (male & female). FOX NEWS is #1 because of what Ailes, Hume, O’Reilly, Hannity etc built. Great staffs, great concepts, great visuals, & fair & balanced reporting. Hopefully (& likely) that will live on.

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