To The Men Of Fox News: Silence Is Acquiescence

If you allow this culture to spread and continue unchecked, you own a piece of the responsibility.
04/17/2017 12:58 pm ET Updated Aug 18, 2017

For some reason, Republicans (and let me just say upfront, I am a Republican) and their supporters cling to the illusion that they have some monopoly on “faith, family and freedom.” Never mind the fact that many so-called “values” voters were all too willing to ditch their convictions to elect a misogynist, serial adulterer to be their standard-bearer. As long as you get the win, conviction and morality can take a back seat.

Every single night, these values-loving, “faith, family and freedom” Republicans tune-in and watch the self-righteous preachings of Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and the rest of the Fox News men. All the while, controversy after controversy erupts over the embedded culture of sexual harassment that has occurred for years inside Fox News.

For all the viewers at home, it makes me wonder what they would think if the same treatment were imposed on their mothers, wives and daughters. Would they tell them to essentially accept it, don’t talk about it, take some money and move on?

Would these men, who see someone like Bill O’Reilly as a role-model and moral authority, trust their daughters to work for him at Fox News?

In many ways, I’ve always looked at cable news overall as a team sport. You have different programs and talents all competing against one another to be the best, to have the largest audience and most influence. 

You might all be on the same team, but good teammates are honest with one another.

What does it say about your team when its star player is the subject of numerous sexual harassment complaints? You’ve already lost your GM over the same problem. Wouldn’t that bother you? At some point, wouldn’t you want to stand-up and say enough is enough?

You might all be on the same team, but good teammates are honest with one another.

You honestly think Steph Curry would put with this behavior from Kevin Durant?

As I said this past weekend on MNSBC’s AM Joy, if the Fox News Corporation is truly sincere about changing their culture, it’s going to require that the people who are in front of the camera – especially the “men” like Hannity, Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, Shephard Smith, Tucker Carlson, Brian Kilmeade, etc. – take a stand and publicly declare that they do not support this culture of harassment or misogyny. They need to say that they will not be a part of a company that treats women like this and look the other way, just because it’s profitable.

At some point, everyone has culpability, and if you allow this culture to spread and continue unchecked, you own a piece of the responsibility. Otherwise, you’re telling the world that as long as you are successful, you can pretty much do whatever you want to whomever you want and the company brass will stand by you. And if that’s the case, none of the talent at Fox News should ever talk about “faith, family and freedom” ever again.

@KurtBardella has spent more than a decade representing Republican members of Congress in the House and Senate and media companies like the Daily Caller and Breitbart News.

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