Bill O’Reilly is as defiant as ever.
On the day he was originally scheduled to return to Fox News from vacation, the deposed King of Cable News spoke out on a podcast Monday night about the sexual harassment allegations that led to his ouster and hinted at a campaign to clear his name.
O’Reilly’s highly anticipated remarks (heavy traffic temporarily crashed his website) did not resemble the launch of an apology tour — not in the least. They sounded more like the start of a revenge tour. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the podcast:
I am sad that I’m not on television anymore. I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.
But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised — but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.
Now, I can’t say any more because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it. However you, as a loyal O’Reilly listener, have a right to know, I think, down the lane what exactly happened. And we are working in that direction, okay?
It is important to note that there is no clear reason O’Reilly “can't say any more.” The harassment allegations, chronicled in a New York Times report earlier this month, already have been settled. O’Reilly’s reported $25 million severance from Fox News presumably precludes him from suing the network, so there is no pending litigation that we know of.
When O’Reilly says “the truth will come out,” he is not talking about the conclusion of some ongoing lawsuit. It appears that he is talking about an effort on his part to cast himself as the victim of some kind of left-wing conspiracy.
That was a strategy mulled by O’Reilly's legal team during negotiations with Fox News, according to an email obtained by Politico. It looks as if O’Reilly is determined to make the case publicly that he was unjustly targeted, smeared and ruined by his liberal detractors.
Clearly we have not heard the last of O’Reilly, and he won’t be sitting down to tell Barbara Walters or Oprah Winfrey how sorry he is anytime soon.