Tags: Fox News | oreilly | lauer | conscience | fox

Bill O'Reilly to Matt Lauer: 'My Conscience Is Clear'

By    |   Tuesday, 19 September 2017 02:58 PM

An allegation of sexual harassment against a high-profile media figure effectively becomes a conviction without a trial, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday.

On Sunday, Newsmax published an exclusive report that revealed one of O'Reilly's primary accusers was arrested by Detroit police in 2015 for filing a false report with police. Many observers say her accusations may have precipitated O'Reilly's departure from the network, after dominating cable news ratings for nearly two decades.

O'Reilly told Matt Lauer Tuesday that virtually every major company in the country has faced sexual harassment claims, and often settle them out of court regardless of the evidence.

"So why didn't you sue those women?" Lauer demanded.

"Because you can't win those lawsuits," O'Reilly shot back. "If you're a public figure, you cannot win them … but the collateral damage of these lawsuits, the press frenzy — every allegation is a conviction.

"Every allegation in this area is a conviction," he reiterated. "They don't look for the truth."

O'Reilly added that in 42 years, he's never been the subject of a Human Resources complaint at any of the 12 companies where he was employed.

"My conscience is clear," he told Lauer. "What I have done is organized a legal team to get the truth to the American people so if you go to Newsmax.com or billoreilly.com, you'll see an article about one of the accusers of me, okay, who was arrested for filing a false police report. And I want people to read it and make up their own mind."

The Newsmax story to which O'Reilly referred was based on a 2015 police report that showed one accuser, Perquita Burgess, was arrested for filing a false report in 2015. Burgess charged in April that the host made sexually and racially charged comments to her when she worked at Fox News for several weeks as a clerical temp in 2008. 

In a Monday afternoon appearance on Sean Hannity's nationally-syndicated radio show, O'Reilly remarked: "I never saw the woman, I never had a conversation with the woman, no idea who she is.

"Well, now we learn she was arrested for filing a false police report in Detroit," he told Hannity. "We have the police report in the [Newsmax] article. It's shocking, it's shocking. And not only that, but the phrases that she said I said to her — again, a total fabrication — she used in tweets years ago, the exact same phrases.

"So it's a stunning article, but you're  not going to get the mainstream media to give it a lot of play, even though they ran with what she smeared me, no problem, didn't vet her, nobody looked into her background and here we go."

The same documents and information that formed the basis of Newsmax's exclusive report also were provided to The Washington Post, but its editors spiked the story after an internal debate at the highest levels.

Newsmax has learned that some within the newspaper felt the Burgess arrest was a legitimate news story that ought to be published.    

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax on Monday, O'Reilly stated: "I was happy that The Washington Post was interested in hearing my side of the story, which I provided to them. I was very surprised when the story did not run, because the documentation that is available of Miss Burgess is so clear and not in dispute.

"I will say as a journalist this is a legitimate story...after printing all of her allegations in the Washington Post, it would seem to me to be fair to tell this story accurately."  

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An allegation of sexual harassment against a high-profile media figure effectively becomes a conviction without a trial, former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday.
oreilly, lauer, conscience, fox
597
2017-58-19
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 02:58 PM
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