Last Sunday, a man was beaten and dragged off a United Airlines flight. When reporting on this horrific display of abuse, it should be obvious that the anchor or reporter needs to be serious. Apparently, Bill O’Reilly had a different take after watching the video of the passenger being dragged through the aisle as other passengers begged them to stop. He laughed.
“I shouldn’t be laughing, but it’s just so bizarre,” O’Reilly said afterward. O’Reilly has been on TV as a journalist since the 70’s—at 67, he should know the tone to take when reporting this kind of news. Unfortunately, he has an ability to remain tone deaf to any situation, whether it’s telling a Columbia University Professor with a Ph.D. that he “looks like a coke dealer” because he was black, or saying that women have no control over their emotions…or many other instances.
This is also a time when O’Reilly should want to be more careful about the way he reports. Already, 75 companies have pulled their advertisements from his program, after the New York Times reported on his sexual harassment history. Right now, his ratings haven’t suffered too greatly, but even if he has good ratings, if more advertisers pull out, his show will likely be canceled.