So, I caught the beginning of his show last night and thought he looked tired and haggard and, I’m ashamed to admit, I began toying with the notion of how, if I were his “people,” I would get him out of this jam.
I’m hoping for input from my dear friend, the Corporate Shill, who has some experience polishing turds, but here’s what I think is his only option, publicly. (I’ll leave it to you lawyer-types to debate the relative merits of him settling.) I think he looks guilty; you turn on the TV and you see him looking tired and haggard and scared and you think, “This is a man who knows he’s fucked up beyond belief. This is a man who had everything he could have ever hoped for and flushed it away in a fashion that turns him into a joke.”
[Now, some might argue that O’Reilly was already a joke, but I think the joking about O’Reilly previously to this revealed people’s anxiety about his power. It was an attempt to deflate him a little. Now, it’s different. He used to be a joke because he thought he was better than us; now he’s a joke because we know we’re better than him.]
I think his only option is to get on TV and say he’s got a drinking problem–true or not–and that when drunk, he’s acted like a lout. He should say that until he heard the tapes of himself (I’m assuming from the long block quotes in the papers that his accuser has tapes), he was unaware of the extent of his inappropriate behavior. He apologizes to the woman and to other women and gets him into a treatment facility.
I think that’s the only hope he has of really salvaging a career. I think fighting this, especially if it drags out for a long time and other women come forward, is only going to make matters worse.
But, maybe he has other options?