Speed Reads

media matters

As Fox News flirts with removing Bill O'Reilly, his viewers hold on tight

Fox News is reportedly not pleased with host Bill O'Reilly, but his viewers don't think he should be taken off the air. According to a new poll by Politico/Morning Consult, just 23 percent of people who watch O'Reilly's show think it should be canceled following reports that Fox News and O'Reilly paid around $13 million to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse accusations made by five women since 2002. Another 56 percent of O'Reilly Factor viewers think Fox should keep the show.

The general public is not as keen on keeping O'Reilly around. Forty-six percent of those surveyed agreed that Fox News should cancel O'Reilly's show, a percentage increase of 11 percent since last week as the story has become more high profile. Twenty-two percent of respondents said Fox should keep the show, and 32 percent still had no opinion about the scandal.

O'Reilly is still viewed favorably overall by those who watch his show, although he was also recently voted "the most unfavorably viewed news figure," a striking pronouncement in an era where the public has increasingly turned on the media. On Tuesday, it was reported that Fox News is "leaning toward announcing that [Bill O'Reilly] will not return to air."