Further bad news arrived today for the channel well known for ignoring any news that doesn’t further its ideological interests. Variety reports that Bob Beckel, co-host of primetime program The Five, has been fired from Fox News for “making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” according to a network statement. This comes on the heels of the channel terminating its contract with alleged serial harasser Bill O’Reilly last month, only the latest in an ongoing series of firings that have ensued following inappropriate behavior from conservatives eager to explain liberal America’s moral failings. Actor-turned-semi-coherent-pundit Stacey Dash was let go in January, following a suspension for an obscene tirade against then-President Obama, and everybody’s favorite dead source of all this tragedy, Roger Ailes, began the bloodletting with his termination last year. It’s almost like there is some sort of problem with a business culture in which “managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors” on a regular basis.
Beckel, who had joined Fox News in 2000 and been one of the original hosts of The Five, has had a stormy relationship with the channel in recent months. He left the show in 2015 following back surgery, in a split Variety charitably describes as “less than amicable.” The network’s then-exec VP Bill Shine explains it a little more clearly: “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him.” (If you were curious, this would be the same Bill Shine who stepped down amid allegations he “failed to intervene” in the numerous instances of harassment leveled against Fox employees.) Again, startling words that definitely don’t reinforce the perception of an environment of aggressive masculinity in which “the ethos is ‘boys will be boys’ and girls will shut up about it and like it, if they know what’s good for them.”
And yet, Fox News took Beckel back just earlier this year, and seemed excited for the chance to work with him again. Perhaps the excitement was merely relief at filling its dwindling benches of on-air talent in the wake of Gretchen Carlson’s departure and subsequent sexual harassment lawsuit, or commentator Julie Roginsky’s sexual harassment lawsuit, or former The Five co-host Andrea Tantaros’ sexual harassment lawsuit, or reporter and anchor Kelly Wright’s racial discrimination lawsuit, or reporter Diana Falzone’s gender and disability discrimination lawsuit, or reporter Jessica Golloher’s sexual harassment lawsuit, or one of the many other lawsuits, among which even those that were settled are now under investigation for having been done so under duress. It might have been some of that.
Regardless, the channel can now presumably look forward to a bright, shining future, free from the toxic influence of entitled blowhards who think they can spit venom at anyone—or even wave a gun in people’s faces—and everyone in perpetuity. Let’s enjoy the fair and balanced workplace in which everyone can now participate equally.
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