I’m not a conspiracy theorist. OK, maybe just a little. I could buy the idea that aliens might have visited earth. Maybe there’s more to the JFK assassination. What was My Pet Rock distracting us from? With that being laid out, the firing of three of some of the most influential people behind President Donald Trump’s successful campaign within the past few weeks is rather odd and prompts the question ask, what exactly is happening in Washington and conservative media?
Within the past few weeks Bill O’Reilly, the man who convinced conservative television viewers that Trump is one of them; Fox News executive Bill Shine; and now ex-FBI Director James Comey have all been let go, with Trump delivering his catchphrase to Comey on May 9. While all of this might just be coincidence, the timing and extent of connection that they have with Trump’s election success is just too damning to ignore.
The Fox News firing falls under an umbrella of sexual harassment and public relations control. First Bill O’Reilly was sent packing, but not before President Trump actually defended O’Reilly and seemed upset about a previous $13 million sexual harassment settlement without knowing all the information.
“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump told the New York Times. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
The idea that a sitting president would comment on the legal/hiring/firing practices of an independent news organization is inappropriate. I hated it when then-President Barack Obama did it about Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and I hate it here, too. The incestuous nature of Fox News and Trump is unhealthy for both the government and the news.
Bill Shine’s firing happened after being attached to the O’Reilly scandals. A few weeks later he was let go by the Murdoch family. “Bill Shine has played a huge role in building Fox News to its present position as the nation’s biggest and most important cable channel in the history of the industry,” Rupert Murdoch wrote. “His contribution to our channel and our country will resonate for many years.”
The two men built a network, and in an industry that has rewarded numerous men accused of harassment, sexism, etc., the firing seems odd. My theory is that the Murdoch family saw their network becoming the propaganda machine in ways they’d never seen it happen before. To deny the network’s desire to see Trump defeat Hillary Clinton would be blinding. They ran out George Will from guest spots and let Megyn Kelly go; they must have had a moment realizing that they’re rewarding Trump’s puppets too much. Sexual harassment was just the ticket to get rid of those a little too attached at Trump’s hip. In fact, even Shine’s former colleague thinks tying him into the harassment culture is ridiculous.
In an article posted on Mediaite, former Fox News employee Ken LaCorte wrote, “From my many years of working with him, I am convinced that Bill Shine wasn’t an enabler, but rather, a victim of what has truly become a toxic atmosphere of accusations, greed and corporate politics. I would even call it sexual McCarthyism.” Something doesn’t quite add up.
Then there is the firing of FBI Director James Comey. This is the man who kept independents from voting for Hillary by constantly bringing up her email problems. And up until now he was the man trying to figure out Russia’s connection to the election. Maybe Trump’s firing of Comey has more to do with not being Trump’s puppet.
Politico reported, “[Trump] had grown enraged by the Russia investigation, two advisers said, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe, one adviser said.”
I’m still in awe of how many power players have lost their positions of power after helping Trump. We may never get the full story, but Trump’s ties to all three show that he’s a factor in ways we never dreamed.