Emails between ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and his legal team obtained by Politico on Thursday reveal that O’Reilly’s lawyers felt they could save O’Reilly’s job at Fox News by showing that liberal groups were pressuring companies to pull advertising from O’Reilly’s show.
O’Reilly and his lawyers discussed whether to share with leadership at 21st Century Fox an email showing that Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner was planning a conference call with a leader at the liberal group Media Matters to discuss a campaign to urge advertisers to pull out of O’Reilly’s show, according to Politico. The email was sent to Politico by mistake.
The former Fox host and his lawyers have been trying to prove that O’Reilly is merely the victim of a “smear campaign” from the left. It’s not clear what the email from Bonner would prove given that Media Matters has acknowledged its push for advertisers to leave the show. The recent pressure for companies to pull ads from O’Reilly’s show followed a report in the New York Times revealing that several women who accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment have received settlements.
O’Reilly argued that his legal team should not send the Bonner email to Fox.
“If we show to Fox tomorrow, word will get out and the Thursday call may be cancelled,” O’Reilly wrote in an email, per Politico.
“So no formal sending to Rupert until after the call,” he added. “You all should know that I will not put up with much more from FNC.”