Fox News host Bill O’Reilly finally lost a years-long battle with his own children over his right to have custody of them. A New York appeals court put an end to the protracted family battle by affirming a lower court’s decision that O’Reilly’s teenage children don’t have to see him if they don’t want to and that they can live full-time with their mother, Maureen McPhilmy.
This is quite a slap in the face for O’Reilly, a man who never hestitated to lecture (mostly African-American) parents on how to raise their families. Even while privately fighting his ex-wife and his own children, the pundit felt brazenly self-assured in telling his viewers that letting their children listen to Beyonce causes teen pregnancy. In 2013, he wrote an op-ed suggesting liberal parents being too gentle with their kids has led to almost all of society’s ills. He used Miley Cyrus twerking at the MTV Music Awards as an example.
Of course, this being Fox, poor parents were an even more frequent target. Here is a typically shameful exchange O’Reilly had with a guest in 2015:
O’REILLY: OK. Let’s take your situation, all right? From what I understand from our research of you, in San Diego, when you were growing up, there was a six month period in 1983-84 where you were hungry; is that correct? As a child.
JOHNSON-HUSTON: I was homeless.
O’REILLY: You were homeless and hungry.
O’REILLY: And that is because your mother — no father, right?
JOHNSON-HUSTON: Father wasn’t around.
O’REILLY: OK. Your mother was an alcoholic, is that true?
JOHNSON-HUSTON: She had alcohol and drug issues, yes.
O’REILLY: OK. And drugs issues. Now, my point is: I feel terrible for you that you had to go through that, I really do. And I give literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities to help kids who are in your circumstance. You should know that.
JOHNSON-HUSTON: Thank you and I appreciate it.
O’REILLY: But that’s not society’s fault that your mother was a drug addict and alcoholic and you didn’t have a father. That’s not my fault. But that was my point and it was clearly made.
But while O’Reilly loves to take the moral high ground when lecturing his guests and audience, at home there is reason to believe he is an unequivocal monster. The “angry” persona he plays for his Fox News crowd apparently doesn’t go away when the cameras stop rolling. During the legal battle, all of O’Reilly’s skeletons came out of his closet and the picture was disturbing. In one example, leaked to the press, O’Reilly’s young daughter told a forensic examiner that she had watched O’Reilly brutally assault her mom in a fit of rage.
According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching.
Later, O’Reilly attempted to destroy his ex-wife’s reputation, going so far as to attempt to use his clout as a Republican celebrity to get her excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
The New York appeals court seems to have taken this pattern of abuse into account when they issued their ruling:
Viewing the totality of the circumstances, there is a sound and substantial basis for the Supreme Court’s determination that it is in the best interests of the children for the mother to be awarded primary residential custody. Particularly relevant in this case are the clearly stated preferences of the children, especially considering their age and maturity, and the quality of the home environment provided by the mother.
O’Reilly denies any and all of the allegations levied against him, but even if only some of them were true, it’s probably a very good thing that his children are allowed to stay away from his influence.
Featured image via Fox News