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Fox News’ Howard Kurtz On O’Reilly Settlement Report: ’Significant Setback for Fox’

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz devoted a segment on MediaBuzz this morning to covering the big news about a $32 million Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment settlement and how “embarrassing” this is for the network.

The New York Times broke the news yesterday about how the settlement came just a month before O’Reilly’s contract was renewed in February.

O’Reilly’s spokesperson said in response, “Once again, The New York Times has maliciously smeared Bill O’Reilly, this time even failing to print a sworn affidavit from his former lawyer, Lis Wiehl, repudiating all allegations against Bill O’Reilly. The Times ignored that evidence, sworn under oath, and chose to rely on unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete leaked or stolen documents.”

And O’Reilly himself tweeted this:

Kurtz spoke with The Hollywood Reporter’s Matthew Belloni this morning and said, “It does not look good, does it?”

Belloni said it doesn’t, asking “if these allegations are crap, why spend $32 million to settle them?” He also said there’s some serious questions for Fox News on this as well.

“It just seems like the effort was ‘look the other way’ and hopefully this will work out,” he told Kurtz.

Kurtz ended the segment by saying this:

“21st Century Fox has been trying to move on from this mess––hiring a bunch of new female executives and on-air hosts, among other steps. But this is a significant setback for Fox. There’s no question about it, it’s embarrassing, it’s disappointing that O’Reilly was given a new contract under these circumstances. I hope it doesn’t impede the progress that the company has been trying to make, which––in the end, the company did fire its biggest moneymakers.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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