The Real O'Reilly Factor

When a news story includes sex, it becomes about sex. The reason is simple: sex is sexy. It's sexy to think about and talk about and argue over. We all have strong opinions about it. It tends to overshadow everything else.

So the story of Bill O'Reilly's fall at Fox News is now about sex and that's what everyone's discussing. Did O'Reilly harass women or did he get burned by lies and left-wing campaigners? Were the charges proven? Did the charges matter? Are the women believable? Are they gold diggers? Is it all a big fuss about nothing?

My own opinion? I haven't heard any accusations that amounted to anything criminal but it doesn't sound to me like Bill covered himself in glory either. If an intelligent and accomplished person like Margaret Hoover is afraid to be alone in a room with you, you may have misplaced your copy of the Chivalric Code, to say the least.

Feminism is a toxic, destructive philosophy that has made the life of most people worse — and no one has said so more clearly or more often than I have. But to react to Nasty Woman Feminism with hyper-aggressive macho misbehavior is to embrace the Reactionary Grotesque. To act badly because your ideological opponents act badly is to be defined by your enemies.

A rich and powerful man — hell, even just a presentable man — can have as much sex as he wants without making the people he works with uncomfortable. What Donald Trump said is true: If you're a celebrity, women will let you get away with a lot. That doesn't mean you should take advantage of them. Try being a gentleman, kind and respectful to everyone around you both male and female, and see how life goes for you then.

So that's my opinion — but here's the thing: I don't think this story is really about sex at all. I think it's about something that presents a far greater threat to our politics than whether men make passes and girls file lawsuits.