Stephen Colbert blasts Bill O’Reilly over $32 million sexual-harassment settlement

In Monday night’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Stephen Colbert excoriated Bill O’Reilly over revelations last weekend that O’Reilly had paid a $32 million settlement to an accuser in January. Colbert also criticized the Fox New network for not firing O’Reilly sooner.

Stephen Colbert had harsh words for both Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News station on Monday over recent revelations that O’Reilly had agreed to pay $32 million in settlement money in January to Lis Wiehl, a former Fox News analyst who had accused him of sexual harassment. This payout proves indisputably that O’Reilly was guilty, Colbert said on-air during The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, while also excoriating Fox News for not taking action against O’Reilly sooner.

“It’s shocking that Fox News knew about all of these sexual harassment settlements and kept him employed for so long,” Colbert said. “But maybe they were just trying to protect their female employees. Because if Bill’s on camera that’s one hour a day he’s not groping somebody.”

Colbert remarked that the settlement was “exactly the sort of thing you do when you’re innocent.” He also reminded viewers that Wiehl had frequently appeared on The O’Reilly Factor in a segment called “Is It Legal.” Colbert said that the title ironic in the context of the reported harassment: “And the answer for $32 million: Survey says no it is not. Thanks for playing. Security will see you out.”

The New York Times broke the news of the settlement last weekend. UTA, O’Reilly’s talent agency, dropped him this week over the revelation. But Fox News had reportedly known of the settlement when it happened and awarded him a new $32 four-year contract extension of $25 million a year anyway, according to the New York Times.

The Times’ story said that the contract stipulated that the network could fire O’Reilly if new allegations surfaced. The network fired him three months later.

Berkeley defends Ann Coulter in UC Berkeley spat

Bill Maher defended Ann Coulter in her spat with the University of California at Berkeley.

Bill Maher defended Ann Coulter in her spat with the University of California at Berkeley.

Coulter was scheduled to deliver a speech at UC Berkeley on April 27. The school rescinded its invitation on Wednesday and then reversed its decision, once again extending their invitation to Coulter to speak on May 2 instead. Coulter rejected the offer and promised to deliver a speech on the Berkeley campus on the original invitation date of April 27. Coulter accused the university of trying to restrict free speech because of her conservative bent in a conflict that even got the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump who alluded to possibly cutting funding to the school.

 

“I know, we don’t like Ann Coulter’s views. I like her as a person. I’ve never agreed with one thing she ever said,” admitted Maher, who is a liberal host, on his HBO program. “I feel like this goes on all over the country on campuses. They invite someone to speak who’s not exactly what liberals want to hear, and they want to shutter it. … And it’s got to stop.”

Maher went through his own problems with the school when a group on the campus tried to get him removed as the UC Berkeley graduation commencement speaker in 2014.

“They got their act together and I wound up doing it, and apparently that’s what’s going to happen to (Coulter), I think,” said Maher. “But Berkeley, you know, used to be the cradle of free speech, and now it’s just the cradle for f—ing babies.”

Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan dead at 46

The Irish singer and lyricist died unexpectedly in London where she was visiting for a short recording session.

Dolores O’Riordan, singer and songwriter of Irish rock band the Cranberries, died unexpectedly Monday, Jan. 15 in. The causes of her death have not been made public. She was 46.

According to O’Riordan’s publicist Lindsay Holmes, the Irish singer died in London where she was recording. Holmes told the Associated Press, “Family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

Founded in Limerick, Ireland, O’Riordan was The Cranberries’ chief lyricist and co-songwriter rising to international fame in the 90s. Her powerful, distinctive vocals led to successful hits like Zombie and Linger.

The Cranberries’ 1993 debut album “Everyone Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” reached no. 1 on the UK and Irish Album Charts, and no. 18 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Album chart. O’Riordan was known for her strong Limerick accent, and had released two solo albums, 2007’s “Are You Listening?” and 2009’s “No Baggage.”

The official Cranberries Twitter account posted a note from bandmates Noel, Mike and Fergal later Monday: “We are devastated on the passing of our friend Dolores. She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been part of her life from 1989 when we started the Cranberries. The world has lost a true artist today.”

O’Riordan is survived by her ex-husband, former Duran Duran tour manager Don Burton, and their three children 20-year-old son Taylor, 16-year-old daughter Molly and 12-year-old daughter Dakota.

Rolling Stone pays settlement over fraternity rape story

The fraternity demanded $25 million from Rolling Stone in its initial lawsuit, which would have gone to trial in October.

Rolling Stone resolved a year-long legal battle with a University of Virginia that had been the target of a November 2014 story alleging a gang rape at a fraternity party. The magazine agreed to pay the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi a $1.65 million legal settlement, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

This settlement follows an April 2017 Virginia court ruling that had awarded Nicole Eramo, a University of Virginia dean who was featured in a negative light in the article, $3 million in damages. Phi Kappa Psi had taken Rolling Stone to court as well, charging the publication with defamation.

The November 2014 story, “A Rape on Campus,” shared the testimony of a female student identified only as “Jackie” who claimed that members of the fraternity had gang-raped her in the fraternity’s house during a party.  Sabrina Erdely, the story’s author, did not interview the fraternity for her story nor attempt to corroborate Jackie’s account of events. Shortly thereafter, police and several friends of Jackie refuted key details of the story, and Rolling Stone ultimately retracted the story in full in April 2015.

The fraternity demanded $25 million from Rolling Stone in its initial lawsuit, which would have gone to trial in October. But the members accepted Rolling Stone’s out-of-court smaller settlement amount and told the AP this week that they are glad to finally put the case behind them.

“It has been nearly three years since we, and the entire University of Virginia community, were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath,” the fraternity said to the Associated Press.

Alisyn Camerota accuses Ailes of sexual harassment

Former Fox News anchor, Alisyn Camerota accused former Fox News chief, Roger E. Ailes of sexual harassment.

Former Fox News anchor, Alisyn Camerota accused former Fox News chief, Roger E. Ailes of sexual harassment.

Mr. Ailes was fired from Fox News in July after multiple female employees accused him of sexually harassing them. A law firm hired by 21st Century Fox took statements from at least six women. Camerota spoke out about the behavior of Mr. Ailes during an interview on the CNN program, Reliable Sources.

“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” said Camerota. “I remember being in Roger’s office saying I wanted more opportunities and he said: ‘Well, I would have to work with you — I would have to work with you really closely — and it may require us getting to know each other better, and that might have to happen away from here. And it might have to happen at a hotel. Do you know what I am saying?’”

Former Fox News anchor, Gretchen Carlson, was another voice that accused Ailes of adding to a culture of sexual misconduct at Fox News, the network he built into one of the most powerful in the world. Lawyer for Ailes, Susan Estrich, argued that the claims from Camerota were untrue and invalid.

“These are unsubstantiated and false allegations,” said Ms. Estrich. “Mr. Ailes never engaged in the inappropriate conversations she now claims occurred, and he vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and of Fox News’s editorial policy.”

Bill Cosby defense rests, calls just one witness

If convicted, the actor could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Bill Cosby’s legal team rested its defense case Monday morning after calling just a single witness. The actor-comedian has pleaded not guilty to three charges of aggravated sexual assault against Andrea Constand, 44, in 2004. Cosby claims the contact was consensual.

Cosby, 79, told the judge under oath that he concurred with his lawyers and would not testify in his own defense.

Defense attorneys took only six minutes before they rested their case after calling just one witness, Sergeant Richard Schaffer of the Cheltenham Township Police Department, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Cosby arrived at the Norristown, Pennsylvania, courthouse with his wife, Camille.

“Camille is standing by him and there appears to be no shift in her feelings about this,” a source told People. “They have been married for over 50 years and she loves him. Of course, it’s very painful for Camille to go through this. For both of them, it’s a nightmare every day.”

Other supporters have accompanied Cosby to court, including Sheila Frazer, 68, who co-starred with him in Neil Simon’s 1978 film ‘California Suite,’ and Keshia Knight Pullman, 38, who played the Cosby character Dr. Cliff Huxtable’s youngest daughter on ‘The Cosby Show.’

But Lili Bernard, also a former actress on the popular TV series, was seen in court supporting Constand. Bernard also has accused Cosby of sexual assault.

As many as 60 women have accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them, but statutes of limitations prevent them from pursuing legal action. If convicted, the actor could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Rolling Stone settles lawsuit with university fraternity over debunked rape story

After three years, a fraternity associated with the University of Virginia has agreed to accept $1.65 million from Rolling Stone magazine .

After three years, a fraternity associated with the University of Virginia has agreed to accept $1.65 million from Rolling Stone magazine in settlement of a defamation suit arising from the publication of a since-retracted story about an alleged gang-rape on campus, a report by ABC News said.

“The Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity has agreed to settle and dismiss its defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone and Sabrina Erdely arising from the magazine’s publication of the November, 2014 article A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA,” the fraternity said in a statement, as reported by ABC News. “It has been nearly three years since we and the entire University of Virginia community were shocked by the now infamous article, and we are pleased to be able to close the book on that trying ordeal and its aftermath.”

The retracted story, written by Sabrina Erdely, involved a young woman called “Jackie” who claimed to have been gang-raped UV’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity during her first year at school.

The fraternity has pledged that a substantial part of the settlement amount will go to organizations involved in preventing and treating sexual assault.

“The chapter looks forward to donating a significant portion of its settlement proceeds to organizations that provide sexual assault awareness education, prevention training and victim counseling services on college campuses,” the statement said.

Greta Van Susteren leaving MSNBC

An MSNBC executive told Politico that the separation was “amicable,” but that efforts to boost Van Susteren’s show’s ratings had been unsuccessful.

After just six months on the air at MSNBC, former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren is out, say network executives. They cite poor ratings as the reason for her exit.

“MSNBC and Greta Van Susteren have decided to part ways,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a statement, as reported by Politico. “Greta is a well-regarded television veteran and one of only a few broadcasters who can say they’ve hosted shows at all three cable news networks. We are grateful to her and wish her the best.”

An MSNBC executive told Politico that the separation was “amicable,” but that efforts to boost Van Susteren’s show’s ratings had been unsuccessful.

Van Susteren, a former lawyer, would not comment except by tweeting, “I am out an MSNBC.”

She had no prior notice of the network’s decision, a friend informed CNNmoney. The friend also said Van Susteren was told she had not been confrontational enough on air.

Before joining MSNBC, Van Susteren was taken off FoxNews abruptly amid a contract dispute after 14 years with the right-wing network. She was among a few Fox hosts who defended network boss Roger Ailes against allegations of sexual harassment, but later said she regretted doubting his accusers, according to Vanity Fair.

The decision to remove Van Susteren comes as MSNBC has been seeing a tremendous ratings boost, even out-performing Fox News in prime-time viewership in the coveted 25-54 age bracket.

MSNBC’s chief legal correspondent, Ari Melber, host of ‘The Point,’ will now permanently replace Van Susteren in her former 6 p.m. time slot.

Wendy Williams ordered to take three-week hiatus due to Graves’ Disease

Encore tapings of ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ will be shown during Williams’ hiatus.

Wendy Williams announced that she will be taking a break from The Wendy Williams Show to focus on her health.

On Wednesday, the TV show host, 53, told her audience she was ordered by her doctors to take a three-week break after being diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, which causes the body to produce too much thyroid hormone..

“My doctor has prescribed — are you ready? — three weeks of vacation,” she told viewers after detailing her symptoms, which include difficulty sleeping and irritability. “I was pissed. Encore performances, really?”

Williams also addressed comments that something was wrong after she appeared to have twitchy eyes on-air in a previous broadcast. “Graves’ disease squeezes the muscles behind the eyeballs,” Williams explained.

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else. Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years in addition to hyperthyroidism,” a show representative told US Weekly, “The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Williams’ health update comes only a week after she took three days off from the talk show while experiencing flu-like symptoms. She previously had a health scare on-air in October 2017 when she fainted during her live Halloween episode.

The radio and television personality had an important message for her viewers on Wednesday: “What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said.

Apple hires another hip-hop expert from BBC

Apple has made another notable hire for its Apple Music team as urban tunes rise into the new battlefront for streaming services.

Apple Inc. has hired Ryan Newman, formerly editor of 1Xtra, the BBC’s main hip-hop and grime radio station.

Newman’s targeted role with Apple Music remains unclear. Notably, his position with 1Xtra included the fulfillment as the mastermind behind shaping and implementing the station’s musical direction strategy. In return, this suggests Newman’s similar objective while employed with Apple.

Apple Music’s focus on hip-hop has been apparent in many of its decisions for Apple Music. The particular genre is heavily represented on Apple’s Beats 1 radio station.

Apple has also acquired a number of hip-hop themed documentaries, designed to appeal to the same audience. These have included the likes of The Cash Money Story, about popular hip-hop label Cash Money Records, and Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story, about the rise of Sean P. Combs, a.k.a. P Diddy, as noted by Cult of Mac author Luke Dormehl.

Apple has a recent history of acquiring talent from BBC Radio 1. In 2015, Music Business Worldwide was the first to report Apple’s hiring of four producers from the radio station. The new employees were procured two months after it was announced that Zane Lowe was leaving the British radio station to take a new position at Apple. Apple’s new hires included James Bursey, Natasha Lynch, and Kieran Yeates.