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Fox News founder Roger Ailes officially died of complications from “a subdural hematoma” after falling and hitting his head in his home. But according to Bill O’Reilly that is incorrect. His former boss died because of “hatred.”
“We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective,” O’Reilly said in his obituary for Ailes in USA Today. “The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters. Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him. That is the truth.”
Many on the internet, also known as that evil brand of technology O’Reilly is referring to, aren’t buying his take on Ailes’s death. They argue that the Fox News executive deliberately built his network off hatred by targeting marginalized Americans. To say Ailes died because of hate is hypocritical; he made a living off of it.
Roger Ailes spent his whole life making money off the fear & hatred of Blacks, women, gays & the poor. God probably smacked him on sight.
— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) May 18, 2017
— Jordan (@JordanChariton) May 19, 2017
— Wondercarrot (@Wondercarrott) May 19, 2017
— Daniel Del Toro (@DDT_RN) May 19, 2017
Others are stating that O’Reilly needs to be honest: Ailes died from an accident-related injury, possibly compromised by his poor health. Not hatred directed at him.
— Trina Wallingford (@kmwallingford) May 19, 2017
Pretty sure fried foods and a nonstop diet of seething hatred is what killed Ailes, but you do you. https://t.co/K1qgMLqFf9
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) May 19, 2017
Most of all, Twitter users are criticizing O’Reilly’s favorable image of Ailes, pointing out how the executive had more than a half-dozen sexual assault allegations against him—a similar number to the claims O’Reilly has faced.
— Daniel Parris (@TheAngelofWrath) April 24, 2017
So OReilly really wants us to canonize Roger Ailes,I don't want to speak ill of the recently dead but his legacy is one of sexual harassment
— ASuperheroNamedTony (@TriniSocialHub) May 19, 2017
Roger Ailes dying at 77 just goes to show you that you can only get away with sexual harassment for 76 years.
— Jasmine Pierce (@jasminecomedy) May 18, 2017
Oh, you were a fan of Roger Ailes? Name 3 of the open sexual harassment cases against him
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) May 18, 2017
Just last month, Bill O’Reilly was dropped from Fox News after a New York Times article revealed that O’Reilly was named in multiple sexual harassment settlements and allegations. Last year, Ailes was also sued for sexual harassment by ex-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, among other women; 21st Century Fox has reportedly paid out $45 million in Ailes-related harassment settlements. He later resigned from the company, only to be sued again for sexual harassment this past April by Fox contributor Julie Roginsky.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.