God is in trouble now: He's lost Bill O'Reilly.
The former cable TV star posted a podcast Monday night in which he blames God for his situation.
"Am I mad at God?" asks a jowly, unshaven O'Reilly. "Yeah, I'm mad at him. I wish I had more protection."
This is just wild from a man who has settled a half-dozen lawsuits brought by women who needed protection from him — five for a reported $21 million and the last for a stratospheric $32 million.
The latest settlement, reported by the New York Times, was to attorney Lis Wiehl, who had been a regular on O'Reilly's nightly Fox News Channel show. Wiehl claimed O'Reilly forced her into a sexual relationship.
About a decade earlier, in a case that quickly sank, O'Reilly settled with a female Fox producer who claimed he had made indecent telephone calls to her, including one mentioning a shower and a loofah. When he addressed the subject at all, which was rarely, O'Reilly portrayed accusers as opportunists trying to take advantage of him, the poor, downtrodden celebrity.
O'Reilly now is uncharacteristically presenting himself as the victim, abandoned by God, perhaps even casting himself in the role of Jesus on the cross. O'Reilly has identified himself in the past as an observant Catholic, although he is divorced.
"I wish this stuff didn't happen, I can't explain it to you," he told the podcast audience, not making clear what he meant by "this stuff," nor why he could not explain it. In an interview with the Times, he said reporting about the Wiehl settlement was bull byproduct, and said he had proof that it was a bunch of lies, but produced nothing to discredit the reporting.
"Yeah, I'm mad at him," he said, referring to God.
If he died tomorrow, O'Reilly said, he'd say to God, "Didn't you know my children would be punished? And they're innocent."
It's not the first time he's tried to use his teenage children as shields for his own bad behavior toward women.
O'Reilly's implosion this spring came less than a year after Fox News chief Roger Ailes was forced out by several sexual harassment suits.
The other big shots at Fox had to pretend they were shocked, just as the board of directors at Harvey Weinstein's company did.
In addition to betraying victimized women, these men betrayed the companies they were supposed to lead and protect.
O'Reilly won't talk to me, of course, but God told me that once O'Reilly prays on it, he will realize he was the master of his own fate.
At one point, when O'Reilly was the top-rated draw on cable TV, his worth was estimated at about $85 million. http://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celeb/tv-personality/bill-oreilly-net-worth/ If that figure was correct, his bad behavior cost him almost two-thirds of his fortune just this year. Plus the public humiliation.
I'm glad the abused women are instant millionaires, but there's something wrong about O'Reilly and the other predators not having to serve jail time, not even having to wear an ankle bracelet.
With Weinstein, Ailes, O'Reilly, and Bill Cosby all shuffling through the court of public opinion, we seem to be experiencing a fundamental shift in what American women — and men — will tolerate.