Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly blamed reports of sexual misconduct on a politically motivated media. On Monday, he admitted that he also blames a higher power.
"You know, am I mad at God? Yeah, I'm mad at him," O'Reilly said on the latest episode of his web series, "No Spin News." "I wish I had more protection. I wish this stuff didn't happen. I can't explain it to you. Yeah, I'm mad at him."
He then said that he derives perspective from the tribulations of others, including Kate Steinle, a woman who was allegedly shot by an undocumented immigrant who has been the subject of numerous O'Reilly commentaries.
O'Reilly's response to allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior has been consistent. He's emphatically denied the claims, insisting that his wealth and fame make him a target for such accusations. And he's denounced the press that has reported on the allegations -- and the ensuing settlements -- as corrupt and desperate to take him down.
But O'Reilly's comments on his show Monday evening, which came after the New York Times reported on a $32 million settlement he reached with a former Fox News colleague who accused him of sexual misconduct, might have represented his most dramatic claim for victimhood yet. At one point, he said of his adversaries, "If they could literally kill me, they would."
"If I die tomorrow and I get an opportunity, I'll say, 'Why'd you guys work me over like that? Didn't [you] know my children were going to be punished? And they're innocent,'" he said. "But then I think about people who have it much, much rougher than me. And you know, I'm a big mouth. I'm a target. They're not targets."
In the days following the Times' bombshell, O'Reilly has used social media and sympathetic media platforms to try to clear his name. Earlier on Monday, he went on a radio show hosted by Glenn Beck, also a former Fox Newser, who vouched for O'Reilly's character. O'Reilly has also directed his followers on Twitter to visit his official website for evidence designed both to exonerate himself and discredit others.
On Monday night, O'Reilly defended himself once again on his website with the latest edition of "No Spin News," which has served as his primary platform since he was ousted at Fox News in April.
The network sacked O'Reilly, who had reigned as the top-rated host on cable news for years, weeks after the Times reported on settlements that he, Fox News and the network's parent company 21st Century Fox -- together or separately -- had made with women who had accused him of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.
O'Reilly said Monday that the success of his web series and his latest book, "Killing England," as well as a recent appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program, prompted the Times to declare, "You know, we didn't kill him, so we've got to kill him again."
"So they came back with another bunch of garbage. I talked to them this time just to see the devil that I was dealing with," he said. "And I truly believe that these people at the New York Times are out to hurt people with whom they disagree. They don't want me in the marketplace. That's what this is all about."
O'Reilly said once again that he struck the settlements to protect his children, and that he wants the story "to go away." He plans on defending himself, but only on friendly platforms like Beck's show. On Tuesday, O'Reilly said he'll talk to conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, who will debut in Fox News' primetime lineup next week.
O'Reilly said he spoke to another Fox News personality, Sean Hannity, earlier on Monday.
"We're two Long Island guys, we've known each other for more than 20 years," O'Reilly said of Hannity. "So I was talking to him and you know, I said, 'Look I don't want to go on a tour or on the morning shows. I don't want to do any of this. All right. All I want to do is present what we have, get people to look at what we have, and make up your mind. Make up your own mind about it. That's what I'm trying to do here.'"