Pat Robertson — long-time televangelist who founded the Christian Broadcasting Network and former presidential candidate — weighed in Monday night on the recent allegations of sexual harassment levied against Fox News Network’s Eric Bolling.
Defending Bolling, Robertson suggested that a liberal conspiracy was at the heart of those bringing such allegations against those at Fox News.
Robertson bolstered his defense of Bolling and Fox with comments that he’s “not a conspiracy theorist,” and noted that there is a way to destroy a company in a clandestine way.
“If you wanted to destroy the Fox News, you really wanted to destroy them, what would you do?” Robertson asked. “Well you would send some salacious material, ostensibly from one of their popular co-hosts or hosts and you’d send it out and then get it publicized and then you have some woman complain that she had gotten this salacious material from this co-host and then she would come to Fox, and Fox is so averse to any kind of legal action that they would immediately take the person off the air, so before long you would have decimated the prime time line up of all the Fox hosts. Easy to do? Absolutely. Is it being done? Probably.”
Robertson continued, “The latest attack is against a guy named Eric Bolling, who I think is a straight arrow. He was on this program, he’s a dedicated Catholic, goes to mass every day, very nice man. They’ve pulled him off the air because someone sent some pictures ostensibly over his name.”
Robertson then compared the treatment of Bolling to that of Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes.
“[T]hey got rid of O’Reilly who was the top getting of audience, the most popular host they had, of course they got rid of Roger Ailes the architect who put it all together,” Robertson mused. “It’s so easy to do now. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but it’s so easy to see what’s being done. I think it’s a terrible shame. Fox had better sync up, gird up their loins; people are going after them. Anybody can send a salacious piece of literature.”
As for who Robertson believed was at the heart of the scandal, the televangelist had some ideas.
“It came from Sean Hannity, it came from anyone,” he offered. “Totally bogus.”
Bolling himself made a public statement on Monday defending himself from the allegations of sexual harassment.
On Twitter, Bolling wrote, “Overwhelmed by all the support I have received. Thank you I look forward to clearing my name asap.”
The accusations were confirmed to the Huffington Post by 14 past and current Fox News employees, and were followed upon by corroboration from a former Fox News guest who made similar accusations against Bolling.
Bolling’s lawyer had previously released a statement threatening to sue false reports, but it didn’t make clear what portion of the report he was denying.
“Mr. Bolling recalls no such inappropriate communications,” the statement read, “does not believe he sent any such communications, and will vigorously pursue his legal remedies for any false and defamatory accusations that are made.”
The Trump-supporting host of “The Specialists” was then suspended by Fox News as they investigate the matter.
Occidental College associate professor Caroline Heldman posted on Facebook that she had experienced what she claimed were questionable interactions with Bolling.
“Bolling would also contact me via phone and text after shows,” Heldman alleged, “sometimes to apologize for his behavior (and then do it again), and sometimes just to talk. He said he wanted to fly me out to New York for in-studio hits and to have ‘fun.’ He asked me to have meals with him on several occasions, but I found excuses not to go.”
“Once, he took me up to his office in New York,” she continued, “showed me his baseball jerseys, and in the brief time I was there, let me know that his office was his favorite place to have sex. I know other women have had similar experiences with Bolling, which means that lots of folks at Fox knew about his behavior well before 2017.”