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The sexual harassment controversy surrounding Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly hasn’t hurt his book sales.
Old School: Life in the Sane Lane, his 25th book, debuted at No. 1 on the latest New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list. It also is No. 1 on the Publishers Weekly non-fiction list and No. 2 overall on the USA Today combined list.
The book, debuting amid several sexual harassment allegations against O’Reilly that resurfaced in a New York Times exposé, is presented as a defense of old-school values versus the “snowflakes” who are on “cable TV whining about social injustice and income inequality,” according to O’Reilly. “You may have heard them cheering Bernie Sanders as he suggested the government pay for almost everything.”
The Times reported over the weekend that several women were paid by Fox News and O’Reilly to keep quiet about their allegations, totaling settlements of $13 million. Since then, several advertisers have dropped his show, The O’Reilly Factor, though his ratings appear to be unaffected so far.
O’Reilly also holds the No. 3 spot on the Times‘ hardcover nonfiction list with his Killing the Rising Sun, which focuses on the last years of World War II.
The success of Old School, which was co-written by Vanity Fair contributing editor Bruce Feinstein, is hardly a surprise. O’Reilly has become one of the best-selling nonfiction authors in America. In particular, his Killing series of books (Killing Kennedy, Killing Lincoln, etc.) have consistently landed on the New York Times best-seller list despite some questions about their accuracy. For example, Killing Jesus was the best-selling nonfiction book of 2013 with sales of 1.5 million, despite not being released until the end of September. And that same year, the older Killing Lincoln sold another 225,000 copies and Killing Kennedy 370,000 copies.
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