CNN Leads Charge To Defund ‘The O’Reilly Factor’

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Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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CNN has worked to put pressure on the advertisers of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” while host Bill O’Reilly faces allegations of sexual harassment, but claims the ads are being pulled “organically.”

CNN media reporter Tom Kludt said Monday that he has “reached out to more than 20 ‘Factor’ advertisers and, aside from Mercedes-Benz, most provided vague responses, or indicated that its ads on the program were placed there via a blanket package.”

That same day CNN host Don Lemon dedicated the first 30 minutes of the 11 pm hour of his show to cover the O’Reilly sexual harassment allegations, which were first reported by The New York Times over the weekend.

As of Wednesday, a growing list of 36 advertisers have announced they won’t be placing ads on O’Reilly’s show. CNN media reporter Dylan Byers went on CNN’s “The Lead” Tuesday and said these companies “very much are organically pulling their ads.”

“Very often in cases like this you do see outside pressure from liberal watchdog organizations sort of forcing advertisers’ hands. That’s not the case here,” Byers added.

Neither Byers nor Kludt immediately responded to an inquiry about whether any of these advertisers pulled their advertisements before being contacted by CNN.

A story from Kludt shows he has contacted many of the 36 advertisers that have pulled their ads so far from “The O’Reilly Factor.” A Fox spokesman said Tuesday that these ads are now being airing during other Fox News programming.