Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive who was forced out of the network for his mishandling of sexual harassment complaints, has reportedly been tapped by President Donald Trump for a key White House communications role — much to the delight of both Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.
The New York Times first reported Wednesday that Shine was lined up to fill Hope Hicks’ vacant position at the White House. Fox News confirmed that he will take on a senior communications role, but said the specific title is unclear.
Hannity, a Fox News host and passionate Trump supporter, was quick to praise the decision. “If that’s true, I think it would be great because he’s great at his job,” Hannity said. “He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever known and one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.”
Bill O’Reilly concurred, tweeting that Shine’s appointment would be “good for the country” because Shine is “smart and honest.”
If Bill Shine gets the job of White House communications director, that will be good for the country. Shine is smart and honest. But the President has to listen to him!
— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) June 27, 2018
But what connects the three men, apart from their high-profile positions at Fox News, is their involvement with the network’s epidemic of sexual harassment.
O’Reilly was finally outed from the network in 2017 after a pattern of sexual harassment, including regularly propositioning producers and guests for sex. Hannity was also accused of blacklisting a right-wing blogger after she refused to come back to his hotel with him — although Hannity denies the claims, and is still at the network.
Shine was never officially accused of sexual harassment — his outing from the network last year had more to do with his dismissive handling of complaints. He was named in multiple lawsuits, however. According to CNN, former Fox News booker Laurie Luhn said that Shine regularly made travel arrangements for her to see Roger Ailes, the Fox News executive who was a serial sexual harasser.
The New York Times reported that the White House is aware that it will “face blowback” from the decision to appoint Shine. But bearing in mind this administration’s record on sexual harassment, it’s extremely unlikely that the blowback will make much of a difference. After all, Shine could be filling Hicks’ position, who left amid the scandal surrounding her boyfriend, Rob Porter, who was accused of physically assaulting his two ex-wives.