Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly blamed "hatred" for causing the death of Fox News founder Roger Ailes in an op-ed that also assails the media for not letting up in its harsh coverage of the conservative news giant.
Ailes died Thursday morning at the age of 77. He was booted from Fox News last summer after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
O'Reilly believes Ailes never recovered from that episode of stemming from a "cloud of suspicion" for which "few sought the comprehensive truth." In his op-ed published by USA Today, O'Reilly, called out some in the left-leaning media who "continued to demean him even on the day of his death."
"We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective. The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters," O'Reilly said.
"Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him. That is the truth," O'Reilly said. "But he would not want to be remembered that way. He did both good and bad in his life and in that, he has something in common with every human being."
O'Reilly celebrated Ailes as a man whose advice benefited the likes of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, but also supported O'Reilly during difficult times.
"When stuff hit the fan, as it will when you are doing daily political commentary in a polarized nation, Roger had my back. Even in the beginning when my ratings were not dominant," O'Reilly said.
"He defended me in public even while sometimes mocking me in private. He was genuine, charismatic, profane, generous and sincere in his beliefs. He could be brutal verbally but if you were straight with him, he would protect you."
O'Reilly said it was a privilege to know Ailes that to say that he "led a full life is a massive understatement."