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Bill O'Reilly Announces He's Going on Vacation Amid Sexual Harassment Controversy

It's not his first conveniently-timed vacation

Malcolm Venable

Is Bill O'Reilly getting out of Dodge until a sexual harassment controversy blows over?

Fox News' pugnacious pundit didn't expressly link his almost two-week vacation to a recent media furor, but you have to admit, the pre-planned vacation he told viewers about during the The O'Reilly Factorbroadcast Tuesday is certainly coming at a convenient time for a getaway. Hey, sometimes a timeshare window just can't be moved, you know?

O'Reilly, who is expected to return to the air April 24, has been deep in a media firestorm after a New York Times story earlier this month reported that Fox News shelled out some $13 million to settle sexual harassment claims against him from five women.

Bill O'Reilly at the center of another Fox News sexual harassment scandal

While O'Reilly has stood firm in denying the allegations, calling himself "a target for those who would harm me and my employer," subsequent weeks saw more than half of its advertisers, including Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai, pulling out after the show was renewed.

Ratings, however, have actually increased -- the 3.9 million viewers in this year's first quarter bested the 3.3 million viewers the show got for the entirety of 2016 -- a sure sign that everyone has confidence that if he goes away for a while, everything will be back to normal soon enough.

"We all need R&R," he told viewers. "Put it to good use."

And he definitely knows how: He took a vacation last year when he was mentioned in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Hey, sometimes offices are stressful!