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In a jarring interview this week, the First TV host Bill O’Reilly, formerly with Fox News, took shots at both his former employer and former President Donald Trump.
In his defense, the shots appeared to be motivated by a desire to see both do better. Still, some of the two’s supporters — particularly those of the former president — may not appreciate O’Reilly’s willingness to level what he thought was constructive criticism at them.
Regarding Trump, he was asked by NewsNation Now host Dan Abrams a series of questions about his ongoing “History Tour” with the former president.
One of those questions pertained to the former president’s continued claims that he won the 2020 presidential election. Abrams basically asked whether O’Reilly has ever sought to fact-check the president and steer him in what he feels is the right direction.
O’Reilly replied that he has.
Listen from around the 7:00 minute mark below:
“He asked me my opinion, and I told him that [relitigating the election] was a loser. And I told him he should run on his record if he wants to go for another term. That’s exactly what I told him. He asked me, and that’s exactly what I told him,” he said.
Abrams seemed unconvinced.
“Do you challenge him though when he says this again and again? Do you say, come on! Stop, stop! Where is the evidence?”
O’Reilly responded that there’s no point in challenging the former president because once he makes up his mind on something, that’s that.
“I don’t waste time on that. He’s entitled to his opinion. I don’t want to waste the two hours I have with him on that. If I say, well, where’s your evidence, he’s going to come up with 15 things I can’t possibly verify, so he’s entitled to his opinion. He doesn’t believe that the election was honest. Obviously, history will go against him,” he said.
Instead, O’Reilly continued, he prefers focusing on the future, which he believes will involve Trump running for reelection in 2024, assuming the Jan. 6th House committee isn’t able to somehow prevent him from doing so.
“This is the ‘History Tour,’ and I’m advancing the narrative, and the narrative is he definitely is going to run again unless there’s an unforeseen circumstance. That’s what the Jan. 6th House committee is all about. They want to take them off the board so he can’t run again. That’s what this is all about,” the former Fox News host said.
Trump’s die-hard supporters would likely definitely agree with O’Reilly’s assertion about the committee.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 5, 2021
During the same interview Tuesday, the former Fox News host was also asked about his former employer. He was asked specifically whether his former show, which was known for its fierce debates, could still “exist at Fox News today.”
He replied by suggesting that without him, Fox News has become an echo chamber.
“Well sure, because I brought in millions and millions of viewers and billions of dollars to that corporation for more than 20 years. Look, there’ll never be another cable news anchor who’s number one for 16 consecutive years. It’s a different world now. It’s–everything is fractured now,” he said.
“But if went back to any network and reimposed The O’Reilly Factor where we brought on people to debate from all sides and we presented evidence as best we could backed up by facts, that show would go through the roof. But it’s easy to play to the choir and that’s what they’re all doing now. That’s easy. It’s hard to debate and especially when you bring bright people in.”
Listen from the 21:50 minute mark below:
It’s true that ever since notorious left-winger Juan Williams stepped down from Fox News’ “The Five,” there haven’t as many headlines about debates so fierce that the opponents started shouting at one another.
But this isn’t to say debates aren’t ongoing at Fox News. They are, and more often than not these days, they involve Geraldo Rivera:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 23, 2021
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 27, 2021
O’Reilly was also asked about the Jan. 6th committee’s latest findings that several Fox News host had texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 6th to beg him to tell the then-president to put an end to the rioting.
While arguing that the riot was “one of the most disgraceful displays in U.S. history” and admitting that his former colleagues were trying to do “what’s best for the country,” he said he personally wouldn’t have intervened like that because of journalistic ethics.
“I wouldn’t have done it myself. I would have asked the question, say, are you guys going to make a statement. What are you going to do? Looks like things are out of control. I don’t think I would have advocated. That’s not what journalists do,” he said.
He did, however, defend his former colleagues from Abrams’ dubious assertion that they’ve been downplaying the Jan. 6th riot. Abrams believes that them drawing attention to the Democrats’ glaring hypocrisy counts as them making light of the Jan. 6th riot.
“I never heard Hannity do that,” O’Reilly bluntly said, nipping the NewsNation Now host’s argument in the bud.
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