Gabriel Sherman explains how the epic confrontation between Bill O’Reilly and George Will is emblematic of the “Game of Thrones s***” power struggle going on behind the scenes at Fox News.
In New York Magazine, Sherman writes about the O’Reilly/Will confrontation which arose from a scathing Washington Post column by Will about O’Reilly’s latest book, Killing Reagan. According to Sherman, O'Reilly and Will represent two warring factions at Fox, "news" and prime-time:
Inside Fox, the O’Reilly-Will feud is being closely studied by executives because it is part of a larger power struggle that’s taking place at the highest reaches of the organization. On opposing sides of the fault line are [Mike] Clemente, who oversees news (where Will works), and executive vice-president Bill Shine, who oversees prime-time shows (where O’Reilly works). Clemente and Shine are vying to replace Ailes and are such bitter rivals that they barely speak, numerous Fox employees say. In August 2014, the rivalry intensified when Ailes put Shine in charge of the Fox Business Network. “This is some Game of Thrones shit,” one insider told me. The relationship is so bad that Clemente is not involved at all in preparing for the upcoming GOP debate on Fox Business.
Shine’s loyalists tell me that Clemente did not confer with Shine about Will’s anti-O’Reilly column before it was published. Furthermore, they’re furious at Clemente for not stopping Will from embarrassing Fox’s highest-rated host in the pages of the Post…
Clemente did not comment, but his camp is firing back off the record. “Almost everyone is on team George,” one said. “Everyone is snickering and thinks it's a riot.” Another told me that O’Reilly’s Killing series is considered something of a joke inside the network. “He certainly doesn’t research his books,” one executive said.
Roger Ailes’ position “remains unclear,” Sherman wrote. He also said there’s a rumor that Will has another column about O’Reilly in the works.
The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur has an interesting theory, which you can learn about below, as to why O'Reilly would write a book claiming that Reagan was terribly impaired after being shot early in his presidency..
One thing for sure is that BOR keeps acting like he’s the winner of all the rounds of this fight with Will but I’m not so sure the folks agree with him. In his last statement to his viewers about Will, it seemed that all BOR had to throw out there was that Will was “jealous” of him. Frankly, I thought the whole “jealous” rant came off as really childish but that’s our boy, BillO. But I did think it was rather telling how BOR didn’t address Will’s latest volley* in which he stated that BOR/Dugard were finally looking for the smokin’ gun memo – at the Reagan Library despite the fact that the memo has never ever been there. LOL!
*this is written from what I saw on The Factor last night. BOR might have addressed the accusation on tonight’s show.
It’s all about the Benjamins.
One side just makes shit up and the other side just…
Now, just what is it they’re arguing about?