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It's Payback Time

Reported by Marie Therese - June 23, 2004 -

Bill Clinton's new book is out. He's the Man of the Hour, lionized by media and fans. He's signed a lot books and given interviews to a wide variety of media outlets, e.g., 60 Minutes, the BBC, Oprah, you name it! Except one.

Fox News Channel.

That's right. Just like Richard Clarke and Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton is shunning Fox News.

On June 22, 2004, during an interview with guest, John Podesta, Clinton's former Chief of Staff, O'Reilly admits he's being sued by Eric Alterman, a fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank headed by Podesta. The reason? In an earlier show O'Reilly referred to Alterman as a "confidante of Fidel Castro", a statement Alterman vehemently denies.

At 8:44 PM ET, after a lively exchange during which Podesta makes little headway against O'Reilly's bloviating, O'Reilly changes tone and literally begs for an interview with Bill Clinton.

O'REILLY: I want to talk to Bill Clinton. Is there any way on this earth that I can talk to him? Would you ask him to come in here, 'cause we've been pretty respectful to him?

PODESTA: Call his staff.

O'REILLY: We have. They said we're on the list. I think we're just below al-Jazeera in line for that interview. Well, why wouldn't he come in and chat with me? Sell a lot of books. Could change some minds. We have by far the biggest audience in cable now. Why wouldn't he come on in? You know cable news. Why wouldn't he come on in?

PODESTA: Well, I think you ought to take that up with him.

O'REILLY: Would you recommend that he come in"

PODESTA: He's out talkin' to - I think he's out talking to millions of American people through the media outlets that he's finding. I think he's doing just fine.

O'REILLY: Yeah, But he's cherrypicking, though.

PODESTA: It depends on whether you'll admit that Eric Alterman isn't a ....(both men laugh)

O'REILLY: ....I was foolin' around there.

PODESTA: Will you admit that he's anti-Castro?

O'REILLY: Sure. Eric, baby, alright, you're anti-Castro, alright. That was a joke, Eric. I'm having a little fun at your expense! Alright, Mr. Podesta, when you see Bill and Hillary, tell them, look, here we are, and we want - ready to believe them. Thank you, sir.

PODESTA: I will do it.

Comment: It's payback, Bill, for all the years you and Fox News savaged the Clintons and their administration.


Liberals (and others) can sell books - lots of books - without the Fox News Channel!