Bill O’Reilly was profiled on 60 Minutes tonight. If you were hoping for any serious scrutiny of O’Reilly’s role in the system we call news in America, you’ll be sorely disappointed. There were no questions about his demonization of Dr. George Tiller, for example, who was later assassinated, no questions about the ambush interviews that are little more than an excuse for demeaning and denigrating people O'Reilly wants to pick on and no questions about his role in the GOP PR machine that’s otherwise known as Fox News. Nonetheless, the clips are worth watching for some behind-the-scenes glimpses of O’Reilly, especially his own comment at the end of the on-air clip, in which he describes himself as a “big thug” earning millions for it.
The pretext for the profile was the release of O’Reilly’s new book called “Killing Jesus.” As News Hounds readers know, O’Reilly said it was divinely inspired. There are plenty of tidbits about the book in the interview: O’Reilly’s process of working with his co-author (who does the lion’s share of the work), what he has learned about Jesus that O’Reilly didn’t already know and how he has become, in interviewer Norah O’Donnell’s words, a “publishing powerhouse.”
But what interested me the most were O’Reilly’s off-the-cuff remarks that prove he’s a deliberate bully. In the interview, O’Reilly agreed with O’Donnell that his book is intentionally sensationalist. “If you want a mass market presentation, you have to get attention,” he said. Elsewhere, O’Donnell noted how carefully O’Reilly scripts every moment of his TV show. “I think I’m the only national anchorman that writes his own stuff, all, and I write the promos, too,” he told her.
Then, near the end, in a discussion about his misbehavior as a kid in Catholic school, O’Reilly said, “I was a little thug and now I’m gettin’ paid millions of dollars for being a big thug.”
So there’s no doubt – in case you had any – that while O’Reilly uses sensationalized titles and subjects to get mass market attention for his books, he exploits his own thuggishness to get that mass market attention on the air.
2/11/2020 Update: The original video is no longer working and I could not find the entire interview online. Below is the part of the interview in which O'Reilly talks about getting paid to be a thug.
“I imagine Junior’s Dear Old Dad was the neighborhod Ogre back in the 50s & 60s…”
Naturally Jan. Mark my words: there is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO WAY Junior would have gotten into an elite and private high school like Chaminade (located on Long Island in Mineola, NY) if it wasn’t for his VERY WELL-OFF AND WELL-CONNECTED father. I should know — like Junior, I also grew up on Long Island — and mark my words: Chaminade always has been and always will be ONE OF THE TOUGHEST private high schools to get into.
He’s all about the money and fame that he gains and if it means being a thug/using sensationalism to get it, so be it. Why take the route of sincere, authentic discourse when the tacky, boorish and over-hyped method gives him the wealth and power that he clearly feels that he must have in order to prove himself worthy. Okay, BOR, fine, sell your soul and any ounce of integrity that you have in order to be famous and rich. But what gets me is that you are willing to attack others (Dr. Tiller, Alan Colmes, etc.) for the sake of sensationalism just to increase your ratings and your bank account. For appearance sake, you may look the part of a wealthy, influential pundit but, in reality, you’re just a shallow, little man.
“They were taking me out of context on all the arrogant, hateful, smug, bullying, stuff that CBS edited to make me look like that.”
“See how the Lib media twists my words to make me look like a thug. They wouldn’t say that to my face in my own studio…those pinheads wouldn’t have the guts!”
Just a couple thoughts that are going through Bill’s head today!
Spot on, AAP. Bullies are cowards by definition.
The guy is just so full of shit it’s unbelievable. And to think millions of Americans watch him to get their view of the world. No wonder the country’s so fucked up.
This is why I NEVER watch Fox “News.”