Bill O’Reilly visited The Late Show with David Letterman last night where he argued that “folks decided” he was not guilty of any of the many fabrications he has been accused of – because his ratings went up. But have they stayed up?
Letterman asked O’Reilly if there’s a similarity between his situation and Brian Williams (currently on suspension from NBC News because he was caught exaggerating his Iraq war experiences).
“Only if I did something that wasn’t true,” O’Reilly said. “What I said was accurate.”
He continued, “We had a controversy, and we put forth what my side was, and they put forth what their side was, and folks decided. And it worked out OK for me. I got even more viewers …20% up.”
“Twenty percent up, when people thought you were making stuff up?” Letterman questioned.
“But they didn’t think that because I hit it immediately hard,” O’Reilly claimed, “and I said, ‘Look, this is the facts, this is what happened.’”
In reality, O’Reilly has not settled the controversy. He responded to some degree (without answering many of the questions) to allegations about his coverage of the Falklands war. His response to having claimed to see nuns murdered during the civil war in El Salavador was especially flimsy and he was even criticized by the orders of the victims. His claims about a JFK assassination figure seem conclusively disproven, and O’Reilly refused to respond to the contentions of six of his former news colleagues that an attack by protesters during the Los Angeles riots was vastly overstated.
As for the 20% up figure, I suspect that was short-lived. Later, when discussing the “trust” factor, O’Reilly suggested there had been no permanent upswing in his ratings. Noting that he’s in his 19th season and “15 years at number one,” O’Reilly added, “Our ratings now are as high as they’ve ever been.”
Watch it below, from last night’s Late Show with David Letterman.
Interesting rationale there, but doesn’t pass the smell test.
scooter – you made a very important point.
Was that statement part of your history of “reportage” that you declared 100% accurate?
I’m not a journalist(?) like O’Reilly, but I’m quite sure that neither of those things have anything to do with each other.
How is it that O’Reilly doesn’t know the difference?
It was “accurate” only in the mind of BOR. He worded his previous statements about his work the way he did because he wanted the folks to get the impression that he was a witness to the events that he was supposedly describing. If BOR was truly interested in being “accurate”, he would have worded his statements differently and he would have added qualifiers stating just how it was that he, ahem, SAW those events (which we now know was via photos/video). And we are still waiting for him to explain the phone call recording in which he said he was coming to Florida (the day AFTER the Oswald associate killed himself), right?
What’s even more crazy than BOR’s pretending that he actually was “accurate” is his thinking that he won out/proved his case because his ratings went up during that time period?! Bwaaah! I wish Letterman had explained to BOR just why it is that his ratings temporarily went up…because people who don’t normally watch his show tuned in to watch his head explode/to watch him tell more fibs in an attempt to cover up his previous fibs. BOR, your higher ratings were because everyone wants to look at a train wreck! LOL!
So, in BOR’s twisted mind, good ratings = a quality product, truth and trust?! He is actually crowing that high ratings have vindicated him?! OMG, this guy is so effing delusional! His ego keeps him from seeing reality. BOR’s ratings are like McD’s – just because they sell more burgers than their competitors, it doesn’t mean they offer up a better quality product that is good/healthy for the country.
Sorry, BOR, try to distract us all you want with your claims of vindication via the ratings but the folks now know the truth. You are an embarrassment to your profession and your work* will always have an asterisk beside it.
*Bill O’Reilly, proven liar; known to embellish and fib about his exploits in order to make himself look like the “big dog”; often resorts to playing the victim in order to distract from his own bad behavior; has no compunction about using ad hominem attacks and name calling to to go after those who dare to tell the truth about him.
O’Reilly didn’t talk to reporters at the TV movie’s Monday premiere in New York City, and the conservative political host claims that he often feels that he is the victim of unfair media treatment.
“Not one day has the media been fair to me,” O’Reilly protests. “Look, I’m the big dog here, we make a lot of money, we have a lot of power. A lot of people don’t like the fact that Fox News has the highest rated cable network in the world. So, how do you get to Fox News? You come after me. So this is what I have to deal with.”
Sure enough, O’Reilly was LYING about that too.
Let’s just say, on average, his viewership was 10 people, a 20% jump would mean 12 people watched. The reality is, there was (On average) a 15% jump for the week following the controversy, after that, he went back to his normal viewership, which, is, to be honest, fairly good, but it still doesn’t come close to network news, or even reruns of Sponge Bob.
The timing was perfect for you and Fox. It came in a ratings month sweep period. For those of you who don’t know a ratings sweep month is how advertising rates are set. I don’t know if it has changed over the years but I do know it was four months that this practice has been used in the months of February, May, July and November. For many years networks would have their mini-series during this period like Roots, but no longer because of the cost and competition from over 100 channels instead of two or three, and it’s also why the Super Bowl was moved from January.
Enjoy your imaginary victory lap and financial rewards.
Are you saying Wrestling’s NOT real? You mean all these years I’ve been believing it was real, since there ratings were better than TNT, and now you accuse them of not being real? I guess we’ll see how real they are after WrestleMania’s ratings come out!
Are you belittling one of the first “reality” TV shows in Amurica? Think of all the Duck Dynasty viewers dreams you’ve just crushed!
You two need to be more sensitive to the dullards that Bill calls his “viewers!”