Bill O’Reilly said last night that he is “queasy” about how a spate of (conservative) books rely on anonymous sources. He didn’t name the books, the authors or even the topics but it’s almost certain O’Reilly is referring to this summer’s trio of anti-Hillary books. O’Reilly’s announcement, which he put in the form of a question to guest Bernard Goldberg, also suggests that he’s getting pressure from his right flank to promote the books.
O’Reilly’s book talk came near the end of a discussion with Fox News contributor and media critic Bernard Goldberg. The two conservatives spent most of the segment noting the press' complaints about being banned from a White House moon landing celebration. Fear not, mainstream media haters. Goldberg also announced that this is merely a blip and not “evidence” that the press is “finally getting tough on Barack Obama.”
But at four minutes in, O’Reilly said he needed Goldberg’s advice.
O’REILLY: There’s a bunch of books around that are harsh toward various people. And the books are built on anonymous sources. …I have said no to the books – not that I disagree with the books, not that I think the books aren’t accurate. I’ve read some of the books. But I just feel queasy putting authors on who come in and say pretty terrible things about people – both on the left and the right – but they don’t have backup for it. And you can make a lot of money doing that. So am I wrong for not featuring those books?
Goldberg said he “totally” agrees with that decision. He said he was asked to write a blurb “for one of those books” and declined. Some of the allegations “would be “blockbuster news” if true, Goldberg acknowledged. “But I don’t know if they’re true. I feel real uneasy about that stuff.”
It’s a safe guess O’Reilly and Goldberg were talking about the recently-released books by Edward Klein and Daniel Halper as well as the soon-to-be-released book by Ronald Kessler, all of which contain or reportedly contain salacious and scandal-mongering attacks on the Clintons via anonymous sources. Klein and Halper have already gotten friendly platforms to promote their books. There’s little doubt Kessler will, too.
But don’t look for him or either of the other two on The O’Reilly Factor.
O’REILLY: There’s a lot of money to be made …because the books sell anyway. But I just feel uneasy about it. So we’ve got a policy now, if the book is primarily anonymous sources – no matter what it is – we’re not gonna do it.
O'Reilly's tentative, almost apologetic phrasing reveals the pressure he feels - either internally, externally or both - not to take this stand.
Good for him for taking it anyway.
Surprised at O’Loofah with this stand, since “Some people say” is what passes for fact-checking on Faux.