Apr 20, 2017 Bill O’Reilly departs Fox, having interviewed me three times
Bill O’Reilly is gone from Fox, likely with a golden parachute. The sexual harassment complaints and settlements rolled in, regardless of how true those accusations were or not. He would cut off the microphones of numerous guests with whom he vehemently disagreed. He blasted Sami Al-Arian on air, and soon after the feds prosecuted Sami Al-Arian with a sixth-month terrorism trial with acquitted and hung counts. O’Reilly interviewed me in 2006 about the ACLU’s call not to re-try Dr. Al-Arian, seeing that the ACLU by then refused to go on his show. Before the Factor days, O’Reilly had this spectacular meltdown on Inside Edition that seems almost scripted as self-parody.
O’Reilly interviewed me once on the O’Reilly Factor (following by my first Factor interview in 2003, with John Kasich about First Amendment, protection for strip clubs) and twice before on the Radio Factor about the law applying to adult entertainment. While I am not fond of O’Reilly, none of my lack of fondness arises from his interviews of me, when he always approached me as a complete gentleman, never contentious and never cutting me off, unlike the harsher treatment of plenty other interviewees with whom he disagreed.
O’Reilly wanted to include opinions from those disagreeing with him. I was invited to interview on the O’Reilly Factor a subsequent time, but declined because my opinion was not adverse to O’Reilly’s (I forget the topic).
O’Reilly may have kept his job had advertisers not fled his show. Advertisers likely would not have fled his show had his advertisers not been concerned about consumer backlash. The accumulated feathers of consumers and others can sink the boat.
I shed no tears over O’Reilly’s departure. At the same time, let’s not have a bland nor timid news commentary world. O’Reilly was anything but bland.