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Tag: bill oreilly

VIDEO: Watch Bill O’Reilly Irritate Trump With One Hard Question

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Donald Trump, the former president, gave a lengthy interview to Bill O'Reilly, telling the former Fox News host, "I think in the end I will be judged not necessarily for controversy but because of what we did."

O'Reilly had asked Trump, "How does it feel to be the most controversial president in history?"

Trump bristled at the question, refusing to agree to the accusation.

"I don't think I'm the most controversial," he insisted, unable to offer a name for which president was more controversial than he.

"I don't know, but I don't think I'm – look I did a good job. I did, I think a great job," he claimed, despite leaving office with a 34% approval rating, 400,000 Americans on January 20 dead from a pandemic he refused to control, and unemployment far higher than when he took office.

Instead, Trump touted his "biggest tax cuts in history," which is a false.

"If I didn't come up with a vaccine," Trump claimed, taking total credit for the coronavirus vaccine (there are 3 currently approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization), despite one of the three having been developed without any government assistance.

"Somebody said the other day," Trump claimed they were a historian, "they don't know of any president that's done more," he claimed, not naming the historian or saying what he did was constructive or destructive.

"I think in the end I will be judged not necessarily for controversy but because of what we did."

"They'll know what you did," O'Reilly said.

Trump's family business and its CFO are currently facing a "15-count indictment alleging criminal tax fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records," which he denounces, along with the Manhattan DA prosecuting the case, earlier in the clip.

Watch (relevant segment starts at 3:13):

What Bill O’Reilly (And Roger Ailes) Should Have Learned From A Mirror

Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.  

A familiar kind of madness too often follows: Delusions of ratings-induced grandeur accompanied by the unmoderated sexual fantasies of 13-year-old boys. Unmoderated, that is, by that greatest of all male civilizing agents: fear of the laughter of beautiful women.

Soon enough, though, fame and money no longer suffice. Our hero takes to embroidering upon his personal myth. He transforms a comfortable suburban childhood into a Dickensian life of hardscrabble poverty. He begins fantasizing about athletic feats and martial glory. A successful Little League career becomes NCAA stardom; observing a distant war from a TV studio metamorphoses into a harrowing stint as a war correspondent.

But who cares? Because Bill O’Reilly is a gifted bullshit artist [faker], with a unique ability to embody the enthusiasms and resentments of his audience, the ratings and the money keep coming. It definitely takes a certain genius. Slate’s Justin Peters nailed it: “As a host, O’Reilly alternately channeled Mike Francesa, Mike Wallace, Krusty the Clown, and everyone’s blowhard Uncle Frank.”

 A “War on Christmas,” for heaven’s sake. This in a country where it’s impossible to venture into a public space after Thanksgiving without hearing a Muzak rendition of O Little Child of Bethlehem.

You could even call it a Horatio O’Reilly tale, as in Horatio Alger. But then came the women. Let The Daily Beast’s Pete Dexter and Jeff Nale deliver the punch line of the year: “O’Reilly became a very important man at Fox News, and this he took to heart. His show reached number one of cable news shows, and Mr. O started letting his penis do the thinking. It is not a smart penis.”

Putting aside the question of whether such a thing exists, the star began to act like an eighth grader prank-dialing the head cheerleader—talking dirty while emitting slapping and grunting noises suggestive of masturbation. In 2004, a Fox News producer named Andrea Mackris, whose “big boobs” he much admired, tape-recorded one of these calls and played it for Fox News lawyers.

They gave her a reported $9 million to go away.

Now me, I’d be reluctant to appear in public, much less on cable-TV after taking such a pratfall, but then I’m not star material. Also, my only direct encounter with sexual harassment came as a victim, rather than a perp.

Long ago and far away, I had an academic superior who delighted in telling people at parties and receptions how I’d stood out among a rabble of otherwise undistinguished job applicants as a “hunk.” That is, my dashing good looks had gotten me the job. He particularly enjoyed narrating this tale in front of my “cute little wife”—as he invariably described her.

I never really thought it was about sex. I’m far too conventional and unimaginative to be mistaken for gay. Also, these humiliations always occurred in quasi-public settings. There was no physical intimidation. I was a rugby player in those days. Unlike a woman, I didn’t need to fear being cornered.

But I also knew that to complain would result in my being portrayed as crazy, homophobic, or both. (New England academia was way ahead of the cultural curve.) Also that my tormentor had many powerful allies, while I was expendable. So I did what women have always done: I found another job and quit before I got fired.

Without resorting to amateur psychoanalysis, I ended up thinking it had been all about power. Something about me irked my antagonist—maybe my boring conventionality and cute little wife—and he got off on making me squirm.

But here’s the thing: I never took him seriously.

See, that’s an unacknowledged aspect of the whole Fox News Dirty Old Man saga that nobody talks about. For all their power and notoriety, O’Reilly and recently deposed Fox Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes are 67 and 76 years of age, respectively. Sure, money can buy you love. All you need to do is look at President and Mrs. Trump to know that’s true.

But there’s a limit. Granted the Fox News brand depends on old duffers in Barca-Loungers looking up women’s skirts and calling it news. But for a guy like Ailes, who looks like something that lives under a bridge in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, to be putting moves on women like former Miss America Gretchen Carlson or Megyn Kelly strikes me as less offensive than comical.

They’re out of your league, old man. Always were.

O’Reilly’s latest quasi-book is called Old School. It ought to be called Middle School. There he is, an aging adolescent with thinning hair making naughty phone calls, cornering women in elevators, calling the African-American secretary “Hot Chocolate” and grunting at her…

For heaven’s sake, O’Reilly, deal with reality and show some dignity.

Can’t you see they’re laughing at you?

IMAGE: Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly on the set of his show “The O’Reilly Factor” in New York March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Danziger: If The Shoe Fits

Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from theWall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. Represented by the Washington Post Writers Group, he is a recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army as a linguist and intelligence officer in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. Danziger has published ten books of cartoons and a novel about the Vietnam War. He was born in New York City, and now lives in Manhattan and Vermont. A video of the artist at work can be viewed here.

Diehard O’Reilly Fans Are Boycotting Fox News For Letting The Embattled Host Go

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Following a steady stream of sexual harassment lawsuits, Fox News revealed Wednesday that Bill O’Reilly would not be returning to “The O’Reilly Factor” after his vacation ends later this month.

Due to his longstanding reputation as the king of cable news, the bombshell announcement has left loyal viewers infuriated. O’Reilly ‘Factor’ fans are even “threatening to boycott Fox News as a form of protest,” announced Young Turks guest commentator Hannah Cranston on Thursday.

Fans have now “taken their concerns to Facebook [though] Fox News’ Facebook hasn’t actually addressed the issue yet,” Cranston noted, before reading some of her favorites.

“Sorry, but as a [woman], I know far [too] well what the thought of dollars does to some and face it, men with cash and position will get hit, so get the facts, admit [you’re] wrong, take him back, or sink into the sh*thole CNN is in. Y’all deserve each other,” one respondent advised.

“I wonder if [she] really thought she is pro-women, or is she like, no, women are terrible, I know because as a woman I know there’s a lot of money-grubbing people out there,” “Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur wondered in response.

He connected the sentiment with that of many women he’s interviewed on the campaign trail who were vehemently opposed to Hillary Clinton for one specific reason.

“There were women saying, we can’t have a woman president, that is dangerous,” Uygur pointed out. Therefore, the woman who posted on Facebook “might either be like, ‘yea, that’s awesome, men are better than us’ or she might actually think that she is a champion of women and other women are just looking for cash.”

Watch:

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

How Bill O’Reilly Defined The On-Air Jerk Culture At Fox News

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

“He seems to be kind of a pathological guy.” Bill O’Reilly biographer Marvin Kitman.

Fox News should have fired Bill O’Reilly a long time ago.

Clearly, O’Reilly should have been ousted over his years-long reported pattern of sexual harassment, which the network spent years enabling and covering up until it was forced to take action this week.

But O’Reilly also deserved to be booted from his lofty prime-time perch for shredding any semblance of ethics in journalism.

I’m thinking specifically about two years ago, when O’Reilly was caught fabricating his resume by claiming to be have been a war correspondent who had a courageous knack for popping up at dangerous hot spots around the world where he witnessed killings firsthand.

Remember? He supposedly risked it all during the Falklands War in a “war zone.” He watched as those four American churchwomen were gunned down in El Salvador in 1981. And he nearly got killed by bricks while covering the bloody 1992 L.A. riots, and witnessed first hand the trauma of an urban civil war in Northern Ireland.

Or something.

Turns out those life-threatening “combat” claims were made up.

Like a modern-day Walter Mitty, O’Reilly just concocted the tall tales in order to make his life seem more compelling and make himself seem more accomplished. It seems the closest O’Reilly ever came to combat duty was filing dispatches from the channel’s never-ending War on Christmas.

The 2015 controversy represented a humiliating and very public undressing. But Fox News didn’t seem to care, and neither did O’Reilly. (He even lied that the media firestorm had boosted his ratings.)

“In a way, it’s impossible to win a debate with O’Reilly because he is not bound by reality,” noted Mother Jones’ David Corn, who broke the story about O’Reilly’s fabrications.

And that’s been the secure bubble O’Reilly built for himself at Fox: He wasn’t bound by reality and neither were his producers or viewers, which meant all bets were off.

In 2011, Glenn Beck lost his highly rated show on Fox when advertisers fled after he called President Barack Obama a racist. That was a big deal because it pulled back the curtain of invincibility and showed that the cable news ratings giant was susceptible to online activism; that boundaries of acceptable behavior could, occasionally, be applied to Fox.

Then last summer, Fox founder and architect Roger Ailes was fired after numerous women reported that the Fox chief had harassed them.

Neither of those sackings compare to the media bombshell that went off when O’Reilly, the most-watched and highest-paid man in cable television news, was fired this week. O’Reilly’s unceremonious sacking is, hands down, the most important personnel move in Fox’s 21 years on the air.

And that’s because, in addition to being part of a seemingly systemic culture of sexual harassment at the network, O’Reilly shaped the Fox News persona. O’Reilly’s bitter, bullying, and self-pitying DNA is the same DNA that defined the channel’s jerk culture for two decades.

Yes, O’Reilly’s a liar and a nativist and a bully (to guests and staffers) who has polluted the public dialoguewithout remorse. But what also defined O’Reilly, and what helped define Fox News for much of the last 20 years, was an ingrained sense of self-aggrandizement coupled with bottomless victimization. That became Fox’s hallmark pathology, suggesting that (wealthy) white middle-aged Christian men in America face an obstacle course full of cultural and political barriers that make life unbearable.

It’s a feel-bad fantasy that revolves around the idea that powerful and often-unseen forces are working against Everyday Joes. And O’Reilly has led that gloomy parade as a kind of Eeyore figure, constantly bemoaning the state of affairs and most often blaming others, usually the less powerful.

That’s been O’Reilly’s M.O.: self-puffery fueled by narcissism and self-pity, coupled with a deeply flawed view of his own abilities. And that’s basically been the Fox News on-air model for two decades: Be brash, make stuff up, tell guests to shut up, and smear people.

And it worked. Propelled by the impeachment of Bill Clinton, followed by the Florida recount in 2000 and the relentless on-air flag waving of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, O’Reilly’s ratings at Fox News soared as he and his cohorts both delivered an openly partisan take on the news and morphed into the marketing wing of the Republican Party.

O’Reilly patented the jerk model and forged a connection with his angry viewers to the point where they didn’t care, for instance, if he fabricated his resume and lied to them about his “combat” reporting from years past.

He was a jerk. But he was their Irish, Long Island-born jerk. The one who told his aging white viewers that together they could stand at the barricades of cultural and political change.

“In a business where there are a lot of reprehensible people, he stood out as particularly dishonest, obnoxious, self-centered,” is how one former colleague described working with O’Reilly.

He was a “pompous jerk,” added Rory O’Connor, who went to high school with O’Reilly and then worked with him at Channel 5 in Boston. O’Connor told Boston magazine that O’Reilly “was despised in the newsroom —  but he didn’t care.”

Marvin Kitman, who interviewed O’Reilly more than two dozen times for the biography he wrote about the broadcaster, told Media Matters in a 2015 interview, “He’s a pretty lousy human being.”

But don’t take their word for it. Take it from the man who gave O’Reilly his Fox News perch, Roger Ailes:

I said Bill, you’re authentic. You’re an authentic prick. It’s just not on the air. Like, you’re a prick to your staff, you’re a prick to management. You’re a prick to your family. You’re authentic. You’re actually a prick. And that has allowed you to become very successful.

But it allowed him to become successful only because Fox News embraced O’Reilly’s persona and built a cable channel around it. And then it spent years looking the other way and enabling its top-rated host despite numerous incidents of reported harassment — because he made the network money.

Today, Fox is belatedly trying to clean house. But the culture runs deep.

 

Kennedy Leaves Trump And O’Reilly In The Stardust

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep…

WASHINGTON — John F. Kennedy spoke this passage of Robert Frost’s New England poetry often in speeches, capturing a snowy evening on horseback. The point was not to dwell on his state of Massachusetts.

It was a sure way of saying to people that he’d keep his promises. One made in his first White House spring: to land a man on the moon “before this decade is out,” the 1960s. Kennedy would not live to see his vision happen on a summer’s day in 1969. Yet the promise was kept, poetically. His 100th birthday comes in May. Could the time chord be any more bittersweet?

Thoughts of Kennedy hang heavy, given a president who publicly promises an “armada” steaming one way, when in fact our aircraft carrier and other ships were headed the other direction. Who knows what the world must think of us.

President Trump’s churlish ways were clear from the campaign — remember his vulgar words about women? “Carnage” was not a nice word in an inaugural address, especially compared with “Ask not what your country can do for you…” The broken promise to release his tax returns stings like a jellyfish in April. And he said NATO is obsolete — then again, it’s not.

Less than a lifetime ago, it was a pleasure to hear a president speak. (Barack Obama’s prose could soar, too.) Now Trump has murdered presidential truth and promises with less than 100 days in office. The American circus is on its final farewell tour, but who needs Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey when we have the meanest clown in town and country?

In Boston, Kennedy looms large as the city prepares for the centennial celebration. Here, the Kennedy Center is already alive with anticipation; the postage stamp is out.

Born the second son in 1917 to Rose and Joseph Kennedy, the boy’s grandfather was mayor of Boston. He grew to have a sharp intellect, a Pulitzer Prize, and a cool temperament that might have rather taught as a history professor. But the first son, Joe, died in the sky on a World War II mission. In the ferociously competitive clan, Jack was elected president, first in his father’s eyes.

It does make you wonder how we survived a thousand days of the Kennedy presidency with no tweets trumpeted in the darkness before the dawn. Our president also offers running commentary on popular culture, like this gem: “I don’t think Bill (O’Reilly) did anything wrong.” Wrong again.

Enormously popular with Trump voters, the cable show host was just fired by Fox News for mounting millions of dollars in lawsuits by several women who presented evidence of sexual harassment.

Trump spoke as if he’s an expert on harassment — maybe so.

The pictures were too perfect, the day O’Reilly was fired, of the sneering, brash 67-year-old standing in St. Peter’s Square, hanging with Pope Francis. The pope’s stardust provided the ideal time and place to confess.

For me, O’Reilly’s firing was second only to the Women’s March as a bright spot during the dreary winter of Trump’s days. I speak for many in saying this is vindication for the women who told truths, forming a pattern.

His public shaming will act as a serious deterrent, becoming a larger victory for all women in the workplace. The advertisers who fled the show touched the stone heart of the company. But the owners, the Murdoch father and two sons, did the right thing. O’Reilly’s poison has left the well, and the sneer has left the foxhole.

(I know, I know. Tucker Carlson, tapped to replace O’Reilly, wears a first-class sneer.)

A word of advice to gruff billy goat Trump, 70, and pal Bill. Go back to graceful Jack Kennedy, who charted courses for the country, but never combed gray hair. Self-deprecating wit is the secret sauce to disarming people. Try it sometime. Though it might be easier for these men to land on the moon.

Yet it works wonders. Asked how he became a war hero, Kennedy said with brio, “It’s easy. They sank my boat.”

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

On The Firing Of Bill O’Reilly: What Is Gone, And What Is Not

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

It’s official: Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. What exactly does that change? What stays the same?

On April 1, The New York Times wrote that O’Reilly and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’ parent company, have paid out at least $13 million in settlements with five women reporting sexual harassment by O’Reilly. After weeks of relentless activism from progressive organizers including Media Matters, of advertisers pulling their ads from the O’Reilly Factor time slot, of more courageous women coming forward to share their own reports of misconduct by O’Reilly, of hundreds of sexual violence survivors asking Fox to do better, O’Reilly has been deemed too toxic for Fox.

O’Reilly’s smug on-camera demeanor, his attacks on women for speaking up, and his attempts to blacklist media outlets that reported on his sexual harassment settlements as far back as 2004 will be diminished if not gone for good. The lies he tells about women’s bodies and the blame he lays squarely at women’s feet every night will be silenced, at least for now.

But what happens to the company, and the culture, that allowed him to thrive for so long? O’Reilly abused the power he was given by Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Bill Shine, and Jack Abernethy. These are the same men who greenlighted a sham investigation into the workplace culture at Fox News, who oversaw decades of mistreatment of women employees, and who profited when O’Reilly and his peers (including replacement Tucker Carlson) launched racist and sexist attacks on their shows.

Only one of those men is no longer in the picture, because he, too, abused the power he had to harass women. The rest remain, and thus it also remains to be seen if Fox News will actually change for the women it employs.

What’s more, the way women move through the world won’t change because of O’Reilly’s firing. The statisticswon’t change with the downfall of one man.

One in three women between the ages of 18 and 34 has been sexually harassed at work.

More than 90 percent of women who work in tipped wage positions in restaurants have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

About 70 percent of women who experience workplace sexual harassment do not report it, for fear of retaliation.

Our culture won’t change this quickly either. The pain of countless women lingers in O’Reilly’s wake.

Bill O’Reilly won’t be around every night to remind me — and, I’m sure, countless others — of the men who have hurt and violated us in the past. But the president of the United States will be; in fact, he’s come to O’Reilly’s defense.

Image at top created by Sarah Wasko.