Donald Trump’s appearance on Wednesday’s “O’Reilly Factor” netted a neat ratings victory for Fox News, despite Trump insisting he will not attend the upcoming GOP debte hosted by Fox News
3.8 million viewers tuned in for Wednesday’s broadcast, with 642,000 coming from the adults 25-54 demographic. That represents a 16 percent increase from the same night last week for O’Reilly in total viewers and a 24 percent increase in the demo.
Trump’s appearance also boosted “O’Reilly” to becoming the top telecast in basic cable in total viewers for Wednesday night.
Trump used the network to complain about its treatment of him, while O’Reilly lectured the candidate right back.
“In your Christian faith there’s a very significant tenet, and that’s the tenet of forgiveness,” O’Reilly said. “I think you should forgive not only journalists who come at you in ways you don’t like but you should be the bigger man … Don’t you think that’s the right thing to do?”
“It probably is,” Trump conceded, but added: “It’s called an eye for an eye also, you could look at it that way…”
The GOP frontrunner tweeted Wednesday of Fox News’ tongue-in-cheek statement released Tuesday, “It was the childishly written & taunting PR statement by Fox that made me not do the debate, more so than lightweight reporter” Megyn Kelly.
Trump polled his Twitter followers Tuesday about whether he should take part in the debate, given his issues with Kelly, one of the debate’s moderators. (He has taken several shots at her since she grilled him in an August debate on his past statements about women.)
The primetime Republican debate airs live Thursday at 9 p.m./10c on Fox News Channel. The first debate starts at 7/8c.