Bill O’Reilly was the interviewee rather than interviewer on Tuesday when he visited David Letterman on CBS’s the “Late Show” Tuesday and was quizzed about Brian Williams‘ fabricated story controversy.
“We have a sport in the United States called ‘lets destroy the famous person,’ and that’s what happened to him,” the Fox News Channel anchor told Letterman.
“I think the NBC should bring him back. I think they will bring him back.”
The late-night host then compared Williams’ six-month suspension from NBC News for exaggerating a story of being on a helicopter shot down by RPG fire in Iraq in 2003 to criticism of O’Reilly’s 1982 Falklands War claims.
“When this came out, people said that Bill O’Reilly himself might have said things that were exaggerated and untruths and they had to go back 30 years … 38 years to the Falklands War,” Letterman said. “Was there a difference?”
“Only if I did something that wasn’t true, and what I did was accurate so we had a controversy there,” O’Reilly said. “I 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,” he said, revealing that ratings went “20 percent up.”
When asked if he ever fibbed on the air, he replied: “What I do is analysis, so it never comes down to that.”
“Trust is the residue of both positions,” Letterman said, comparing the two anchors. “So people must trust you to the same degree that they trust Brian Williams.”
“I’ve been on the air for 19 seasons now, 15 years at number one, our ratings are now as high as they have ever been — so I think they do trust me,” he said.
“The Late Show With David Letterman” airs nightly on CBS at 11.35 p.m.