According to Fox News’ opinionated TV personality Bill O’Reilly, he’s a gift to any television show that will have him, and Jon Stewart — often his biggest critic — is “culturally important.”
The “O’Reilly Factor” host appeared on Howard Kurtz’s “Media Buzz” to talk about his new book, “Killing Patton,” and ended up talking about how he’s beaten the “mainstream media” that tried to “destroy” him.
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“It’s about success. I bring ratings to those shows,” O’Reilly said in the interview (above). “When I go on Letterman or I go on the morning shows, their ratings go up. That’s why they have me on.
“At first they tried to destroy me — they being the mainstream media,” he added. “They couldn’t. They failed. I’ve been here 18 years, so they’re kind of giving that up. I can be a benefit to them, because the ratings can go up.”
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The mainstream media O’Reilly is referring to is likely any network that’s not Fox News, however, the latter is consistently the highest-rated cable news network on television. In fact, the network topped every other basic cable network in the third quarter of this year, so it’s hard to argue that O’Reilly is not a member of the mainstream media.
If O’Reilly’s ratings analysis is accurate, his frequent sparring partner, Jon Stewart, can look forward to “The Daily Show” seeing a boost in viewership when O’Reilly stops by on Wednesday.
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When Kurtz brought up the Comedy Central icon, who NBC reportedly wanted to replace David Gregory on “Meet the Press, O’Reilly was quick to point out Kurtz was “overestimating his importance” as a social critic, but admitted that Stewart is “important,” nonetheless.
“I think Stewart is a very, very smart man who is marketing himself to an extremely liberal audience… Does he believe everything he says? No. Is he primarily a comedian? Yes. Are you a pinhead if you believe what he says? Absolutely you are,” O’Reilly said. “I don’t diminish him as a culture figure. He is not a journalist figure, but culturally, he’s very important.”