Bill OReilly commentator

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Bill O'Reilly

William James "Bill" O'Reilly, Jr. (born September 10 1949 in New York, NY) is the host of a American cable television opinion program, The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. He also hosts a radio program syndicated by Westwood One (called The Radio Factor), has authored five best-selling books (one of which is a novel), and writes a syndicated newspaper column.

O'Reilly describes himself as a moderate with a confrontational demeanor, but many feel he is solidly conservative in his views. His political leanings and style of interview are frequent causes of controversy in various media outlets worldwide.

Personal background

Private life

O'Reilly was born in New York, New York to Irish Catholic parents William and Angela O'Reilly, from Brooklyn and Bergen County, New Jersey respectively. His father was initially a book-keeper, then an accountant and his mother was a homemaker. He and his family moved to the Levittown deveolpment in the suburb of Westbury, New York when he was a toddler.

After graduating from Chaminade High School in 1967, O'Reilly attended Marist College, a small, co-educational private school in Poughkeepsie, New York. While at Marist, the 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) O'Reilly played quarterback, place kicker, and punter on the football team, and also was a columnist and features writer for the school's newspaper, The Circle. [1] As an honors student majoring in history, he spent his junior year of college abroad, attending Queen Mary College at the University of London. [2] He also played semi-professional baseball during this time as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Monarchs, leading him to try out to play for the Mets. O'Reilly received his Bachelor of Arts in 1971.

O'Reilly married Maureen McPhilmy, a public relations executive, in 1995. They have one daughter, Madeline, born in 1998, and a son, Spencer, born in 2003. Since approximately 2001, O'Reilly has not discussed his family publicly due to security concerns, including past death threats. According to a recent interview in Newsday, O'Reilly has had to hire bodyguards and is very sensitive about the general public taking pictures of him, calling them "stealth papparazzi." O'Reilly forbids any photographs of his home or family to be made public.

Broadcasting career

After graduating from Marist, Bill O'Reilly moved to Miami, Florida, where he taught English and history at a Jesuit high school for two years. After leaving Miami, O'Reilly returned to school, earning a Masters in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University in 1976. While attending BU, he was a reporter and columnist for various local newspapers and alternative news weeklies, including the Boston Phoenix. O'Reilly did his broadcast journalism internship in Miami during this time, and was also an entertainment writer and movie reviewer for the Miami Herald.

O'Reilly's early television news career included reporting and anchoring positions at WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he also reported the weather. At WFAA-TV in Dallas, Texas, O'Reilly was awarded the Dallas Press Club Award for excellence in investigative reporting. Then it was off to KMGH-TV in Denver, Colorado where he won an Emmy for his coverage of a skyjacking. O'Reilly also worked in Portland, Oregon, Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston. [3] In 1980, he anchored his own program on WCBS-TV in New York where he won his second Emmy for an investigation of corrupt city marshals. He was promoted to the network as a CBS News correspondent and covered the wars in the Falkland Islands and El Salvador from his base in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1982). In 1986, O'Reilly joined ABC News as a correspondent on ABC World News Tonight. In three years, he appeared on the show over one hundred times, receiving two National Headliner Awards for excellence in reporting.

In 1989, O'Reilly joined the nationally syndicated Inside Edition, a current affairs television program (called "infotainment" by critics). He started as senior correspondent and backup anchor for British journalist David Frost, but soon took over the anchor chair when the viewers found him more appealing. In addition to being one of the first broadcasters to cover the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, O'Reilly also obtained the first exclusive interview with murderer Joel Steinberg and was the first national anchor on the scene of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

In 1995, O'Reilly left Inside Edition to enroll at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he received a Master's Degree in Public Administration. Upon leaving Harvard, Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of the then startup FOX News Channel, hired O'Reilly to anchor The O'Reilly Report, which aired weeknights. The nascent channel's most popular show was renamed to The O'Reilly Factor when it moved to a later time slot in 1998 since the host was the main "factor" of the show.

The O'Reilly Factor

Main article: The O'Reilly Factor

O'Reilly's television show The O'Reilly Factor discusses political and social issues of the day with guests from a broad political spectrum. Some of the most influential politicians in America have been interviewed by O'Reilly on The Factor, including President George W. Bush, who has nicknamed O'Reilly "Big O" (Though Bush has also been known to call Paul O'Neill this) and more recently "Factor."

Like many shows of its genre, notable among them Hardball with Chris Matthews and Tim Russert's programs, confrontation is a key ingredient to the show's successful formula, which often features fast-paced, aggressive verbal sparring between O'Reilly and his guests. O'Reilly's combative challenges to what he sees as inconsistencies and weaknesses in his guest's arguments lead to frequent interruptions, with him refusing to listen to what he calls "spin" or what he believes to be disingenuous answers. While some dislike O'Reilly's interviewing style and persona, he has also attracted a loyal following of viewers who enjoy his style of presentation, as well as his self-described confrontational interviews. O'Reilly bills his show as a "no spin zone," frequently declaring that "the spin stops here," though many of his guests and viewers dispute this. [4]

Unlike most cable news shows, "The Factor" is not live, but rather is taped and edited. This has given rise by some who have appeared on the show to claim that they have been treated unfairly, or that O'Reilly routinely edits the show to make him come out better on camera than his verbal sparring opponents. In turn, O'Reilly rarely discusses the production of the show itself. He claims that he is happy to invite back any guest that feels he was not given a fair shake or enough time.

The Factor is a tightly structured show, with each episode consisting of approximately six segments. It begins with a segment called "Talking Points" in which O'Reilly gives an editorial monologue on an issue of the day. The next few segments feature guests who discuss various issues with O'Reilly, broadly catagorized under segment titles such as "Top Story", "Back of the Book", "Personal Story", "Impact Segment", and "Factor Investigation". Sometimes segments feature only one guest, while other times they may feature several. The final segment featured is entitled "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day".

O'Reilly typically ends each episode by reading viewer e-mail. The letters typically alternate between agreement and disagreement, and he especially delights in reading back-to-back letters that accuse him of being alternately too liberal or too conservative. The final letter is typically slightly silly, and will sometimes allow him to segue to a plug for his website, promoting his themed product line called "Factor Gear." He has stated that all of his products are made in America. Supporters state that the benefits of the sales are "donated to charity." It is not clear whether all proceeds are donated or whether the donation is of "profits" as defined by the merchandise operation.

He occasionally has longer segments, more in the nature of truly expository interviews than of his famous confrontations. In those segments, he has talked civilly with guests as diverse as Rosie O'Donnell and Clint Eastwood.

In 2001, The O'Reilly Factor passed Larry King Live to become the most watched cable news program in the United States. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, O'Reilly was honored by The National Academy of Arts and Sciences for his coverage and analysis of the events. He has also received praise from viewers and readers, most notably his being named the third most popular U.S. television personality of 2003 in a Harris Poll, behind Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman. [5] He led the voting among people over age 65, as well as Republicans. In 2004, readers of Men's Journal named him their third favorite news personality, behind Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings and ahead of Dan Rather and Katie Couric. [6]

In 2004, O'Reilly signed a contract extension with the Fox News Channel that bumped his salary from $4 million to $10 million a year. That same year, he was accused by a former producer of sexual harassment. The case was settled out of court.

According to an interview with Newsday [7], O'Reilly will retire when his contract expires in 2007.

Personal Politics

O'Reilly disagrees vehemently with the common belief that he is a conservative, preferring to call himself a traditionalist and a populist. In his book The O'Reilly Factor, he describes his political affiliation this way: "You might be wondering if whether I'm conservative, liberal, libertarian, or exactly what... See, I don't want to fit any of those labels, because I believe that the truth doesn't have labels. When I see corruption, I try to expose it. When I see exploitation, I try to fight it. That's my political position."

Such statements have drawn the ire of media watchdog groups, such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and Media Matters for America, that feel that his opinion is overwhelmingly conservative or, more specifically, Republican. In 2003, FAIR published a book compiling their record of his factual inaccuracies up to that point, titled The "Oh Really?" Factor. O'Reilly refers to people who frequent these outlets as 'kool-aid drinkers', trying to discredit anybody who has a viewpoint with which he disagrees.

"I've always been an independent," he says. "I always split my ticket. I vote for the person I think is best."

However, O'Reilly has acknowledged that from 1994 until December 2000, he was registered to vote as a Republican. He changed his voter registration from Republican to independent just as the Washington Post was preparing a story on his party affiliation. Now a registered independent, O'Reilly has said his previous affiliation was the result of a clerical mistake, and that no box for 'independent' was available on the registration form. [8] [9] [10] The actual form[11]has since been widely published, showing an option for those who 'do not wish to enroll in party' did indeed exist, and that the Republican option was checked. O'Reilly now claims that someone else checked "Republican" on his voting record.

Liberal critics claim that O'Reilly has close ties to the Republican Party and other conservative groups. O'Reilly's keynote speech at David Horowitz's conservative "Restoration Weekend" event, taking place at the Republican convention in Philadelphia, is occasionally brought up in support of this argument. However, O'Reilly claims that some of these appearances were inadvertent on his part, such as when Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Shays asked him to speak at a charity benefit in Greenwich, Connecticut without telling him that it was for a Republican-backed cause.

As a Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has controversially said that the U.S. should consider assassinating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if he fails to help the United States with the war in Iraq. He also caused controversy by stating in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks that if Libya's Muammar Qaddafi did not relinquish power, "we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mine the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand."

On the Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 edition of the O'Reilly Factor Bill O'Reilly endorsed Republican candidate Doug Forrester for governor of New Jersey only a week ahead of the 2005 New Jersey Gubernatorial Election, suggesting that Jon Corzine would not be as tough on child molestors. O'Reilly's opinion apparently did not sway the voters of New Jersey who soundly rejected Forrester in favor of Corzine.

Campaigns and recurring themes

Over the years, there have been some ongoing issues highlighted in O'Reilly's print and broadcast work.

Condemning Gangsta Rap

In addition to his battle against Ludacris (detailed below), Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z were also named as artists targeted in O'Reilly's campaign against 'gangsta rap', which he feels is actively glorifying crime and deplorable behavior to inner-city youth. Snoop Dogg was edited out of a Jim Henson Muppets special after O'Reilly complained. Jay-Z was targeted for his promotional "principal for a day" concert in which he paid visits to inner-city schools. Jadakiss and Kanye West were also named in O'Reilly campaign. Jadakiss was labeled a "smear merchant" over comments from a song in which he implied that President George W. Bush was somewhat to blame for the September 11, 2001 attacks.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina rapper Kanye West spoke out against President Bush, accusing him of not caring about blacks. O'Reilly called West's comments dishonest and malicious, and planned to rally a boycott on the NFL and Pepsi to drop the rapper. An unsuccessful boycott was leveled against Reebok for its endorsement of 50 Cent and his G-Unit Sneakers (the company publicly stood by its choice.)

Claims of liberal bias in the mainstream press

It is O'Reilly's unabashed view that The New York Times and others in the media exercise a distinct liberal bias in reporting the news. For these outlets, he alleges, "undermining the Bush administration's war on terror is priority number one". [12] He also feels that they are aloof and out of touch with mainstream American values.

"Most Americans don't want to hear their country's a bad place every two minutes. Most Americans don't sympathize with terrorists. Most Americans feel the Abu Ghraib story was overplayed and they don't want a homosexual agenda taught in public schools. Most Americans don't think religion is bad. They don't like the ACLU and they want illegal immigration brought under control. So it's obvious that most Americans are not in sync with the big liberal media, which, you'll remember, went big for John Kerry. -- Look who's sitting in the White House." - The O'Reilly Factor, 9/5/05 [13]

Critics have argued that O'Reilly exercises a conservative bias. O'Reilly defends his position as that of a news analyst offering a traditionalist commentary in line with "the folks." He often glosses over the fact that those columnists he criticizes are also "news analysts," thereby opening up O'Reilly to charges of hypocrisy that neither he nor his fans have been willing or able to come to terms with. Recently, his criticism of specific columnists has resulted in occasional back-and-forth debates [14] between his television program and their columns.

O'Reilly has also been critical of CBC. The Canadian network aired what he felt was an unflattering report about him. He responded by saying the CBC's news coverage was not real journalism and that CBC was "state-run media." Although CBC does receive funding from the Canadian government, the government does not control what they report.

Citizen boycott of French goods

In March 2003, O'Reilly called for a boycott of French products and services sold in the United States due to President Jacques Chirac's stance on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The boycott is focused on high-profile French products such as cheese, wine, cosmetics, and bottled water, in addition to French-owned companies conducting business in the U.S., such as Air France.

On April 27, 2004, O'Reilly said on The Factor that the Paris Business Review stated that France had lost "billions of dollars" as a result of his boycott. Subsequent investigations by various groups, including watchdog organization, Media Matters, showed that there is no publication of that name in France.[15] O'Reilly has since stated that he got the information from a publication by a different name, which he did not disclose.

Opposing the American Civil Liberties Union

O'Reilly consistently targets the American Civil Liberties Union for its role in controversial lawsuits involving free-speech, Government secrecy and religious expression. O'Reilly states that the ACLU is 'the most dangerous organization in America', giving special attention to a handful of cases:

  • The ACLU's ongoing legal aid for NAMBLA, a group dedicated to legalizing sex with minors and whose members have been linked to various child molestations and murders. According to a press release[16]from the organization, its interest in the case was strictly in its relation to the first amendment, and that "the defense of freedom of speech is most critical when the message is one most people find repulsive." O'Reilly countered that the specific free speech involved "instruct[ed] adults on how to rape children and get away with it."
  • The group's insistence that the Government release more photographs depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. O'Reilly feels that these requests seek to specifically humiliate the Bush administration, and could incite more international backlash against the United States.
  • In the winter of 2004, he launched an extensive campaign to 'take back Christmas' from groups such as the ACLU, who he claims are seeking to secularize the holiday season in American society.

O'Reilly continues to spotlight controversial cases taken on by the American Civil Liberties Union, which his detractors accuse him of simplifying. He frequently promotes the Thomas More Law Center[17] a Christian-leaning organization that often counters the ACLU's efforts.

Highly publicized disputes

With Al Franken

O'Reilly's most well-known dispute is with liberal comedian and political commentator Al Franken. This dispute reached its peak in 2003, when Franken published a book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, featuring an unflattering photograph of O'Reilly on the cover and a full chapter about him (entitled "Bill O'Reilly: Lying, Splotchy Bully") within the book itself. They later sparred over some of Franken's assertions on live television, via a C-Span broadcast of a book-sellers' convention where they were both promoting their most recent efforts. Following this dispute, the Fox News Channel sued Franken and his publisher over the use of the trademarked phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the book's title. O'Reilly has said on numerous occasions that he was not responsible for the suit, though he was not shy about voicing his approval of it. The media frenzy surrounding the lawsuit, which was dismissed after both sides gave their oral arguments, brought Franken and his book a great deal of publicity. In dismissing the case the judge described Fox's case as "totally without merit."

The two have continued to antagonize one another less directly: O'Reilly refuses to refer to Franken by name, instead calling him "Stuart Smalley," a character he played on Saturday Night Live. Franken initially titled his Air America Radio show The O'Franken Factor, later expressing disappointment that it did not result in another lawsuit.

With Ludacris

As part of his continuing criticism of gangsta rap music, O'Reilly accused Ludacris and Pepsi, who employed the rapper to advertise their cola, of targeting young people with inappropriate material. O'Reilly called for a boycott of Pepsi. Pepsi stopped the Ludacris advertisements, but Ludacris and some supporters, including Russell Simmons, accused Pepsi of racism and called for an African American boycott of Pepsi. O'Reilly later claimed victory for himself and Factor viewers for putting pressure on Pepsi to stop the Ludacris advertisements, however he later denied he had any involvement with the boycott. Pepsi replaced Ludacris as spokesman with heavy-metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, to which O'Reilly has so far offered no complaint. Ludacris later rallied a boycott against O'Reilly, referring to him as a 'racist' and referencing his high-profile sexual harrassment case (see below) on a few songs.

With Bill Moyers

The former PBS host was commonly critized on 'The Factor' for his openly declared liberal viewpoint, referred to by O'Reilly as 'classic socialism'.[18] O'Reilly also accused Moyers of pocketing video sales from his taxpayer-supported programs; Moyers has replied to the latter accusation, defending what he calls a 'minuscule' share of the distribution profits.[19] O'Reilly also questioned the validity of a duPont-Columbia Award received by Moyers, saying his contributions to the Columbia School of Journalism may have impacted the vote; Moyers countered that the school does not decide the award's recipients.

Criticism of Moyers has continued on O'Reilly's program even into the veteran broadcaster's retirement. Speaking at a journalism conference in May 2005, Moyers mentioned O'Reilly and stated that "I should put my detractors on notice: They might just compel me out of the rocking chair and back into the anchor chair." [20]

With Jeremy Glick

In a highly-publicized incident, Jeremy Glick, whose father was killed in the 9/11 attacks, was invited onto The O'Reilly Factor to discuss his having signed an anti-war advertisement [21], the "Not In Our Name" statement [22]. The interview was acrimonious in tone from the beginning, with Glick accusing the host of misrepresenting his position but also repeatedly implying that the people responsible for the attacks were trained by George H.W. Bush when he was head of the CIA, and O'Reilly stating that his guest was "mouthing a far left position that is a marginal position in this society" and that he "[didn't] really care what [Glick] think[s]." At the interview's end, O'Reilly asked for Glick's microphone to be cut off while the guest was still talking, but you could hear Glick ask if they were done as the commercial fade came up.[23]. After the broadcast concluded, O'Reilly was overheard telling Glick to "get out of here before I tear you to f---ing pieces!"

O'Reilly later defended his behavior, claiming that Glick accused President Bush and his father of being "directly responsible" for the September 11 attacks. [24] Glick had accused President George H. W. Bush of playing a part in the terrorist attacks as a result of the U.S. government's training of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and other militant groups. George Bush resigned as Director of Central Intelligence in 1977, and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The incident has been referenced by O'Reilly on several occasions since, and was featured in Outfoxed, a documentary critical of Fox News.

With Cindy Sheehan

Over a year after her son Casey died, grieving mother turned anti-Iraq War activist Cindy Sheehan began a protest outside of Crawford, Texas, where President George W. Bush was spending time at his Prairie Chapel Ranch. O'Reilly at first accused Sheehan of being "politically manipulated" by film director Michael Moore and other liberal groups because of their financing of the protest and because Sheehan had formerly described how much she admired President Bush and his sympathy for the death of her son. It has subsequently been clarified that this was not the intent[25] of Sheehan. After Matt Drudge's report on her previous encounter with President Bush, he alleged that her primary concern was "embarrassing the president." [26] He showed a videoclip of one of Sheehan 's speeches where she stated: "America has been killing people, like my sister over here said, since we first stepped on this continent. And we have been responsible for death and destruction. It's OK for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it's — Yeah, and it's OK for Iraq to occupy -- I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it's not OK for Syria to be in Lebanon. They're a bunch of f---ing hypocrites. And we need to... We just need to rise up." Sheehan subsequently refused to appear on O'Reilly's show, calling The O'Reilly Factor "an obscenity to the truth and an obscenity to humanity."[27]. Since then O'Reilly has continued to comment on Cindy Sheehan stating on August 16, 2005: "So it's obvious Cindy Sheehan has become a political player, whose primary concern is embarrassing the president. She is no longer just a protester. I don't think she ever has been, by the way." [28]. In an interview with Phil Donahue on September 23, 2005, O'Reilly referred to Cindy Sheehan as "clueless". [29]

With John McCain

On 26 July 2005, O'Reilly received Senator John McCain on his program to discuss the issue of border security. The subject then moved to the campaign McCain is leading to impose legal restrictions on prisoner abuse by US military officers during interrogations. McCain, who has spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, told O'Reilly that "Don't think that you get anything out of torture, Bill, because you don't. And I know that for a fact." In what is often quoted by critics as one of the worst O'Reilly moments, Bill O'Reilly disputed McCain's claims, saying "But I think that coerced interrogation, the Bagram guys tell me it works. It's just a matter of degree." [30]

Public controversies

Sexual harassment suit

On October 13, 2004, O'Reilly sued former O'Reilly Factor producer Andrea Mackris for what he claimed was a politically motivated extortion attempt against him. He also sued her lawyer, Benedict P. Morelli, and Morelli's law firm for the same reason.[31] O'Reilly's lawsuit contended that Mackris had privately demanded more than $60 million (USD) to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit she was planning on filing against O'Reilly, Fox News, and Westwood One in court. A few hours after O'Reilly's lawsuit was filed, Mackris filed her own against O'Reilly for allegedly making sexually inappropriate comments to her and attempting to engage in phone sex.[32]

On October 19, Mackris filed an amended complaint, adding what she claimed were further details of O'Reilly's alleged sexual harassment. In addition to noting that O'Reilly had issued no formal denials, the complaint described actions allegedly taken against her by Fox and O'Reilly for the purpose of retaliation for filing her original complaint, and asked for additional damages. Fox News contended that Mackris was still on their payroll at the time her lawsuit was amended, and that she had not shown up for work for over two weeks and had stated she was not going to return at any point. They also moved to obtain the court's permission to fire Mackris without it appearing that they were retaliating, which would be illegal according to sexual harassment statutes.

Quoted directly from Andrea Mackris's Verified Complaint filed on October 13, 2004 to the Supreme Court of the State of New York:

[D]uring the course of their dinner in early May 2002, Defendant BILL O'REILLY's demeanor abruptly changed. O'REILLY's eyes became glazed and bizarrely strayed in opposite directions. Suddenly, without provocation or warning, Defendant BILL O'REILLY said to Plaintiff ANDREA MACKRIS: "And just use your vibrator to blow off steam." When Plaintiff reddened, Defendant BILL O'REILLY asked lewdly: "What, you've got a vibrator, don't you? Every girl does." When Plaintiff replied indignantly, "No, and no, they don't. Does your wife?" Defendant replied: "Yes, in fact she does. She'd kill me if she knew I was telling you!" Plaintiff was repulsed. [33]

O'Reilly settled the case on October 28, 2004 before it ever reached the court. As part of the settlement, both parties stated publicly that no wrong had been done by O'Reilly or Mackris, and that the terms of the settlement would remain private. [34] Both parties are to never speak about the incident on the record. One consequence of the settlement is that O'Reilly must have a "minder", or third party, in person when he is being interviewed in person or on the telephone. [35]

Statements about being in combat

Bill O'Reilly has stated on a number of occassions that he's "been in combat." [36]. Once, in a column for the NY Daily News [37] and at least twice on his show [38][39] On one occasion, a viewer called in to ask if O'Reilly had ever served in the military and he said no. Critics have accused his statements about having "been in combat" as being deceitful, by falsely implying that he's served in the military. He has also been caught on air talking about being with "my [his] unit," undeniably implying that he has been a part of the military.

Regarding his background

Bill O'Reilly has long noted his working-class roots as his inspiration for speaking up for average Americans, or what he calls 'the folks'. He often points to his boyhood home in lower-middle-class Levittown, New York as a credential. This has been the subject of much debate.

Al Franken, the Washington Post, and others have asserted that O'Reilly did not grow up in Levittown, but instead in a more affluent neighboring village, Westbury. The source the Post used for their assertion was O'Reilly's mother, who at the time a profile of O'Reilly was published in 2000 still lived in O'Reilly's boyhood home.[40] Defenders of O'Reilly often state that Levittown was in reference to the mass construction of homes and the instant communities produced by the developers, and was not necessarily related to jurisdictional boundaries.[41] In response to these charges, O'Reilly provided the deed to the house, showing a postal address in Levittown. However, in many cities, city limits do not coincide with postal boundaries, and to protect his mother's privacy, the full street address was not disclosed. O'Reilly has also alleged that the Washington Post misquoted his mother. [42]

Apology to the nation

Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America on 18 March, 2003, O'Reilly made the following promise: "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation, and I will not trust the Bush administration again."

In another appearance on the same program on 10 February 2004, O'Reilly responded to repeated requests for him to honor his pledge: "My analysis was wrong and I'm sorry. I was wrong. I'm not pleased about it at all." With regard to never again trusting the Bush administration, he has said, "I am much more skeptical of the Bush administration now than I was at that time." He continues to support U.S. invasion of Iraq stating that the weapons of mass destruction were not the primary reasons for the invasions. However on Comedy Central's, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, he called the lack of weapons of mass destruction "a left wing lie." and later on the Factor agreed with claims that they were moved to bordering nations. He continues to also support U.S. efforts in Iraq however he remains critical of how the Bush administration is handling it. He believes the U.S. is relying too much on Iraqi support, that may or may not become significant enough to win the war, and is critical of the administration's failure to secure Iraqi borders.

On John Kerry

After the 2004 presidential election senator John Kerry insinuated that Fox News had openly campaigned against him. Bill O'Reilly responded to this on his radio show, saying, "Yeah, Senator, with all due respect, you're a sissy. Get the kids health insurance, I'm with you -- you're a sissy."

On San Francisco

On November 8, 2005, the voters of San Francisco approved Proposition I, a ballot measure that declared the city's opposition to "the federal government's use of public schools to recruit students for service in the military." In response, O'Reilly said on his radio show that federal anti-terror funds should be withheld from the city, declaring that "If Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, 'look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.'"

Several San Franciscan leaders immediately fired back at O'Reilly. San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly told local newstation CBS 5 that he is taking action against O’Reilly by introducing a resolution demanding that Fox News executives fire the conservative host. "I was outraged," Daly said. “To green light terrorist attacks and violence shows a lot of hate, not a lot of humanity. It's un-American." Daly says that San Francisco firefighters are livid over O’Reilly’s remarks because Coit Tower was built as a monument to their profession. "To choose that target, given the context of bravery of New York firefighters on Sept. 11th, is a doubly harsh message from Bill O’Reilly,” Daly said. Mayor Gavin Newsom says the proposition does not mean that people in San Francisco are anti-military. He says that people just have concerns about what he calls predatory recruiting.


Books by O'Reilly

  • Those Who Trespass: A Novel of Murder and Television (1998), ISBN 0963124684 (note: contains graphic scenes of sex, violence, and deviant behavior - drawing in part from the lives of celebrities during his "Inside Edition" years)
  • The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life (2000), ISBN 0767905288
  • The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America (2001), ISBN 0767908481
  • Who's Looking Out for You (2003), ISBN 0767913795
  • The O'Reilly Factor for Kids: A Survival Guide for America's Families (2004), ISBN 0060544244


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External links


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