O’Reilly’s Ouster is Another Good Reason to Switch Off the TV

Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. If you happen to be one of “The O’Reilly Factor’s” 3.5 million or so nightly viewers, his departure is probably a real bummer of a letdown – especially if you think O’Reilly was the victim of a George Soros-funded left-wing campaign to topple the cable news network’s top ratings earner.

And if you happen to hate “Faux News,” then the development must have been cause for some celebration. (Although, forgive me for saying so, but if your day is made by the defenestration of a media personality, maybe you should rethink some life choices.)

align=”left” Whether or not the allegations are true, this much is certain: O’Reilly was terrible.

The rest of America was too busy Instagramming and tweeting and Snapchatting to pay the news much mind. That’s a different facet of the same problem: We’re drowning in an ocean of entertainment and information with little wisdom to be found.

It’s a remarkable fact that CNN and MSNBC practically gave O’Reilly’s ouster wall-to-wall coverage on Wednesday. O’Reilly was undone by allegations of serial sexual harassment. The payouts and settlements with his purported victims totaled somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 million. O’Reilly, in a statement on Wednesday, said the claims against him are “completely unfounded.”

Whether or not the allegations are true, this much is certain: O’Reilly was terrible.

 My sense always was that O’Reilly’s idea of an argument derived from Monty Python’s “argument clinic” sketch, except with more shouting.

My octogenarian parents were fans, but I couldn’t tolerate more than a few minutes of his shtick. O’Reilly lost me early on when my former boss, now Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn, was a guest on the program. Arnn is often great on radio and TV, but with O’Reilly he could hardly get a word in edgewise.

Oh, he was terribly successful, too. O’Reilly was earning $18 million a year with the network. His “Killing” series of pop history books were huge best-sellers even though they were badly researched.

Moreover, even though he wasn’t an ideologue, his “no-spin” pretensions wore thin quickly. What is “no spin” if not spin? Still, he tapped into the nation’s populist zeitgeist long before Donald Trump seized the political moment.

But did anyone come away from O’Reilly’s program – or just about any cable news chat show, for that matter – better informed or edified on any subject of importance in a way that stuck? Who remembers anything but the shouting? And what were they shouting about anyway?

Read the rest at The Sacramento Bee.


About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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15 responses to “O’Reilly’s Ouster is Another Good Reason to Switch Off the TV”

  1. Cut the cable cord entirely four or five years ago, one of the better decisions of my life. There’s way more than enough Internet-based video content to keep anyone busy for more hours of the day than should be spent watching it.

    • I expect to be joining you soon. I think even Sig Hansen will be retiring from crab fishing, so I will be left with nothing but reruns!

  2. I liked and still like O’Reilly…shouting comment was unnecessary, saw it a few times..but it was called for..and yes, he put several people in their place…

  3. Yup – I don’t know anyone under 60 who cares. I cut the cable a long time ago. Watching short clips of Tucker Carlson let ridiculous people make fools of themselves is better “infotainment.”

  4. The Factor was never about wisdom and even information was only secondary relative to its primary function: entertainment. It was not alone in being one of the main reasons why I never regreted not owning a TV.

  5. What are you thinking!!!! I am devasted that both Ailes and now O’Reilly are gone. They were Fox News. Oh, I know O’Reilly could be obnoxious. He claimed he was creating “drama.” Whatever. But I do believe he made a real effort to present matters rationally. When he came to conclusions, he explained why. I tried to listen to the first part of his program every night I could — even waiting for the 11:00 pm repeat to hear what he had to say. The whole reason I have cable at home and Sirius in the car is to listen to Fox News and Fox Business (Maria & Stuart are favorites). But now it is clear that the Evil Murdock Brothers are liberals who intend to remake Fox News in their own image. They are insulated from real life by hordes of money and a huge company, of which Fox News & its sister station are only a minor part. So where does one turn to for news??? MSNBC is a joke; CNN has never found an identity, other than skirmishing with Fox News; and the regular stations are all tied into the Democratic party by virtue of their inclination and relatives, for pete’s sake. So where do we turn to for news now??? There is no longer any American news source I actually trust.

    • Well, the, I guess you can trust your lying eyes instead.

  6. Bill O’Reilly is an iconic media figure, with numerous loyal supporters. Their loyalty for his incisive analysis, and love of country, blinds most of them to a harsh reality–he has, truly, been guilty of repeated, unwelcome sexual advances. As an attorney with knowledge of “how these things actually work”, I felt terribly let down in 2004 due to BO’s settlement of the Andrea Mackris sex harassment lawsuit. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/oreilly-settles-sex-harass-suit/

    She and her attorney claimed they had tapes of inappropriate advances, innuendos, and invitations. The dispute captured the world’s attention, and BO’s attorneys brought a motion to compel production of the tapes. AND THEN, WHILE CLAIMING “BILL IS INNOCENT” AND SHE’S AN EXTORTIONIST”, THEY-PAID-HER-PRICE and settled her lawsuit (and dismissed their own for “extortion”) for M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S. I knew, then, that she had “the smoking gun” evidence and that Bill was compelled to buy her silence of be revealed as a sexual predator.

    Now, “when these deals go down”, what the guilty defendant gets is TOTAL FREEDOM FROM RISK OF BEING “OUTED”. He can (and BO did) say “she was evil”, “she was an extortioner”, “I had to do this for my family”. The “practice and procedure” is well known: IF YOU PAY THE VICTIM’S PRICE, YOU CAN “SPIN” (and, boy, did he spin) THIS ANY WAY YOU WANT. And he did. If you are innocent, YOU GO TO TRIAL or settle for “chump change”–he did neither. He “bought his peace” with big bucks; proving “they had him on tape”. Case closed; dispute settled; he was allowed to say pretty much what he wanted to justify himself to his fans.

    But the truth was, by paying the millions demanded, he proved he was, indeed, guilty. And so, in 2004, I stopped listening to his cogent, passionate insights and analysis and found more honorable pundits.

    • The difference is “feet of clay” are a source of pride on the left and will get you at least a professorship and maybe a major role in the Democratic party.

      • Or the Oval Office – perhaps that major role in the DEM party .

      • After all, it “was just sex,” right? Then there was that female charmer of a newsperson, Nina Burleigh, of the now failed Newsweek magazine, who said with evident pride “I would be happy to give him [former Pres. Wm. Jefferson Blythe Clinton] a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nina_Burleigh As has been said b/4, if leftists didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

    • I’m sorry, did you just say the following two things in the same post:

      As an attorney with knowledge of “how these things actually work”, I…

      by paying the millions demanded, he proved he was, indeed, guilty

      Huh? You’re an attorney presuming guilt — proven guilt?

  7. Always classy to kick someone when they’re down. I usually expect better of AG.

  8. I detested O’Reilly, since I believed he was a world-class, second-rate horse’s ass; I find calling someone by his last name to his face exceptionally obnoxious, especially when that person is a woman, and I don’t think he knows or cares anything at all for federalism — a national law named after a crime victim is going to be a dumb idea. (Although, I believe that to commit a felony against an American citizen whilst in the USA illegally ought to make one eligible for execution.)

    That said, this is very much like the New York/California liberals that breeze into town down south in order to get statues of Confederate Generals removed, or the rebel flag scrubbed from public view. Never, ever give in to the vandals.

  9. “…O’Reilly’s Ouster is Another Good Reason to Switch Off the TV…” Objection Your Honor, assumes facts not in evidence…” One doesn’t necessarily have to switch it on, for him or any other TV blatherskite, in the first place. I for one have never needed Mr. O’Reilly, or Messrs. Limbaugh, Hannity or Levin on the right or Messrs. O’Donnell, Hayes, Matthews or Ms. Maddow on the left either to tell me how to think or give me tomorrow’s talking points.