Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly says he despises the way many in the mainstream media are covering President Barack Obama, charging that some of his liberal rivals on TV are an “Obama cheerleading crew.”
But he also takes issue with the assertion from many conservatives that Obama is a socialist.
In a revealing interview with Broadcasting & Cable magazine, O’Reilly, whose show “The O’Reilly Factor” is the top-rated cable news program, declared:
“I’ve never bought into the fact that Obama is a socialist. I think he’s a classic liberal who believes big government can solve the problems of society, and he wants to redistribute income . . .
“To call these people Communists and socialists, that’s as nutty as the far left calling people fascists and all of that. It’s the same kind of craziness.”
Asked how he thinks the mainstream media have been covering the Obama presidency, O’Reilly said: “I despise, and you can put that in capital letters, what many in the media are doing right now. I think they’re corrupt. I think they’re dishonest. I think they’re ill-informed. I don’t want anybody to have any doubts about where I stand on that.”
O’Reilly had particularly harsh words for NBC and its MSNBC cable station.
“I don’t have any beef with ABC News or CBS News,” he told B&C programming editor Marisa Guthrie.
“I think they try. I think they’re run mostly by liberal people. Their agenda is somewhat tempered. I don’t even have a beef with CNN. They’re what they were 20 years ago.
“NBC is corrupt top to bottom. They say, oh, it’s only MSNBC. No it’s not, it’s across the board.”
O’Reilly denied there is a feud between himself and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, but acknowledged: “All there is coming out of NBC are attacks on the Fox News Channel. [NBC Universal CEO Jeff] Zucker allows it to happen. All we do is point out what they do.”
Asked what he and Zucker talk about when they “bump into” each other, O’Reilly responded: “I don’t bump into him. He sees me, he runs.”
Other highlights of the interview:O’Reilly said he wants Obama to succeed but also wants to persuade him that “perhaps some of his policies are not going to help him succeed.”“The O’Reilly Factor” has enjoyed increased ratings since Obama entered the White House because CNN and MSNBC comprise the “Obama cheerleading crew,” O’Reilly said, and viewers are tuning in to Fox because it is “more skeptical of the president.”O’Reilly denied that he is afraid Glenn Beck will surpass him as the most-watched host on Fox News, adding: “If Glenn Beck surpasses me, more power to Glenn Beck.”Asked if there is any truth to the oft-told story that years ago O’Reilly told Walter Cronkite “I will be you someday,” O’Reilly tersely replied: “Total bull.”
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