Bill O'Reilly of Fox News conceded Monday night that Stephen Colbert might win the feud they've been having over the airwaves. But that doesn't mean O'Reilly will let up his criticism of the future "Late Show" host.
"In the end, Colbert may prevail, but my analysis of him has been to the point and honest, and as you know, that drives zealots on both sides completely crazy," O'Reilly said on "The O'Reilly Factor."
"Because I have labeled Colbert a 'left-wing mouthpiece,' the liberal press is very upset and I really don't understand why."
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Colbert routinely bashes conservatives on his Comedy Central talk show, "The Colbert Report," while playing the role of a conservative commentator. O'Reilly called him out earlier this month after Colbert mocked him on the subject of equality.
"Mr. Colbert is a deceiver. I strongly believe in fighting for equality and strongly believe institutional bias should be against the law," O'Reilly said
On his show Monday, O'Reilly said he doesn't think Colbert will be able to compete ratings-wise with the other late-
night shows that feature Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon, who appear on ABC and NBC.
"Colbert has made a living exclusively satirizing the right. And he has plenty of material, but that won't be enough to beat Fallon and Kimmel, who are sharp and well-produced," O'Reilly said. "Colbert will have to be better than those guys to compete well in the ratings."
Since the start of "The Colbert Report" in 2005, Colbert has, in effect, mocked O'Reilly and other conservatives who offer their opinions on talk shows. The two have exchanged words over the years via their shows.
When Colbert was revealed
as the next host of the "Late Show," O'Reilly
called the move "interesting."
"He's an interesting choice," O'Reilly said. "Traditionally, late night has been light and breezy, with a minimum of political posturing. [Johnny] Carson and [Jay] Leno set the tone for that."
"But Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left. It'd be hard to fathom that 40 percent of Americans that describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert. And that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."
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