The nation's deep political and social divisions are being fueled by an irresponsible media and might not be repairable, Bill O'Reilly told Newsmax TV.
"I don't think we can overcome it as this point," O'Reilly told host John Bachman on Thursday in his first interview since being ousted from the Fox News Channel amid sexual harassment allegations.
"The 'Hate Trump' movement is so intense, and Barack Obama took it, too, so let's be fair. Hillary Clinton: Vilified. I don't know if we can overcome this because the media drives it, the hatred toward opposing points of view. So, it distresses me.
"I think Americans should be able to hold differing views and debate them and have fun at the same time. We tried to bring that to "The O'Reilly Factor." We succeeded in doing so. We were not a hateful operation, but the haters got us."
But O'Reilly pledged to try to mend the severe divisions.
"Now I'm going to change it a little bit. We're going to spotlight the haters, and we're going to go after that," he said.
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Asked by Bachman why there is such a concerted effort to oust President Donald Trump from the White House, O'Reilly replied:
"It's a personal thing. They don't think he's worthy of the office. Obviously, he's not in tune with their belief system. And, they just loathe him," O’Reilly said.
"I did the first interview with Donald Trump as you may remember when he announced he was going to run for president.
"I told him flat out that 'these people at The New York Times, The Washington Post, these elites . . . CNN, MSNBC, it's not just that they disagree with your point of view. They hate you, and they're going to try to destroy you.' And we've seen that ever since the president took the oath of office."
O'Reilly, 67, who presided over his nightly ratings powerhouse "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel for two decades, now hosts a podcast called "No Spin News" on BillOReilly.com.
He was forced to leave Fox in April after The New York Times reported five women had received $13 million in payouts in exchange for not pursuing lawsuits or baring allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. O'Reilly has denied all the charges.
O'Reilly's latest historical book is called "Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War," published by Henry Holt.
The book is the newest installment in The New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, "Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies," on the deadliest war in American history. The book chronicles the birth of the Republican Party, the Confederacy's first convention, the Underground Railroad, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
"It's the third in a series of 'Legends and Lies,' and we're in the middle of a civil war right now in America," O'Reilly told Newsmax TV.
"The real Civil War, which was the low point in American history, there's a lot of myths surrounding it, as you know. So, we take this book, and we walk through, and it's a beautiful book. It's got a lot of illustrations, Americans nine to 90 will enjoy it, and that's my goal: to make history fun.
"To make it come alive, and to have people absorb knowledge at the same time, become literate on why their country was so divided back in the 1860s. It's relevant today. We're a divided nation today."
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