In the beginning, it was called The O’Reilly Report.
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O'REILLY: Hi. I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thank you for watching on our very first day. How did it happen? How did television news become so predictable and in some cases so boring?
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Aging in dog years maybe? Pretty frightening. Well, by not being boring, the Fox News Channel (search) and The Factor have changed the face of TV news. Some think it's good, some think it’s bad.
Also in the beginning, few thought we'd succeed. CNN's Ted Turner said he would squash us like a bug. Well, the bug turned into Godzilla and we all know who got squashed. Not that we're gloating. We respect our competition, but we also are celebrating unrivaled success on our seventh birthday.
After it was clear that Fox News would succeed, we were branded GOP TV, despite the fact that we broke the story about President Bush's drunk driving conviction, despite the fact that we've been hard on all political parties. If you misbehave, the no-spin zone will hold you accountable.
But for the ideologues, the truth doesn't matter. Only propaganda does. However, in this case, the propaganda didn't work. Research shows Americans of all political stripes watch FNC.
Now we're a force to be reckoned with. And here's the best example I can give you. Writing in The Chicago Sun Times Tuesday, Jesse Jackson calls Rush Limbaugh (search) a racist, an interesting analysis from someone who had his own controversy in that area. We'll deal with it coming up.
In the body of the article, Jackson says, "The 'liberal media' is a right wing fantasy. Rush Limbaugh is a proud part of the most powerful political message machine in modern America -- the right-wing claque that echoes the big lie or the spin of the day through Fox News, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, dozens of columnists, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and so on. There is nothing on the progressive side of town that can match that."
Gee, I wonder if Arnold Schwarzenegger agrees in the wake of The L.A. Times assault on him? And I wonder what The New York Times, The Boston Globe, NPR and CNN at times do every day? Does Jackson not see those media outlets?
True, Fox News has succeeded because we're accurate, brash and interesting to watch. Happy birthday to us. And I'm looking forward to seeing Jesse Jackson's present.
And that's The Memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
I had to stop an interview with NPR today because the conversation got completely out of hand. It was supposed to be about my new book Who's Looking Out For You? I say supposed to be.
On The Radio Factor Wednesday, I'm going to play you some of that interview -- it's also posted on billoreilly.com right now -- so you can hear what happened.
The program is called Fresh Air, and I knew the people were not going to be fair, but I decided to let it play out. That program gave one of the smear merchants running around the country a total pass when it interviewed him. But, in my conversation, they were much more aggressive, and I actually enjoyed telling the woman off, and I think you'll enjoy hearing it.
If you want to know the ridiculous truth about NPR and Fresh Air, go to billoreilly.com, or listen to The Radio Factor tomorrow. Very interesting.