Talking Points

Fox News Is 14 Years Old

 

BY BILL O'REILLY

 

Fox News is 14 years old today. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." In the beginning, there was "The O'Reilly Report." It was on at 6:00 p.m. And remember, Catherine Crier was on at 8:00. Chances are you couldn't see us in 1996 because we had very few cable clearances back then. Now, we dominate television news in America, according to a new Politico/George Washington University poll and of course, the Nielsen ratings.

The reason that happened was that FNC filled a void. Up until 1996, most of the TV news was very liberal. Few conservative voices were heard. Fox News changed all that, giving access to the right, center, and the left. And you, the American people, responded.

Looking back on the first edition of what is now "The O'Reilly Factor," I'm kind of embarrassed. Listen to this exchange with the late Edwin Newman over the debate between President Clinton and Bob Dole.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: I don't know what dole -- He is much stiffer ...

EDWIN NEWMAN, TV JOURNALIST: Yes.

O'REILLY: ... than the president.

NEWMAN: Yes, he is.

O'REILLY: And he doesn't have liquid eyes.

NEWMAN: Yes. But, of course, one reason he is much stiffer than the president because he has the use of only one arm.

O'REILLY: That's a good point.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

How stupid was that? Quiet Crowley!

MONICA CROWLEY, PH.D., FOX NEWS ANALYST: Sorry, O'Reilly.

O'REILLY: Ayayay! But even on our first program, there were demonstrations of the now well-defined "No Spin Zone."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARRY MCCAFFREY, U.S. FOUR STAR GENERAL (RET.): Drug abuse in America is down by 50 percent in the last 15 years. There is good news there.

O'REILLY: I disagree with you. I disagree. You can throw all the stats you want out, but I will throw some back at you.

MCCAFFREY: Yes?

O'REILLY: According to insurance agencies, 72 percent of all street crime is caused by drug addicts, right now, as we are speaking here in New York City. People are breaking into cars. People are mugging people. People are breaking into houses to get drugs, to get money to buy drugs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Now, General McCaffrey was unhappy with that interview. I guess he was a pioneer in that regard. A fascinating part of the Fox News story is the hatred it has engendered on the left. Our cable news competition has been destroyed. Ratings for liberal TV news are dismal.

After 14 years on the air, there is no doubt who has clout in America. But with that success comes a greater responsibility. We got to be vigilant in every second because if we're not, we make any mistakes, it becomes a page one story.

After 14 years, it is still you, the viewer, who makes the call on Fox News. We thank you all very much, and we hope you continue with us as we enter year 15. By the way, the hair back then, that was a toupee.

PINHEADS & PATRIOTS

And finally, "Pinheads & Patriots." Last night, we had you weigh in on Prince Charles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

All right. He is a fun guy. So is the prince a pinhead or patriot for that exposition? Forty-two percent say pinhead, and 58 percent say he's a patriot for having the moxie or whatever to do it.

Tonight, "P&P" turns its attention to Bruce Willis and David Letterman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRUCE WILLIS, ACTOR: It's a meat hairpiece.

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, CBS'S "THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN": Right.

WILLIS: Inspired by Lady Gaga.

LETTERMAN: Lady Gaga.

WILLIS: Dig in, buddy.

LETTERMAN: Well, I -- where do I...

WILLIS: Carefully.

 

 

LETTERMAN: All right.

WILLIS: That -- that's the good part right there.

LETTERMAN: Oh boy.

WILLIS: Come on!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Eww! The question: are Letterman and Willis pinheads or patriots for that? Just go to BillOReilly.com and cast your ballot.