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Bill O'Reilly: The network news vs. 'The Factor'

By Bill O'Reilly

So let me set this up for you all the survey show that Americans depend on TV news for vital information. Newspapers and magazines have lost a lot of influence. And the Internet does not provide in-depth reporting or analysis, it is headline service. So for better or for worse Americans are dependent on national news broadcast for information.

Enter Tom Brokaw the former anchorman of the NBC "Nightly News." Mr. Brokaw is a first-rate journalist but does see things through a liberal prism. Recently he gave a talk here in New York City where he cited the "Nightly News" broadcast.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROKAW: That audience is so much more substantial than most people realize. When I talk to audiences I say how many of you think that Bill O'Reilly is the most popular guy in news? And they will all raise their hands. I say Bill O'Reilly would finish dead last if he were on the evening news.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Dead last, really me? Mr. Brokaw is correct that the "Nightly News" has a larger audience than cable news. How could it not. The three broadcast networks are on all television sets in America with low dial positions. Fox News Channel you have to pay for. And we are on channel 761 out of Long Island where I live. You have to hunt for us and thank God you do.

Also THE FACTOR is in prime time, up against the "Big Bang Theory", "American Idol", football, stuff like that. Competition for viewers is brutal; at the dinner hour when the net news is on, not so brutal. Nevertheless, we average here between four and five million viewers a night when you add the 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. broadcast together.

Now, the important stuff: we asked Mr. Brokaw to appear this evening. He declined. He has never been on THE FACTOR because he knows that we know he has an agenda. And that agenda is power. Since the rise of cable news, the network news has lost a lot of influence. When was the last time you saw a discussion about a "Nightly News" story on the net? Here on THE FACTOR we are the center of discussion on the Internet nearly every night.

In fact, the most powerful network broadcast is not the "Nightly News", it's "60 Minutes". One caveat: network news reporters generally very strong, but it is the presentation that can -- should concern alert Americans. For example the Web site News Busters analyzed coverage of the Benghazi revelations last week which were very important as opposed to Michelle Obama's 50th birthday.

They found that the First Lady's celebration was given twice as much air time as the Benghazi story by the three networks. That's the crux of the matter: exclusion of stories the nets don't like even if they're important. Without cable news Americans would not be getting vital information.

Look I worked for CBS and ABC News. I know the gate keepers there select stories based upon a variety of factors. I also know that the network news broadcasts are pretty much the same on every channel. They don't provide much analysis or perspective and all three networks lean left.

Tom Brokaw should be happy, overjoyed, thrilled, that cable news and THE FACTOR exists. He should be -- he shouldn't be running us down. He should be amazed that we are so successful, because we provide a voice you would never hear on the network news.

And that's "The Memo."

O'Reilly Factor, hosted by Bill O'Reilly, airs on Weekdays at 8PM ET on Fox News Channel.