First in a flash series.
Ted Koppel appeared on “The O’Reilly Factor” last night to talk business with the show’s eponymous host. The fabled newsman has been critical of the ideological drift of cable news, and not long into the talk, Koppel was making a rather mild case against O’Reilly himself:
“I think there are times when you are . . . sometimes a little too bold sometimes a little too fresh, sometimes a little too intolerant of letting people to complete an answer.”
When asked if that offends him, Koppel replied, “It offends me when you’re rude, when you ride over people, which you have a tendency to do.”
Here’s how O’Reilly defended himself: “But I only do it when they filibuster or when they lie.”
Oh, yeah? Watch the fact-checking video below. I found it by Googling “o’reilly bullies.” See if you think that the woman on the wrong end of the host’s harangue was filibustering or lying:
And there’s always this attestation to O’Reilly’s character:
None of this is to align myself with Koppel’s sanctimonious view of cable TV. O’Reilly’s on-air rants and strong-armed ways are often quite entertaining and doubtless a key to his performance in the ratings. It’s his unwillingness to acknowledge as much that rankles.
American Constitution Society for Law & Policy President Caroline Fredrickson, who earlier this year was treated dismissively by O’Reilly, sums things up: “Oh, come on. Bill O’Reilly criticizing his guests for bad behavior is like Lindsay Lohan criticizing people for bad driving.”