October 3, 2013

A little while back, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said in an interview with CBS News’s Norah O’Donnell that the Holy Spirit “directed” him to write “Killing Jesus,” the third in his spectacularly successful series of “Killing” books. (The others focused on Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy). The Erik Wemple Blog is in no position to fact-check or otherwise gainsay O’Reilly’s claim, given that folks’ relationship with religion is a personal matter. That said, we can, at this point, aver that O’Reilly’s reference to the Holy Spirit has been fantastic for the visibility of this title, as gobs of outlets jumped on the interview, some of them mockingly. On his own program, O’Reilly lashed back at those who’d criticized him, drumming up another round of PR. And last night, Stephen Colbert devoted a seven-minute segment to lampooning the claim, which he did with characteristic levity. Meanwhile, O’Reilly on his own show hosted a professor who’d criticized the book. And for months to come, O’Reilly will sneak in references to the book, as well as other “Killing” bestsellers, into his routine coverage. Now that’s divine.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.