Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appreciates the utility of Twitter for attacking Fox News. He used it extensively against Fox News host Megyn Kelly in the weeks after their memorable clash at the Aug. 6 Fox News debate in Cleveland.
And last night he went after Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, an odd target considering their relationship: “Now, I have known the man for almost 30 years, have done some business with his jet fleet and occasionally we go to sporting events together,” said O’Reilly in introducing a June interview with Trump. Those factors notwithstanding, Trump got on Twitter last night during O’Reilly’s show:
A review of last night’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor” indicates what might have made Trump a little bit peeved. Regular “O’Reilly Factor” commentator (and Washington Post columnist) Charles Krauthammer used cable news’ most-watched show to rip into the real estate mogul’s summer offensive: “He has conducted three months of ad hominem attacks on other Republicans. He has done it with relish, with showmanship and with some skill. That’s what Republicans have been talking about for three months because he has been dominating the debate,” said Krauthammer.
And indeed, “The O’Reilly Factor” cited the unflattering trend line in Trump’s popularity as reflected in a CNN poll: “On the Republican side, Donald Trump continues to lead with 24 percent — that’s down eight points since early September,” said O’Reilly. A survey released by NBC News showed Trump with a greater margin. But credit the O’Reilly folks here: The CNN poll was a random-sample survey stemming from telephone interviews with 1,000 adults conducted by ORC
International; the NBC effort was an online survey. Guess which is more rigorous?
So now we’ve established, again, that Trump is thin-skinned and petty.
Next step is to behold his hypocrisy. Whenever the chance arises, Trump enjoys boasting about the ratings success of his reality show “The Apprentice,” even when he’s dead wrong. Speaking of ratings success, that’s what has defined “The O’Reilly Factor” for ages — it’s the No. 1-rated cable news show. And O’Reilly has gotten there by relying on, yes, a stable group of commentators. If Trump is really so tired of the “same old Trump haters” on the show, surely he can find new ones on a competing network.