Bill O’Reilly. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

Never one to shun self-aggrandizement, Bill O’Reilly last night reminded viewers about how they’d once again vaulted his program to the very top of the cable-news rankings. That comment led to talk about how the leader of the “O’Reilly Factor” was seeking to keep the program vital. Here’s a critical component of that initiative, per O’Reilly himself:

We are not going to use any fanatical ideologues anymore. We cut down on that last year, and it’s worked. Used to be I’d go after folks who did not have rational arguments. I’d kind of pound them into pudding, and they were just spouting ideological nonsense. That happens on both the left and the right. But now I’m bored with that, I’m bored with it. I don’t want to talk to people who are zombified, and I don’t want to hear from them either. So you won’t see them here. The guest who does not answer the question directly, keeps coming back to left-right talking points — guest will not be invited back. We told all of our contributors: They must think about the subject in a fair and fact-based way. So you’ll be seeing some new faces on ‘The Factor,’ and I think the program will be better for it.

Perhaps the 67-year-old O’Reilly is mellowing. Last summer, he said that he didn’t “want to work this hard much longer.”

Then again, O’Reilly didn’t go into great detail regarding just what sorts of people would fall under this evolving policy. History reveals, after all, that O’Reilly applies ideological labels to people who commit the highly ideological crime of … criticizing him. Months ago, for instance, he slammed “far left loons” for ripping his contention that the slaves who built the White House were “well fed.” In October, his protege, Jesse Watters, came under attack for racially stereotyping Asians in a man-on-the-street outing in Chinatown. Who drove the opposition? “Far left websites, far left precincts,” protested O’Reilly. And just who were the various reporters who documented a series of exaggerations-or-embellishments-or-lies in O’Reilly’s reportorial past? “Far-left zealots.”

We’ve asked Fox News for more details regarding this move and will update if we get anything.