In an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Bill O’Reilly discussed his supposed feud with Megyn Kelly. O’Reilly denied such a thing exists but, at the same time, he took a couple of swipes at her.
In their interview, THR’s Marissa Guthrie brought up Kelly by referencing her comments to Charlie Rose in April, that it was a “dark moment” when Trump attacked her on The O’Reilly Factor without pushback from the host.
Megyn Kelly said she would’ve liked you to defend her more when you interviewed Trump in January.
I understand where Megyn’s coming from; she was getting hammered by Trump supporters. But it really wasn’t my place. I said quite clearly on the air a number of times that what she asked was a legitimate question. And I said it off the air to Trump, too, in a call. I said, “Hey, I would ask the same question? Not the same way, but I would have asked it.” But it was not my job to intrude on the Fox News Channel hierarchy, which was handling the controversy. Why am I going to get in the middle of that? Roger Ailes is a genius at handling this stuff. I am not going to make his life harder by putting my big mouth in the middle of this thing. But Megyn’s come out of it fine, right? Big star and doing well.
There are many, many ways O’Reilly could have said the same thing graciously: “It was a delicate situation and my intruding on Fox’s handling of it could have caused more harm than good,” e.g. But “It was not my job,” “Why am I going to get in the middle” and “Megyn’s come out of it fine, right?” don’t exactly sound sympathetic. Not counting O’Reilly’s gratuitous swipe that he would not have asked the same question the way Kelly did. Nor the grudging “Big star and doing well.”
Then, when asked about reports that there is tension between them, O’Reilly didn’t say anything nice about Kelly. He suggested that everybody gets criticized – which leads one to think that he criticized her plenty.
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But you know the stories — that there is tension between the two of you?
Oh, that’s all fabricated. She’s in a totally different part of the building. The last time I saw Megyn Kelly was in Detroit in March [for the network’s GOP debate]. So the press always does that, always. If you look at my press clippings for 20 years, for every good thing that’s been said about me, there have been 3,879 bad things.
In fact, O'Reilly took another veiled swipe at Kelly next, when he suggested she went soft on Trump in a way he never would. Even though he quickly denied it.
What did you think of her Trump interview?
She had to basically handle him in a way that was promoting detente. So in that confine, it was fine. For me, when I sit down, I don’t care about detente with anybody. But she, because of all the history, was wise to do it that way.
So that’s why the interview was characterized by some as soft?
By whom? By these idiot writers who don’t know anything? I read some of the criticisms, and what I saw was, “We want you to punish Donald Trump. That’s what we want. We. And if you don’t punish him, then we’re going to say bad things about you.” Come on.
But O’Reilly’s wrong. He goes soft plenty on Trump (though I have seen O'Reilly dispute Trump's policies). Just this week, O'Reilly concluded an interview with Trump by asking if it had been fair? What kind of interviewer asks that, especially if he supposedly doesn't care about detente?
As Media Matters noted, Kelly recently blasted "pundits" demanding the judge in the Trump University case step down – right after O’Reilly called on the judge to do exactly that, after Trump attacked the judge’s impartiality based solely on his Hispanic ethnicity.
So, in my opinion? Feud on.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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