June 6, 2013

Ever wonder why Bill O'Reilly gets the drop on many of his guests on The Factor? Sure, he's a talented TV show host, but even he needs an advantage. Joe Muto describes BIllo's typical details Billo typical work day in his new book, "An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal's Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media"

One of the most important things the segment producer did was the pre-interview, which was exactly what it sounds like— we’d interview the guest a few hours before Bill interviewed them. We tried to think of the same questions Bill would ask, and would take notes, condensing and bullet-pointing whatever the guest said. Eventually, we’d give this “POV” to Bill, along with research on the topic.

The end result was that, barring the occasional surprise, Bill knew exactly what his guest was going to say in the interview, sometimes down to the last word. In this way, cable news somewhat resembled professional wrestling: The outcomes were predetermined, with the host not only choosing his guests based specifically on the stance he knew they were going to take, but actually getting a preview of their arguments several hours in advance so he could formulate his counterarguments.

I know many people often cite BIll's editing of each segment which would always give him the upper hand, but knowing what your guest is going to say before he or she says it is not playing it fair and balanced, Billy. Your show is rigged, period.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.