Eddie Sherman

Eddie Sherman
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Wednesday - October 12, 2005
| Del.icio.us

THE O’REILLY FACTOR: Bill O’Reilly, without a doubt, is one of the biggest guys in broadcasting today. Literally and figuratively. His program on the Fox News Channel is the number one TV cable show. (That’s big). His radio program is heard daily over 400 radio stations. And his column is syndicated nationally, including MidWeek. Also author of best-selling books. In person, he’s soft-spoken, personable, polite and quite impressive physically, standing about 6-feet, 6-inches tall. However, his on-air style has caused some of the most powerful in America to run for cover. Some call him the new pope of journalism ... O’Reilly is a busy guy - working over 60 hours weekly, he estimates. And says he reads about 10 newspapers daily. The interview took place in his New York radio studio during his commercial breaks.

Eddie: What turns you on?

Bill: Basically I want to use my power and influence to help make people’s lives better. To protect children and keep politicians and journalists honest. I’m not in it for the money. I have enough money. I’m not in it for the fame. I have the fame.

E.S. What turns you off?

Bill: The personal attacks that are levied against me every day. That’s the downside of the job. Some are pretty brutal. I think they are despicable. Up to a certain point I ignore them. It’s a battle. The far right and the far left hate me because they are fanatics. They don’t like the fact that we’re watching them.

E.S. Threats?

Bill: All the time. Threats on everything. It’s bad. I’m the most controversial broadcaster in the country. That’s why I have body guards.

E.S. What do you like about your job?

Bill: I get to deal with really important things. Help to change things in the country. Get laws passed. It’s fun in a way each day never knowing what will happen.

E.S. With your combined radio and TV daily shows, how many people do you reach?

Bill: It’s estimated about 30 million in the United States and maybe 10 million abroad.

E.S. You knock the powerful New York Times and the L.A. Times pretty good. What reaction do you get from them?

Bill: We’ve obviously hurt the L.A. Times dramatically. Their editor and editorial director got fired. The New York Times, I feel is pushing an agenda in their newspaper, and I don’t think it’s right. My job is to watch all the powerful. So I watch. And speak my piece.

E.S. Your heroes? Who are they?

Bill: Abraham Lincoln is one. George Washington is two. If you study these men, they were extraordinary. Mother Theresa is certainly a hero to me. Giving up her life to help the poor. Teddy Roosevelt was a gutsy guy. FDR was another hero; he got us through WWll and the depression. An amazing man. Robert Kennedy was a hero to me for disbanding the Mafia and for civil rights legislation.

E.S. You sign off your TV show saying “no bloviating.” What does bloviating mean?

Bill: It’s a word that almost died out before I brought it back. Means someone who rambles on and on and on. I’ve been accused of doing that myself.

E.S. Can we win the war on terror?

Bill: Not in the short term. But in the long term we can do it if our intelligence gets better. Also, we need to convince a lot of people that we are really in a war so they support our efforts

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