In the age of checkbook journalism, two prominent television personalities have decided that instead of luring guests with cash money, essentially threatening them with their own words may work out better.
Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said Monday that he had videotape of the Delaware Republican Senate candidate saying "crazy stuff" but wasn't going to air it yet in hopes she would come back on his show.
O'Reilly's strategy for procuring an interview seems to be the opposite of Bill Maher's. On his Friday HBO show, Maher released a tape of O'Donnell saying she "dabbled" in witchcraft. Maher said he would release a new clip every week until O'Donnell agreed to come on his show.
In the 1999 Politically Incorrect interview, O'Donnell admitted, "I dabbled into witchcraft." She added that she never joined a coven.
Maher told The Associated Press that he likes O'Donnell.
Politico notes that the pundit who is sort of a cross between liberal and libertarian "has earned the friendship and respect of many conservatives who regularly appear on his program."
"I keep saying that she could be a better Sarah Palin because she has the same loony belief system — but she’s nice," Maher explained to Politico. "Sarah Palin is mean."
"I'm trying to be fair to Christine O'Donnell," said O'Reilly. "She's been on the program a couple of times, and we have some kind of crazy stuff that she said. We're not going to play it yet. I don't think it's relevant - yet. We'd still like Ms. O'Donnell to come on the Factor. I'm not in the business of injuring her. I'd like to see if she's the better candidate."
O'Reilly didn't elaborate on what "crazy stuff" O'Donnell might have said on his show.
Perhaps one such incident is an 2007 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor where O'Donnell contended that American scientists were cross-breeding animals and humans.
Scientists are "coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains," O'Donnell said.
The candidate canceled two national media appearances Sunday with Fox News and CBS. She told Sean Hannity Tuesday that he would be her final national television interview before the election.
This video is from Fox News' O'Reilly Factor, broadcast Sept. 20, 2010.