Appearing Sunday morning on ABC News, Republican talk show host Bill O’Reilly refused to name people he referred to as “political assassins” during a Saturday night debate with comedian Jon Stewart.
“That’s kinda dangerous territory for anyone in political cable television, isn’t it?” “ABC This Week” host George Stephanopoulos goaded O’Reilly. “Who are you calling out?”
“I’m not going to name them,” O’Reilly said. “But if you don’t know ’em, then you’re not living in the U.S.A. They’re all over the place and they just attack people for money. And that’s just the way it is.”
Appearing on stage Saturday night with his liberal rival Jon Stewart, the Fox News Channel opinion-maker lamented the presence of what he called political assassins in the media.
“You can make a lot of money being an assassin,” he said, referring to people who don’t believe the outrageous things they say, but say them anyway to make good television and get paid. “If you’re in and you’re a hater — radio, cable, in print, whatever — you get paid.”
O’Reilly’s comment about “assassins” might have been a jab at fringe-right radio host Michael Savage, whom O’Reilly said last week is “malicious” on the air — which he worried may be hurting rather than helping conservatives like Mitt Romney. “I don’t show malice,” he insisted during a Fox News broadcast.
The conservative talker is well known for yelling at his guests and cutting off their microphones when they disagree with him. It’s not clear which of his other peers in the media O’Reilly believes to be faking their outrage.
The comment, however, does seem to reveal at least a modicum of agreement between Stewart and O’Reilly. Discussing the so-called Fast & Furious “scandal” brought on by weak gun laws in Arizona, Stewart said in June that the Fox News “outrage repertoire has been so overused as to render justified outrage meaningless.”
So, at least there’s that.
Unlike O’Reilly, Stewart usually appears happy to name the targets of his ire, many of whom are frequent Fox News contributors.
The video below is from “ABC This Week,” broadcast Sunday, October 7, 2012.