Fox News host Bill O’Reilly told colleague John Stossel on Tuesday that the recent criticism directed at him was not only based on professional jealousy, but political maneuvering.
“We are putting tremendous pressure on the Obama administration to fight the terror savages,” O’Reilly said. “And with Hillary Clinton coming up in 2016, [if the] network wasn’t around, what would happen?”
O’Reilly invited Stossel onto his show amid new allegations questioning his reporting. Media Matters reported earlier in the day that former colleagues of his at WFAA-TV in Dallas have slammed him for claiming to be at the door when George de Mohrenschildt, a Russian immigrant and friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, killed himself in 1977 inside his Florida home.
O’Reilly stated in his book covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that he was at de Mohrenschildt’s home to interview him on March 29, 1977 — the day de Mohrenschildt had been contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations — when de Mohrenschildt killed himself.
“He stole that article out of the newspaper,” reporter Byron Harris, who worked for WFAA for 40 years, told Media Matters. “I guarantee Channel 8 didn’t send him to Florida to do that story because it was a newspaper story, it was broken by the Dallas Morning News.”
O’Reilly did not directly address these new allegations on Tuesday, marking a change in tone from his aggressive defense of his reporting in Argentina following the end of the Falklands War. Instead, he painted Fox as the target of an ideological attack.
“The reason is fairly simple — Fox gives voice to conservatives and traditional people much more than most national news agencies do,” he said. “On a personal note, I’m pretty tired of all the garbage. I think I can say, with certainty, that many of my colleagues here at FNC are, as well.”
Stossel, who worked with O’Reilly at ABC News, said officials there enjoyed his work until he published his first book, in which he identified himself publicly as a libertarian.
“We have broken the code — ‘civilized people can’t think that way. There have to be tougher gun laws. There must be abortion on demand. There must be a big welfare state,'” Stossel argued. “Civilized person don’t think that way. If you do, you’re a cretin and we’re gonna get you.'”
Watch the interview, as posted by Media Matters on Tuesday, below.
WATCH: Trump lawyer Pam Bondi brushes off her meeting with Lev Parnas during NBC grilling
During an interview with NBC News' "Today" on Saturday, Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida and one of the lawyers representing President Donald Trump in impeachment matters, dismissed the photograph released by House Democrats that shows her with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
"Clearly, Lev Parnas liked to take pictures with a lot of people," said Bondi unconcernedly. "He showed up at events pretty much everywhere where Republicans were."
Asked about Trump's relationship with Parnas, she added, "I don't know what that matters, what they're planning on doing with it. We're going to stick to the facts and stick to the law in this case."
Lev Parnas ran to Maddow over fear Justice Department officials would bury Bill Barr allegations: ex-prosecutor
Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a former prosecutor speculated that indicted Lev Parnas -- who has leveled a stunning amount of accusations against President Donald Trump and senior administration officials --- likely agreed to speak candidly with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow because he fears for his life and felt Attorney General Bill Barr couldn't be trusted.
Addressing the interview that drew record viewership for Maddow's evening show, former prosecutor and current MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Parnas likely had good reason to worry about how his own case is going.
"I'm quite sure SDNY prosecutors have sat down and gotten all this information. some of the information we now know they must have gotten was what Lev Parnas told Rachel," Kirschner explained. "Bill Barr is in on the dirty Ukranian deal."
MSNBC panel bursts out laughing after watching clip of Alan Dershowitz explaining his Trump defense strategy
On MSNBC Saturday, a panel of legal experts tore into former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, which anchor Joy Reid played for them in a clip.
"You cannot make any sense out of it. It is an absurd comment," said former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, to laughter around the table. "It is the standard by which we have impeached in the past. If you listen to the witnesses at the House, three out of four said that is an impeachable offense. The articles against Richard Nixon included abuse of power. It is clearly what was intended by our framers. It's what the Federalist Papers say, and it's the thing that makes sense. Other high crimes and misdemeanors are exactly that. It isn't under the federal statutes that they were talking about. Bribery isn't under the federal statute because there was no federal bribery crime when the Constitution was passed. It was whatever people thought it was."