Former Fox News host Eric Burns on Sunday told CNN that revelations that Bill O’Reilly did not always tell the truth should not come as a surprise to anyone who watched the evidence Keith Olbermann presented when he worked as a host for MSNBC.
Burns, who hosted Fox’s media critic show Fox News Watch for a decade, explained to CNN’s Brian Stelter that O’Reilly had been “puffing up his credentials” and his ratings.
“I think the way to understand this is to make a distinction between culture and cult,” Burns said. “I’m saying that the people who watch Fox News are cult-ish. Because for many years, conservatives have been extremely upset in this country because the only newscast that they had to watch were liberal, you people at CNN and how liberal you are. And NBC and ABC and CBS.”
“The extreme right… they never had their own television station. When they got one, their appreciation, their audience loyalty — and I know what the audience loyalty was like when I was there — their audience loyalty soared. And so O’Reilly as the head of the cult is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams.”
Burns reminded Stelter that Olbermann had documented O’Reilly’s “lies” while he was a host at MSNBC.
Every time O’Reilly was named “Worst Person in the World,” Olbermann was able substantiate that the Fox News host had made “complete fabrications,” Burns said.
“Olbermann had all the evidence possible,” he noted. “It’s not new.”
“No one expects much out of O’Reilly as a Fox News host,” Burns continued. “No one expects the truth. He’s been caught in numerous lies, and those have never been a story.”
“To the Fox News cult, this kind of thing doesn’t matter. It’s a lie from the liberal media.”
Watch the video below from CNN’s Reliable Sources, broadcast March 8, 2015.
(h/t: Media Matters)