You Can’t Fire Bill O’Reilly
Fox cannot fire Bill O’Reilly because it is not their platform. That belongs to me. And you. And O’Reilly.
It certainly does not belong to a couple of trust fund kids and their trophy wives playing dress-up with Daddy’s toys.
Nor does it belong to clueless analysts who say no one will notice when O’Reilly does not show up for work this week. "Fox has built a powerful platform that is the go-to place for people with a certain worldview and so to some degree it doesn’t matter who is on,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst of advertising, media and internet at Pivotal Research Group LLC.
We are not talking about retiring Babe Ruth because he can no longer hit the curve ball. O’Reilly is at the peak of his game. At the peak of his connection with his audience. Ratings show that.
Even so, without advertisers, ratings are moot. Maybe O’Reilly will turn out to be the greatest sex criminal of the 21st century. But whatever the truth of the allegations against him, they are clouded by an organized campaign to target his advertisers and get him off the air.
And they are celebrating their victory, not over O’Reilly, but over us. Because O’Reilly’s fans are their targets. His platform. our platform. We count on O’Reilly for gutsy and penetrating television news. The kind you cannot get on any other network. Or any other show on his now former network.
O’Reilly’s adversaries — our adversaries — hate, yes hate, how he so easily sees through their hoax of the month, whether that be global warming, evil bankers, sympathetic criminals, Black Lives Matter, Cops Lives Don’t Matter, lower taxes, fewer sex offenders, real borders, and free people with guns and money to use as they choose.
Not the way the latest Hillary clone wants us to.
Now they think they have won. But that is a just another hoax O’Reilly can slice and dice away when he chooses.
Now that O’Reilly is no longer on Fox, do the enemies of O’Reilly think that’s it? He just goes away? We go away? Just pretend that millions and millions of people will no longer rely on him for news, information and entertainment?
What is this, 1954? An era in which media giants waved their magic antennae, making and breaking TV stars on a whim?
Today, people build their own connections. And if that is what O’Reilly wants, that is what his audience will give him.
Think of all the new shows on new networks struggling to find viewers. Netflix and Amazon have more new shows than Jesse Watters has funny bits.
So while clueless Fox executives push O’Reilly out the door, does anyone really believe that dozens of other mini-moguls are not dying to get O’Reilly and his audience?
Of course they will.
O’Reilly is not Katie Couric, sitting on a couch for Yahoo, frittering away viewers with casual chat and pretensions of journalistic grandeur.
Whatever made him great, more importantly, whatever made him popular, has not changed. If Ford does not want O’Reilly, that’s fine. We don’t need Fords. They are not the only car company in the world.
The big secret of TV news is that the people in charge are there because they spent too much time at Radio Shack when they were kids. O’Reilly can set up a studio in his garage, and still have room for a car and boat, if that is what he wants.
And no one will know the difference. Earlier this week, the AP changed the wording of a black killer when he killed three white people in Fresno, conveniently transforming "allahu akhbar" to "God is great." The change materially affected the story. O’Reilly would have been all over that in a way only he can.
So his time is not over. Not yet.
Tucker Carlson is a great guy. People like him well enough. But he’s no O’Reilly.
I might not watch O’Reilly every night, but when I want something with a bit of a news edge — and yes, something with No Spin — O’Reilly is what I want.
And today, with a couple of thousands of dollars worth of equipment, that is what O’Reilly can give us.
So we wait.
Colin Flaherty is the author of the Amazon #1 best seller, Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry. Find him on YouTube here: Colin Flaherty’s YouTube Channel