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Bill O’Reilly made a appearance on conservative media outlet Newsmax TV yesterday via Skype, and provided host John Bachman with his takeaways from Comey’s testimony, his new book, and matters pertaining to his departure from Fox News.
O’Reilly said he should have dealt with his exit from the network differently and fought back against groups pushing advertisers to pull out of his program.
He complimented former FNC colleague Sean Hannity on how he has handled controversies swirling around him and his program.
“In hindsight, Sean did it the right way. I should’ve done it that way, but I didn’t,” O’Reilly said.
The former Fox Newser is blaming “leftist forces” for his departure from Fox News, saying: “This was no accident our sponsors were attacked. This is very well organized. They tried to with Hannity. Hannity actually fought back. I didn’t. I should have. For reasons that I cannot explain now, I did not.”
Myriad groups have been trying to persuade brands to pull their spots from Hannity’s program in recent weeks after he continued to push an unverified conspiracy theory that former DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, and that his murder was ordered by the Clintons as a result of that action.
“Hannity knows they’re looking to get him,” O’Reilly continued. “He said it. But I admire Sean, and I admire how he handled situation, because he brought it directly to the folks and the sponsors stopped. He lost a few, but they stopped. So, he was successful in fighting off the attack. But there will be more.”
It’s unknown if the combative strategy Hannity has adopted would have worked for O’Reilly, and allowed him to keep his job. Sponsors have threatened to pull out of Hannity’s program due to controversial speech. Sponsors pulled out of O’Reilly’s program for an entirely different reason, when it became public that he and Fox News paid $13 million to 5 women who accused the star of harassment over the years.
The host tried to get O’Reilly to explain the specifics of the departure, something Glenn Beck tried on his radio program weeks earlier. O’Reilly again declined, but again said the revelations would be significant and would be released “in the next few weeks.”
“We have a lot of information, but my lawyers are begging me not to say anything…I want to let the legal people handle this. I do believe there will be litigation, so I’m going to let them take the lead and then after it’s out, then I’ll comment further on it.”