Driven, not Dishonest: Former KATU Colleagues Remember Bill O’Reilly

By Kevin Eck 

In light of the back and forth about what FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly knew and what he says he knew in Argentina, The Oregonian talked to a few people who worked with O’Reilly back when he was at KATU in Portland, Oregon.

O’Reilly was brought to the ABC affiliate in 1984 to boost ratings. He stayed for a year. At the time, he was one of the highest paid people in the market.

The folks who spoke to The Oregonian say they remember O’Reilly was filled with self-confidence bordering on pompous, but not dishonest.

“He never struck me as a dishonest person,” says [former KATU employee Doug] Brazil. “He struck me as a driven person. To achieve those goals, he’s created controversy, because that’s what people seem to like these days. I wonder whether or not he truly believes what he says.”

[Pat] Wilkins doesn’t remember O’Reilly playing fast and loose with facts during his KATU tenure, and says O’Reilly was a good writer. “He was very sure of himself. Lots of people are very sure of themselves, but I think O’Reilly takes the cake on that one.”

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