Former Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly will join CNN’s Michael Smerconish on his program next month. Yes, you read that correctly. You will see O’Reilly on CNN.
The scheduled, but undated interview will mark O’Reilly’s first appearance on CNN. This is unprecedented, considering he has been a conservative stalwart who granted his appearances solely to right-leaning programs. At the end of an appearance Smerconish made on O’Reilly’s online talk show Wednesday, according to CNN and other reporting outlets, O’Reilly told Smerconish that he would join Smerconish on his CNN program.
It has not yet been specified when exactly O’Reilly will go on Smerconish’s program. CNN airs the show on Saturday mornings; currently, representatives from both camps are working to get O’Reilly scheduled sooner rather than later.
For the past twenty years, O’Reilly has been an adamant and aggressive critic of mainstream media organizations such as CNN, which he derides as the “left-wing media.” On “The O’Reilly Factor,” he routinely attacked CNN, MSNBC and others for their liberal bias.
O’Reilly has continued to play the role of the adversary to much of the news media since his ouster from FOX in the spring of 2017. He has offered his commentary on a web show dubbed “No Spin News” since being fired in April over the revelation that he, Fox News, and the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid millions of dollars in settlements to multiple women who accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. O’Reilly has vehemently denied all the allegations against him.
In the interview broadcast on the air Wednesday, O’Reilly and Smerconish discussed CNN’s unfair coverage of the ongoing investigation into potential ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials. The two men share a history, considering Smerconish served as a primary fill-in host for O’Reilly’s former syndicated radio program for five years.
While O’Reilly still has fallen back to his books and his online show, which can be viewed on his official website with a paid subscription, executives at smaller conservative outlets are highly interested in attaining O’Reilly. In June, One America News network’s CEO, Robert Herring, said he had made — and rescinded — a job offer to O’Reilly, who has been linked to Sinclair Broadcasting.
Since his firing in April, O’Reilly has largely given interviews to smaller conservative outlets like Newsmax and One America News; he also appears weekly on Glenn Beck’s program on “The Blaze.”
On Wednesday, O’Reilly debuted a new set for his show, an upgrade from the office where O’Reilly initially broadcasted the program. The interview with Smerconish will also be part of promotional efforts for the latest installment in O’Reilly’s blockbuster history series, “Killing England,” which will hit shelves on September 19.
When he was still working at FOX, O’Reilly occasionally would venture onto other major networks, usually to promote a book or upcoming speaking tour. He made appearances on CBS, NBC, and ABC last year. However, CNN has never been one of those major networks, so the pending appearance is eyebrow-raising, to say the least.
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