During a lengthy interview with a reporter from the Adweek magazine and website, Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel discussed several topics, including the fact that he will not attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to be held July 18-21 because he thinks the event will be “boring.”
When asked why he believes that, the host of the top-rated weeknight news program -- The O'Reilly Factor -- for the past 16 years responded: “Hillary's going to get up there, and she's going to be coronated. Maybe there'll be some Bernie fans, and he'll get his night to speak.” However, he noted "the big story” of both the Republican and Democratic gatherings will be who is selected vice president.
“You don't expect any floor fights?” the interviewer asked. “What about the Republicans who aren't going?”
“So what? Who cares?” the news anchor replied. “Does anybody care that John McCain's not going to the convention? I don't think so. Mitt Romney? Trump supporters don't like them.”
What about “the two former living Republican presidents [George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush] not going?” the Adweek reporter pressed.
“I just don't see it being a big deal,” the Fox News host responded. “Trump supporters who are going to the convention are going because they like Trump. They don't care if those other guys are there or not.”
The anchor was then asked: “If it's going to be boring, how's Bill O'Reilly going to make interesting TV?”
“I'm going to try to find the scene, like [Clint] Eastwood and the Mitt Romney deal and see if there's any craziness,” he replied. “Trump said to me: 'I think I might speak every night.' I said: 'Do you have to (laughs)?' At least when Trump speaks, you can get some news out of it.”
O'Reilly admitted that he and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump have been friends since 1990, which he referred to as “a long time.”
The Fox News host was then asked if he is surprised Trump “got this far.”
“That and the assassination of John Kennedy are the most stunning political things in my lifetime,” he stated before adding:
When he told me he was going to run for president last year, I said: “What country?” (laughs)
But you have to give him credit. Like him or not. I don't like some of the things he does and says. But I admire the fact that he was able to beat the establishment and beat them badly.
Next came the question: “The networks were criticized for too much Trump coverage during the primary. Do you think all of that free cable airtime got him to where he is today?”
“No,” the anchor responded bluntly. “I think he used it, and very shrewdly created news, saying things that got him attention like he did in the tabloid press when he was just a businessman.”
“Which TV news broadcasts do you watch?” the interviewer then asked.
“I watch them all,” the Fox News anchor stated. “60 Minutes is the best. How they do it every week, it's so good. I don't think people understand how good they are.”
“At one point, I was thinking about doing a commentary, when Andy Rooney had left,” he continued. “But I'm a little bit too bombastic for that.”
The Adweek reporter also asserted that O'Reilly's audience is still growing, and the host noted: “Well, it's a presidential year, so I don't think anyone should get too excited about it.”
“But you've grown your audience from other presidential years,” the interviewer stated.
“Yes, but we've grown it through the (Killing) books and other late-night appearances on TV shows, and so people who don't watch cable news now know who I am,” O'Reilly explained.
“And you think it was the books?” he was then asked regarding the series on people ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Jesus Christ.
“I think the books helped,” O'Reilly stated. “I mean, you sell 12 million books, and people don't watch the TV show; they read the books … and the movies (based on the books) help, too.”
“Do you think you're a good listener?” he was asked, and he joked: “Do I think what?”
“You're going to be 67 this year. How much longer do you want to do a nightly TV show?” was the next question.
“I don't know. I go day to day,” O'Reilly said. “I don't want to work this hard much longer. I know that. Because I work hard. I earn my money, but the shocking thing to me is nobody beats me. These young gunslingers, they should be kind of beating me -- but they're not.”
The interview produced one other bit of news: The sixth book in the Factor host's series will be entitled: Killing the Rising Sun.