Bill O’Reilly’s victory lap on late-night TV last night was horseradish that CBS late-night host David Letterman should not have served cold to his audience, says one of the media outlets that’s been probing claims the Fox News star has made about his early days in journalism.
Making his first non-Fox TV appearance since a slew of stories broke challenging his account of his credentials as a reporter, O’Reilly and Letterman both said people had to look back nearly four decades to find claims to contest. Media Matters noted, for instance, that O’Reilly’s contested assertion he heard the 1977 suicide of a figure related to the JFK assassination was made again in his 2012 book, a 2013 book adaption, and repeated on Fox News in 2012 and 2014.
The org also took issue with O’Reilly’s note, to Letterman, that the controversy boosted his ratings. The O’Reilly Factor did see a bump, the org said, but insisted his numbers have settled back down.
(Nielsen numbers show that, since the controversy broke out in mid February, The O’Reilly Factor is up 25% in the news demo compared to last year, averaging more half a million viewers in the age bracket most night and hitting 600K some nights.)
Fox New Channel’s embattled primetime host Bill O’Reilly visited Late Show With David Letterman to plug this weekend’s NatGeo Channel premiere of Killing Jesus, based on his book, and to declare victory over journalists who have charged him with inflating and/or making up claims about some of his reporting during his earlier TV journalism career.
O’Reilly told Letterman the claims he’s made that have come under scrutiny are all “accurate.”
“We had a controversy, and we put forth what my side was, and they put forth what their side was, and folks decided. And it worked out okay for me – I got even more viewers,” O’Reilly boasted.