Still a Factor

Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News Channel have negotiated an exit deal for the highest rated host in cable news. Thanks in part to vigorous reporting on numerous sexual-harassment allegations against him, a number of advertisers pulled spots from The O’Reilly Factor, which has now aired its final episode. As the most-watched host on the most successful cable channel of the past two decades, O’Reilly came to represent a style of in-your face conservatism that had previously been associated primarily with talk radio. O’Reilly’s uniquely aggressive personality and instinctual skills in front of the camera go a long way toward explaining his success. But he also tapped into the right-wing id in a way no one had before, captivating his viewers with his unbridled egotism and stoking their resentments. It was a playbook that won him a huge audience—and, to judge by Donald Trump’s eerily similar appeal to voters, a legacy that will outlast his grip on the 8 p.m. time slot.


About the author


Leave a Comment