In his first direct public statement since he was fired from Fox News last Wednesday amid multiple sexual harassment allegations and the snowballing exodus of advertisers, Bill O’Reilly said he’s “shaken” by his career implosion and plans to tell the world “exactly what happened” with events that led up to his abrupt dismissal.
But not just yet.
“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” O’Reilly, who reigned for more than a decade as cable television’s top-rated personality, told listeners to his nightly audio podcast on BillOReilly.com. “I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now.”
Without specifying what he meant by “stuff”—which might have referred to the terms of his $25 million golden parachute or whether he will be prohibited by a contractual non-compete clause from doing a show in the near future on a Fox News rival—the 67-year-old O’Reilly continued: “But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised—but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”
O’Reilly, who just returned from an Italian vacation during which he visited the Vatican and shook hands with Pope Francis, added: “Now, I can’t say anymore because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what I say and misconstrue it. However, you, as a loyal O’Reilly listener, have a right to know, I think, down the lane what exactly happened. And we are working in that direction, okay?”
That is all O’Reilly had to say about his personal predicament in a 19-minute podcast that also included his repeated attacks on the “mainstream media” that precipitated his downfall (although he neglected to mention The New York Times blockbuster that accelerated his professional demise); the latest poll numbers of his apparently unfairly besieged friend, President Trump; conservative bomb-thrower Ann Coulter’s controversial speech plans at the University of California at Berkeley; and the public reemergence of Barack Obama in an appearance Monday at the University of Chicago.
“I think someday Barack Obama is going to be President of the United Nations,” O’Reilly predicted. “I think he’s going to run that place. Because that’s what they do. They discuss.”
In his defense of Donald Trump—perhaps returning the favor because Trump went out of his way during an interview with the Times to praise O’Reilly as “a good person” who did nothing wrong and should have stood his ground instead of paying, along with Fox News, $13 million to half a dozen women he allegedly harassed—O’Reilly asserted that Trump’s historically low 40 percent approval rating is largely due to attacks by the media.
“All of the polls say the same thing: well, this is unprecedented, no president in his first hundred days polled this low. But then they deceive, as the mainstream media does, on a daily basis.
“No president has ever entered office with as much negative publicity and hatred directed toward him as Donald Trump. In the history of our republic, no president has come under that kind of withering criticism, particularly by the press that wanted Hillary Clinton to win.
“So, we expect it from the Democratic Party, and if the roles were reversed, the Republican Party would be slaughtering Hillary Clinton. That’s what parties do. But the press is supposed to be objective and certainly, certainly, they are not. They want to destroy Trump’s presidency. So, for him to poll in the low 40s favorable isn’t that bad!”
O’Reilly—who sounded weirdly chipper, considering the mortifying humiliation he had just sustained at the hands of multiple accusers as well as Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, his bosses at 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company—also responded to various letters and comments he received from fans, although not about his public ordeal.
O’Reilly said he’ll be doing regular nightly 7 p.m. podcasts Monday through Thursday—which will be free until Sunday to curiosity seekers who aren’t interested in paying his site’s monthly subscription fees.