The ousted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly defiantly returned to the
network Tuesday for the first time since
he left earlier this year amid sexual-harassment allegations
going public, saying he should have fought harder to stay.
In a lengthy conversation with host Sean Hannity on Tuesday, the
two hosts discussed at length their opinions on the news of the
day, criticizing the media as well as NFL players who protest
police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the
Though the two largely avoided the subject of O’Reilly’s
departure, the former host lamented the advertising boycott that
helped push him out.
“You fought back when they came after you last spring,” O’Reilly
told Hannity, who fended off an advertiser boycott. “I didn’t,
and I should have.”
O’Reilly also singled out Media Matters, one of the left-leaning
watchdog groups that pressured advertisers to abandon both
programs earlier this year.
“Did you know they threatened you and me if we did this segment
tonight?” O’Reilly said of Media Matters, which monitors and
publishes transcripts and clips of right-wing media. “These
totalitarians want to wipe out any speech with which they
O’Reilly was far more muted than he has been in previous
interviews about his departure from Fox News.
In an interview on Hannity’s radio show earlier this month,
said he was focusing his efforts on a potential legal battle
and investigation to clear his name, referring to some claims of
sexual harassment against him as a “kind of defamation,” though
he hasn’t offered many specifics.
“What we’re going to uncover is shocking,” O’Reilly said.
O’Reilly has reemerged after several months of largely avoiding
the spotlight, apart from prescheduled appearances and
social-media images of his dog.
In promoting his new book, the former host has sat for interviews
with Breitbart News, The Hollywood Reporter, and NBC’s “Today”
show, where he clashed with host Matt Lauer, who pushed back on
O’Reilly’s claim that the revelations of sexual-harassment
settlements by him were a “hit
Despite reports that some employees at Fox News are not happy
with the ousted host’s informal return to the network, Tuesday’s
interview most likely won’t be O’Reilly’s last on Fox.
Asked by Hannity whether he’d return to the show, O’Reilly said
he needed to sell his book.
“I’ll come back,” he added.