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My Turn: Bill O’Reilly on Tom Brokaw . . . what was O'Reilly trying to say?

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Tom Brokaw, who anchored the “NBC Nightly News” for 22 years, referring to network news ratings, recently said, “That audience is so much more substantial than people realize.”
Brokaw went onto say, “When I talk to audiences, I say, ‘How many of you think that Bill O’Reilly is the most popular guy in news?’ and they all raise their hands. I say, ‘Bill O’Reilly would finish dead last if he were on the evening news.’”
Tom Brokaw’s credible opinion.
After all, Tom Brokaw is a respected journalist who’s clearly earned the right to compare and contrast network news audiences to the relatively small audience someone like a Bill O’Reilly might draw.
So, how did big Bill O’Reilly respond to Tom Brokaw’s comment?
Was O’Reilly a fair-minded, mature adult or was he . . . ?
Why not read the following report from Politico and decide for yourself?
Politico reported: “Bill O’Reilly is taking on Tom Brokaw saying he “has an agenda” after the former NBC Nightly News anchor said O’Reilly would finish “dead last” if held to network news standards.
“We asked Mr. Brokaw to appear this evening. He declined. He has never been on ‘The [O’Reilly] Factor’ because he knows that we know that he has an agenda, and that agenda is power,” O’Reilly said Tuesday on his Fox News program, “The O’Reilly Factor.”
O’Reilly’s takedown of Brokaw follows comments Brokaw, now a special correspondent for NBC, made recently to Mediabistro. Brokaw said the “diminution of the massive audience” for network news shouldn’t be overstated.”

O’Reilly reacted to the Politico piece by saying, “Mr. Brokaw is a first-rate journalist but does see things through a liberal prism.”
A liberal prism?

O’Reilly evidently doesn't realize that a first-rate journalist would not allow any prism - liberal or otherwise - to interfere with his or her perspective on any story.
No surprise that O'Reilly got that wrong . . . after all, he’s not really a journalist.
O’Reilly then added, “Brokaw is out of the game now. He is retired. He does some special stuff for NBC.”
But O’Reilly’s all wrong . . . Tom Brokaw is hardly out of the game now, is anything but retired, and does more that ‘some special stuff for NBC’.
So . . . what was O’Reilly really trying to say?
That he could in fact outdraw the combined audiences of the three TV network news shows?
Or, was he trying to say that because Tom Brokaw sees things through a liberal prism that Brokaw is wrong; that the ‘O’Reilly Factor’ could in fact actually compete with network news shows?
Or, was O’Reilly trying to say that since he thinks that Tom Brokaw is out of the game now, is retired, and (only) does some special stuff for NBC that Brokaw’s opinion no longer counts?
Man alive . . . what on earth was the poor man trying to say?

Comments? Questions? Contact the author at: or Tweet: @DavyZJones



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