Newsmax's courting of Bill O'Reilly for its own little TV network is starting to turn into a full-fledged image rehab campaign, like it has done for other scandal-tarred conservatives. But in order to do so, Newsmax has to withhold certain information from readers.
Cathy Burke wrote of an O'Reilly appearance on Newsmax TV in a Dec. 1 article:
President Donald Trump will be the target of a "hellacious amount of accusations" by the "hate Trump media" if Congress passes a tax cut and the economy continues to grow, commentator and author Bill O'Reilly predicted Thursday.
In an interview with "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman on Newsmax TV, the best-selling author of "Killing England" said Trump "needs to prepare" for the attacks, especially if they "resurrect" allegations of sexual misconduct.
"The women thing is hot now," he said. "That's the big thing. They're going to resurrect that. They'll find more women. That's not hard to do in our society today. . . . So it's going to get very nasty, and I think President Trump himself needs to prepare for this."
Missing from Burke's article: the inconvenient fact that O'Reilly was fired from Fox News after he and it spent millions of dollars to settle allegations of sexual harassment against him. Indeed, at no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned, beyond obliquely mentioning that Matt Lauer "was pretty tough on you when he interviewed you when 'Killing England' came out." Instead, Bachman proclaimed O'Reilly to be "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time" and plugged O'Reilly's latest book as "the perfect gift for Christmas." Not exactly a hard-hitting interview.
Burke did it again, and at length, in a Dec. 6 article:
O'Reilly said the growing sex harassment scandal in the nation has become, however, a "witch hunt."
"I think that you have to want one thing in all of these cases and that's justice, and each case is different," he said.
"We do have in this country now a witch hunt, no question about it," he said. "And the lawyers know it, so if somebody comes in and say 'I was abused' . . . lawyers know they can get a lot of headlines sympathetic to their client."
He added if someone is sexually abused and steps forward, "that takes an act of courage."
But, he said, "you can't say that everyone who lodges an accusation is a victim. That has to proven."
"The media is certainly not looking for the truth, they're looking for the headline, the sensationalism. The media doesn't care really what happened unless they don't like you, then they want to put you out of business.
"So the American people, they need to be cautious when evaluating these things and it comes down a lot along party lines . . . But I think, to be fair, if you want justice, you have to step back and evaluate each situation differently."
O'Reilly also weighed in on the sexual misconduct scandal enveloping Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, predicting if the former judge gets elected Dec. 12, he will "walk right into" an ethics investigation in the upper chamber.
"In the meantime, he does vote Republican, which is why the [Republican National Committee] and President [Donald] Trump did what they did," he added. "They want the 52 Republican senators to stay intact. . . . But I do believe at this point it hurts the Republican Party in general to ally itself with Roy Moore."
Again, no mention was made of the fact that O'Reilly was fired for sexual harassment.
A clip on the segment featured an gushy introduction by Newsmax host Bill Tucker calling O'Reilly "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time, and you can catch Bill here once a week here on Newsmax TV, but you can catch him every day at billoreilly.com." At no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and host John Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned -- not even obliquely.
Yep, a total image rehab operation.