May 11, 2004  ·  Lessig

WHYY reports that Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, will not authorize Fresh Air to relicense segments from his amazing appearance on Terry Gross’s amazing show. Speculation why he’d ban the repeat of his worlds elsewhere is growing. But it is obvious to this writer that it is nothing more than a flash of modesty by this engaging figure, no doubt motivated by a desire to drive traffic to Fresh Air’s site (again, it is here). Yet another example of commercial media reaching out to help noncommercial media.

sec_oreilly03.jpg

  • Nick

    I didn’t hear the original broadcast. As someone who refuses to use either Real or WM, I cannot listen to anything on the Fresh Air site. So can someone fill me in on what, in general, Bill said that made it “amazing”?

  • Nick Translated

    I didn�t hear the original broadcast. As someone who refuses to take their fingers out of their ears when non FSF-approved software is running, I cannot listen to anything on the Fresh Air site. So can someone fill me in on what, in general, Bill said that made it �amazing�?

  • Nick Translated Translated

    I like spyware. ;)

  • http://slashhome.org/blog/ Michael Leuchtenburg

    For whatever reason, mmsclient is unable to grab the wma stream, so I am unable to listen to this. Could someone possible mirror it somewhere, or tell me how I might listen to the audio?

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com Christina

    I heard it. First, let me say that I generally listen to NPR but I frequently get upset at how left-biased it is. I’ve heard Terry Gross fawn over radical environmentalists then basically make fun of anyone from the right. With that said, O’Reilly went crazy and got up and left. He would have made his point much better by calmly refuting her “points.” She made fun of him and everything he stood for in a very condescending manner instead of interviewing him. I thought they were both unprofessional. I was pretty horrified. I don’t blame O’Reilly for his “modesty.” I think they should both be ashamed of themselves.

  • John S.

    I just listened to this interview. Bill walked out in the end, after a bit of a speech railing against NPR and the host for trying to make him look bad. There was a quote from People magazine that the host was trying to read, and Bill seemed to have had enough at that point.

    It was nothing surprising, though, just standard O’Reilly and probably nothing much you haven’t heard before.

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com Christina

    Incidentally, O’Reilly quoted a bit on his show. If your local public library subscribes to EBSCO’s Newspaper Source database, there’s a transcript provided by O’Reilly. This link will work if you have access to the database: http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=32U2546586748FX2&db=nfh

  • rmf
  • Tom

    About a week later Triumph the Insult Comic dog referenced this interview in his interview with Terry Gross. Funny stuff.

    http://freshair.npr.org/guest_fa.jhtml;jsessionid=L1T1E4PXEYH4RLA5AINSFEY

  • john withers

    I am not a fan of O’Reilly’s, but I think he did have a point. Gross was going after him, and she was doing it in an arena where she was going to control the edits. I can see why he didn’t want to keep going. What I can’t see is why he would agree to do the interview at all, book PR tour or no book PR tour. I can’t imagine that Terry Gross would be dim enough to appear on The O’Reilly Factor, and I don’t quite understand how O’Reilly would think that he was going to dance through Fresh Air without taking some hits.

    What I also don’t get is why he would have made that final diatriabe before leaving, which I am sure is the part of this that he is trying to stop being taken out of context. It makes him sound like a raving loon if you sound bite it, when I actually think he was basically correct that he was being bull dogged, albeit fairly gently compared to some of the stuff he does on his show.

  • bob

    I will double post, so please excuse me.
    rmf suggests using Media Player Classic…..This small program is nothing short of wonderful and I reccommend everyone, reformat your hard drive (to remove Real Player), then dl and install this fantastic app.

  • Steve

    I listened to the interview and was surprised at how well O’Reilly handled himself through most of it, until he lost it at the end and walked off. If he hadn’t done that I would have come away with a much more positive view of him than I had beforehand. (Not a *positive* view, mind you, but at least a *more* positive one.) I agree Fresh Air is pretty left-leaning, but at least it makes no real effort to hide its bias.

    Every time a right-winger is on the show, Terry Gross spends half the time on questions like, “What do you say to your critics who say X?” but the worst a left-winger will get is, “What led you to realize X?” As a somewhat left-leaning moderate I find it a little annoying sometimes — I wish she’d make both sides defend their views, since that’s the best way to get at the truth.

  • cal

    i heard ithe show and loved it. terry gross is always thorough and candid and honest, but when she wanted a reaction to a magazine quote, a O”Reilly could not stand that. the show simply showed how much more honest NPR is. (Can you imagine terry gross stomping away from an interview? not possible!)

  • J

    I just listened to the interview and am sad to say that Gross comes off looking pretty bad and O’Reily holds his own. Not so good, Terry.

  • http://arjunsingh.typepad.com Arjun Singh

    I think Terry Gross was going after Bill O’Reilly. I don’t think she would dispute that. O’Reilly handled himself well.

  • http://cbaker.org Chris Baker

    As Al Franken proved Bill O’Reilly is a liar and a bully and like all bullies can’t handle it when you stand up to them.

  • Ralph

    O’Reilly is often much more confrontational on his show than this. He can dish it out but he can’t take it. Though I have to admit this shows some serious bias in Terry Gross too. She has upset me on several occasions for not asking obvious and important questions which I could only guess she didn’t want to ask because they were uncomfortable.

  • themoon

    Geez. Terry Gross actually “was going after him, and she was doing it in an arena where she was going to control the edits.”

    O’Reilly NEVER does anything like THAT on his show.

    :P

  • james

    My gosh. Heaven forbid anyone disagree with Mr. O’reilly. What did he expect? Ms. Gross did a wonderful job of showing just what an idiot O’Reilly is.

  • Boris

    I don’t get it. Isn’t an interviewer supposed to ask tough questions?

  • Henchman

    For a REALLY fun interview, do a search on the Fresh Aire site for her Gene Simmons interview.

    I must say that if I listen to Fresh Aire, it’s for the guests, not the host. Terry Grosse (according to a friend at NPR) is a total idiot who owes any professional-sounding content to her audio editor.

    Also of note, the best journalism I’ve heard on O’Reilly was from “On the Media’s” O’Reilly Diaries. It’s worth a listen.

  • Al Hertzog

    It is funny that by trying to block the interview being used, O’reilly has caused many people (including myself) to hear the interview instead – it would have become history and instead is being brought back up in forums like this.

    At the same time you have to admit that Terry was very “in your face” with Bill and seemed to just have a list of bad things that different people had said about him to use over the course of an hour. I think a mixture of actual review and coverage of the book with some hard questions would have been better.

    I agree that the interview made them both look like squabbling teenagers in the end. This will probably hurt Bill more than Terry.

  • Not so much

    I didn’t get the sense that Terry was going after O’Reilly any more than any other reporter asking tough questions. I guess since she generally tosses softballs, people are going to get uncomfortable when she starts doing her job as a journalist. It’s ridiculous to suggest that they should BOTH be ashamed of themselves. Terry asked confrontational, yes, but essentially simple and answerable questions that he could have spun right back at her, but instead he acted like a petulant child. Bullying the host, then walking away with a cheap shot last word when things weren’t going his way plainly shows that he’s about as emotionally developed as your average 13 year-old.

  • http://kq9.net Ralph

    Has anybody asked O’Reilly WHY he doesn’t want the interview to air again? It would be interesting to find out what kind of justification he could come up with.

    I’m just baffled by all this sympathy for a person who is constantly bullying people on his show, regularly ordering technicians to “cut his mic” whenever he can’t succeed in shutting up the (invited!) guest by drowning out his or her replies with loud, derisive, insulting remarks.

  • cstuart

    For those of you who refuse to use non-free software but would like to be able to access Fresh Air audio archives, I suggest taking a moment to email the folks at Fresh Air. Politely request that they offer their archives in streaming mp3 or some other format that allows users of free software to listen. Include a brief explanation of why free software matters to you.

    I don’t have the time or resources to mount a letter-writing campaign, but whenever a site offers things I’d like, but in a non-free format, I shoot off a letter. It can’t hurt, and it might do some good.

  • believe

    Sorry in advance for the rant, but: what are you people talking about? I just listened to the interview and Terry Gross came across as a complete and total idiot. I can’t stand Bill O’Reilly, I am disgusted by how incompetant and corrupt the right wing is, and hearing such a weak response as this is from the left is just … disheartening. O’Reilly throws out powerful, emotion laden words instead of facts (check out this article on framing, the right wing mouth-pieces are masters of this subtle method of deception) and Gross doesn’t challenge him on it EVEN ONCE. She just unthinkingly goes back to her script to find the next negative quote about him. She doesn’t comment at all on anything he actually says during the interview.

    Seriously, Terry Gross comes across as a stupid hypocritical coward. I can’t imagine why Bill O’Reilly doesn’t want this all over his show because it’s a great example of someone on the left being a huge dumbass. Stuff like this pisses me off because, dammit, someone needs to hold the right accountable, and things like Gross’ pathetic, stuttering “Oh – oh and, and now you-you’re j-just going to-to get up and leave the interview without giving me a chance to ask a follow up question so you can have the last word? And that’s it, he’s gone” immediately after O’Reilly asked the very reasonable question of “did you have 50 minutes of defamatory material you asked Al Franken to respond to last week?” (which she did not) is just not cool.

    Bleah, I was hoping to hear him get ripped to pieces and he came out of it the clear winner. FU Terry Gross, I hope Franken’s and Gore’s new networks have more competent people than you.

  • http://scottfeldstein.net/ scot feldstein

    Was Terry Gross being biased? Maybe she was. Though as a pretty liberal person myself, it didn’t jump right out at me. I had to have it pointed out to me. But the point I wish to make is that the right-wing media does this every freakin’ day only twice as bad. The irony here is the Mr. O’Reilly is twice as biased and twice as jerky about it on his own show! The right-wing media loves to have it both ways, apparently. I mean what a racket! First you hold the last vestiges of liberal (or even objective) media to a high standard of journalistic integrity because you know they care about it and will convulse with fits of self-doubt. Then you turn around and proceed to unashamedly take a whiz on every tenet of journalistic integrity yourself because you don’t care.

    Why are we talking about the rather mild bias of Terry Gross when people like O’Reilly himself spew the most eggregious examples of bias ever seen in broadcast media? These guys are playing us, man.

  • Matt

    Speculation why he’d ban the repeat of his worlds elsewhere is growing.

    Typo? Intentional? The mind boggles.

  • drowsy

    I’m not a fan of Terry Gross. I think she treated the Gores just as badly. She tends to either conduct softball interviews with artists or BBC-style ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ questions with anyone else. That said, the O’Reilly interview struck me as a choreographed stunt on his part.

    He got to say whatever he wanted, and half the time sounded quite reasonable. He has to realize that he’s fair game for having to answer his own quoted statements on air. But just when the segment would have ended anyway, he makes a bunch of non-sense, good for sound bites on his show, and walks out like… well, like a weak crybaby.

    It was very sad.

  • http://a9watch.blogspot.com Randall Newton

    I heard the original broadcast. I’m a moderate who doesn’t care for O’Reilly’s style, even if I agree with his views more often than not. Like an earlier poster, I occasionally listen to Fresh Air for the guests, not the host. Terry Gross is obviously liberal, although that doesn’t necessarily come through in any single interview–you have to listen for a while to realize it. At first I was embarrassed for O’Reilly, then for Gross (when he got thin-skinned), then for both of them. But the point that many miss is that O’Reilly was on a book tour. The confrontation got many people talking about O’Reilly, and I’m sure it helped sales.

  • http://www.matthewgifford.com/ Matt Gifford

    I can’t stand Bill O’Reilly. However, I’m amazed that he spoke with Terry Gross as long as he did. I’ve always felt that she is a horribly biased and untalented interviewer. This is a great example of that.

  • chris

    Wow. I can’t believe how many ppl replying actually think Terry Gross is a bad interviewer. I think that the vast majority of her interviews are incredible, her questions well researched and informed, and her followups/non-scripted questions thoughtful. She’s absolutely on par with Charlie Rose, and I can’t think of a better interviewer. Sure, she slipped in this particular interview, but O’Schmucky had it coming for a l o n g time. After whining ad nauseum about how NPR never invited him to promote his books (lying, since ‘On the Media’ did several times), O’Schmucky came in on the defensive. For someone whose schtick is berating guests and telling it like it is, he showed his true colors by leaving the kitchen when Terry turned up the heat. And she gave it to him on perhaps a tenth of the scale that he gives it to his guests. Now if only more people would stomp out of his show…

  • PooDawg

    O’Reilly’s show is a biased show where he confrontationally interviews guests. Yet so many of you are upset about someone else’s biased and confrontational interview of O’Reilly? Grow a set of testes, babies.

  • Rob

    ROFL. Tempest in a teapot. Terry Gross still has a show, O’Reilly still has a show, life goes on. Meanwhile we have a serious problem with our military thinking it’s OK to beat up on prisoners and humiliate them in the name of extracting information from them. Who’d have thought that the United States would set up its own Lyubyanka prison?

    Of course, it’s all a mistake. Irrational exuberance on the part of a few bad apples. Court-martial the guards, severely reprimand the officers, let’s get on with our job of creating a showpiece democracy in Iraq.

  • http://jasonrelliott.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    Why not just go get (real altenative,mediaplayer classic) then you can get it all and not give in to the evil empire.

  • J.B. Nicholson-Owens

    Real Alternative appears to be non-free software (the webpage pointed to earlier says it is “freeware” which is not a license). It appears to be nothing but a binary, uninspectable, unmodifiable, perhaps unshareable. I don’t see how this is any more trustworthy than installing the non-free RealOne player.

    Mediaplayer Classic is a Microsoft Windows executable in a zip archive. This program is ostensibly licensed under the GNU GPL (according to the Sourceforge summary page) but I can’t find source code for this program. Without complete corresponding source code, this is improperly licensed and cannot be redistributed.

    I would like to hear this interview but I am not willing to install non-free software to do it. If someone has reverse-engineered Windows media format or RealAudio I’d be interested in getting a copy of the source code for the program to do the job.

  • Paul

    I listened to this, and it seemed to me that O’Reilly’s
    outrage was calculated. Terry gave him sympathetic questions,
    about Vietnam for example, and his childhood, to which
    he gave interesting answers. She
    didn’t challenge him on any substantive points, talked about
    his book… the only real flak she gave him was about
    ridiculing people who had criticized his books. Then
    O’Reilly blows up at her – conveniently, just as his time
    ran out.

  • Hack

    The NPR Ombudsman was less than impressed with Gross’s interview – he feels that she was scoring political points, and slaps her down hard for continuing the interview after O’Reilly left (“empty chair interviewing”).

  • http://ari.typepad.com Steve Rhodes

    The NPR Ombudsman was wrong. One thing people kept on bring up at the time was the difference between her interview with Franken and O’Reilly. There were two differences more important than politics. First, she had interviewed Franken several times and they had established a relationship. Second, Franken has a sense of humor. And he actually listend to the show. He even made fun of Gene Simmons.

    But the original issue was O’Reilly refusing to let relicense segments from the interview which is pretty astonishing when you consider he constantly uses clips of interviews and speeches to make his points.

    You should contact NPR directly if you want them to start making audio available in streaming MP3.

  • Head Shaker

    I believe the interview was even done at Fox- on his home turf. Listen to her stumble more often than usual- she was clearly nervous, probably intimidated. So she stuck to prepared questions and quotes which she knew would be provocative, giving him a chance to respond.

    Gross may or not admit to being a liberal. True or not, NPR has been cast by many as a liberal network for liberals. In that context it is perfectly natural that, talking to a well-know bully of liberals, that she would bring some of these criticisms to him, let him respond, gve him a chance to present himeslf as more likable, and then go on to hype his book.

    He blew it. I heard her giving softball questions and criticisms that he should have been able to handle easily. He couldn’t. Then he threw a crybaby tantrum and ran away from his own studio!

  • Analyzer

    I believe the interview was even done at Fox- on his home turf. Listen to her stumble more often than usual- she was clearly nervous, probably intimidated. So she stuck to prepared questions and quotes which she knew would be provocative, giving him a chance to respond.

    Gross may or not admit to being a liberal. True or not, NPR has been cast by many as a liberal network for liberals. In that context it is perfectly natural that, talking to a well-know bully of liberals, that she would bring some of these criticisms to him, let him respond, gve him a chance to present himeslf as more likable, and then go on to hype his book.

    He blew it. I heard her giving softball questions and criticisms that he should have been able to handle easily. He couldn’t. Then he threw a crybaby tantrum and ran away from his own studio!

  • E-G-O

    O’Reilly is mostly blind ego. As he showed on the court case against the Franken book, he can’t take being made to look bad. As we know, that case was laughed out of court, no doubt irking him, as well as hurting his pride and sewing seeds of inadequacy with Franken, and comparing his interview to Franken’s.

    He went on the show to promote himself and his book (ego). He was presented with criticisms from others. That hurt his pride (ego). He showed that he can dish it out, but can’t take it. Then he whined and ran away like a little girl.

    But no matter how you try to spin it, even HE knows that he looked bad, and his ego can’t stand the thought of others hearing him disgracing himself.

    Unfortunately for him, like the Franken book, he drew a lot more publicity to it in the process of trying to squelch it. Or maybe that’s what he really wants- the publicity. That’s O-apostrophe-R-E-I-L-L-Y.

  • Deke

    Just to clarify, Terry Gross was in her studio (Philadelphia?), and Mr. O’Reilly was in his studio in NY (Fox or wherever he does the “RadioFactor”). So if she seemed unsure of herself at times, chalk it up to not being able to read body english of her interviewee.

    So actually, he didn’t walk away, or walk out. He just shut the feed off.

    Something I wish he’d do more often.

  • Anonymous

    What a stooge O’Reilly is. This interview exposed him to be as thin skinned as he appears. Interviewing is what he does for a living after all-what was he expecting? He goes from enjoying parts to stomping out like a petulant child. Go to your room ya big baby.

  • Karen

    O’Reilly asked Terry why she went after him more than Al Franken. Well, I work at a bookstore and Bill O’Reilly’s books are in the Political Commentaries section. Al Franken’s books are in the Humor/Satire section not far from Garfield Comics and The Onion spoofs. So Bill O’Reilly should be held more accountable for what he says because he is presenting himself as a reliable source. Although Al Franken apparently seems to document his claims well, it is not necessarily even expected.

  • tom brown

    it amazes me that someone could be “too hard” on o’reilly, concidering that’s his whole “look-at-me-all-in-your-face” schtick. i found the interview to be overall borish with alot of softballing up untill the point o’reilly stormed off. it really is disarming how worked up he gets so quickly. what a baby.

    of course this solidifies his role as a hapless bully who cant take his own guff…even as gross, in her ever lilly frail therapist tone, asks what seems to me too obvious questions. yes, she was concentrating on the negative but that’s the bulk of o’reilly’s self same approach

  • Really?

    Much ado sobre nada.

    Terry Gross was asking O’Reilly to comment on his hypocritical comments and actions (he criticized a book reviewer for making personal attacks and in the same sentence called the reviewer a “pinhead”, for example) and O’Reilly did what he always does: raise his voice and end the interview when he doesn’t have control of it. He couldn’t cut the mic, so he walked out.

    Terry Gross did her job, O’Reilly did his usual. Fans of the infamous, hypocritical Fox carnival barker and his 11-word vocabulary (it is not possible to repeat the words “vile, despicable, denigrate” more often than he does) may try to defend him, but they all have even less capacity than he does.