Before there was Tucker Carlson, there was Bill O’Reilly. For 20-plus years before Carlson was the biggest name on Fox News, O’Reilly held that title. So the No Spin Zone czar knows a little something about the network, including when it’s in trouble. And according to O’Reilly, Fox News is definitely in trouble.
On Wednesday night, as Mediaite reports, O’Reilly joined fellow cable news network fallen angel Chris Cuomo to chat about Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox and what it could ultimately mean for the network and its owner, Rupert Murdoch (a.k.a. the real-life Logan Roy). In O’Reilly’s words, it could end up being a total “catastrophe.”
While Cuomo made it clear that he wasn’t wishing the network “ill,” he did admit that he is “shocked they’ve let it go as far as they have, especially when they’re obviously worried about what they’re disclosing.” Like, say, the fact that — despite his recent fawning interview — Carlson hates Donald Trump “passionately” and thinks the former president is a “demonic force.” But O’Reilly’s belief is that Dominion doesn’t want to settle — even if Fox News did. And he doesn’t think things are going to turn out so rosy for the network.
O’Reilly noted that jury selection was set to begin today with initial testimonies being heard on Monday. “Rupert Murdoch will be called very quickly,” he said, “and a good lawyer will not make him look good. There’s no doubt about it. So you would think that Rupert Murdoch — who calls the shots — would try to settle. So now I believe that Dominion doesn’t want to settle. That Dominion believes it’s going to win its case and, on top of the $1.6 billion it’s asking, the jury of regular folks will give it punitive damages as well.”
Ultimately, O’Reilly concluded, “It’s a catastrophe for the Fox News channel” — which really seemed to surprise Cuomo to hear.
While O’Reilly says that having no cameras in the courtroom will benefit Fox News in that people who watch the likes of Tucker, Sean Hannity, and/or Laura Ingraham won’t get to witness a skilled lawyer cut them to pieces while under oath, he also thinks it could hurt Team Murdoch. “Because now literally every news organization covering the trial wants Fox to lose,” O’Reilly opined. “So the American people are going to get filtered through that.”
When Cuomo suggested that having one opinion within the network, then telling audiences something completely different, is a bad thing, O’Reilly said that he really doesn’t know “if hypocrisy is worth $1.6 billion.” And when it comes to the charges against Fox — “reckless disregard for the truth” — O’Reilly believes that Dominion will indeed be able to prove that standard.
You can watch the clip here.