News is shifting to a model where people have more control over their own content. On radio Friday, Bill O’Reilly shared an update on his latest project and explained why it’s important for him to bring news to people without “intrusion.”
Glenn remembered starting his own TV network and how people told him to stay locked into the old school model of cable news instead of making TV available on mobile devices.
“Those days are over,” he said of the shift. “We’ve laid the groundwork and the rails.”
O’Reilly talked about a new show prototype where he was in a studio and talked with guests over Skype, giving him far more independence than he would have with a network.
“We don’t want any intrusion: corporate intrusion or Media Matters intrusion or threats,” O’Reilly said to Glenn. “We want to control the product, as you do.”
JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: BillO’Reilly.com. Probably one of the more brilliant businesspeople. Definitely one of the more brilliant people when it comes to how to do a show and what people are thinking. Bill O’Reilly. Now at BillO’Reilly.com. He has his own show. It’s a half-hour news show every day, and you can find it at BillO’Reilly.com. He started it earlier this week. It’s really good. Not a lot has changed with Bill O’Reilly. Just the background has changed. And we’ll talk to him about that.
I want to start here, Bill, with something that really bothers me, and that is the firing of — what’s his name? Jeremy Lions? No, what’s his name?
STU: Jeffrey Lord.
GLENN: Jeffrey Lord, that’s what it is. That’s how much I care about this guy.
I actually care about his firing. I think he is horrible. I think he is one of the worst commentators on CNN. I think he’s just a total sellout.
However, they fired him because he got into a Twitter spat with Media Matters. And Media Matters is starting to campaign again to get people fired, get them thrown off.
And he said, “What you’re doing is fascistic in nature. This is fascism.” And they tweeted something back. And he wrote, “Sieg Heil.”
CNN fires him almost immediately because they say, “Nazi salutes are absolutely — we will not tolerate this —
GLENN: Are you kidding me? So now he’s out. Bill.
BILL: Yeah, I mean, look, anybody — and I mean anybody knows that this firing was political. It wasn’t for cause. It wasn’t because he did anything outrageous. I mean, you can debate all day long whether Nazi analogies should be used in any kind of discourse. But this clearly falls under freedom of speech. And he was making a contextual point, which is accurate, by the way, that Media Matters is a fascist organization. It is.
And then when the president of Media Matters struck back at him, he, in a wise guy fashion, went, “Sieg Heil.” Who does that offend? Media Matters. So, what? So they were looking to dump him. And this gave them the opportunity to do it. That’s the only thing I can figure out.
GLENN: Okay. So, Bill, that’s maybe a little bit better than what I thought, but not by much.
Are you saying that they only use Media Matters as a cover? Because, I mean, why not cover him because we don’t want him around. We don’t like him.
BILL: Yeah, if he were a valued employee, they certainly wouldn’t have done that. Look, if Jeffrey Lord — I don’t know what his contractual situation is. But he is an actionable violation of contract, sued against CNN.
You can’t do that. He didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, in the sense of exercising his freedom of speech to slap back at an organization that he feels is fascistic. So it’s got to be something else. I don’t know whether — if he even had a contract.
But it looks to me — and I’ve been in this business almost since as long as you have, since the War of 1812, Beck, as you mentioned last week on your program. All right? It looks to me like they just want to get rid of the guy, and this was a convenient way to do it.
GLENN: So, Bill, doesn’t this not empower Media Matters like crazy?
BILL: Of course, it does. But Media Matters is in bed with all these people. I mean, Media Matters doesn’t attack CNN, ever. Media Matters — well, let me amend that. If CNN put on a conservative like you or me, maybe Media Matters would attack. But they don’t attack their editorial posture. They don’t attack NBC. They don’t very rarely attack the networks. They only attack people with whom they disagree with politically, which is anybody. Moderate or right.
You’ve got to be a far-left lune to be in there cogering (phonetic).
GLENN: So we found a Media Matters plan of attack. And we’re going to be going over it in the next couple of weeks, with our audience. It is their plan.
GLENN: We found it on the dark web.
BILL: The dark web.
GLENN: Yeah. I mean, who — who even puts their stuff on the dark web? Seriously, who does that criminals. Evil people. Why are you putting stuff on the dark web?
So in it, it talks about how they’re now consulting with Google. They’re now consulting with Facebook. They’re trying to tell YouTube and Google and Facebook exactly what is offensive, what isn’t. They’re coming in as these moderate arbiters of —
BILL: Oh, they — this organization, these are the people that orchestrated the sponsored attacks against me and you.
BILL: They organized the demonstrations in front of Fox. They’ve got money. They pay people. They’re awful. They’re anti-democracy. And I hope you guys — you know, I listen when I can. But when you get stuff, send it to me. Because certainly looking at these people hard, these Media Matters people.
GLENN: I’ll send you the stuff that we just pulled up.
BILL: And you know what the worst part about this is? The worst part about it is these people were so closely allied with Hillary Clinton. David Brock, who was the founder of this, was Clinton’s consigliere. If Clinton had ever been elected president, these people would be in the White House, these Media Matters. And I can’t tell your audience how strongly enough how vicious and vile and anti-democratic they are.
GLENN: Actually I want to correct you on one thing.
BILL: Win after win after win because the media will never take them on because the media sympathizes with their far-left posture.
GLENN: Okay. I want to correct you on one thing: They’re absolutely pro-democratic, which in the meaning of, all we want is a popular vote and majority wins. I mean, that is — you know — remember, Chavez was also very democratic.
BILL: They don’t believe in freedom of speech.
GLENN: Yes, you’re right. Correct.
BILL: They don’t believe in freedom of speech. They operate in shadows on the dark web. They try to hurt people. They try to destroy people.
GLENN: Yes. Yes.
BILL: This is not what our democracy is supposed to be about.
GLENN: It’s a republic.
BILL: This is the most vicious, vile political organization in existence.
BILL: And they have power. And money.
GLENN: So tell me how you feel about what happened with Google this week, with that firing.
BILL: You know, I didn’t follow it that much because I’m not really into that world of — and I know they’re super powerful and all of that. But I’m more interested in the political component of this, rather than — once you get into Google and Facebook and all of these organizations, you get into corporations. They’re corporations. I mean, they may not wear ties. And they may give you kale for lunch. But it’s a corporation. Okay?
GLENN: That’s kind of what I want to talk to you about. As I said earlier this week, look, if Firestone or Goodyear was doing this, I wouldn’t care. But this is the gateway to information.
We had this week a report was released that Apple has $58 billion in US Treasury bonds. That’s more than most foreign countries will hold.
That gives that corporation real leverage on Capitol Hill. You know what, maybe we should just liquidate our government bonds because that’s why we don’t — that’s why we worry about foreign countries holding our bonds.
Does — are these corporations that the left loves, are they becoming worrisome at all to you, Bill?
BILL: That’s an interesting question. They are — they are very, very powerful agents, and they control now most of the information flow. And with the destruction of cable news, and that’s coming very, very fast.
GLENN: Very fast.
BILL: Talk radio is pretty much the only counter to the internet information flow, which is not an honest situation.
So, yes, it’s dangerous. I’m not so concerned about them holding bonds. Although, yeah, I mean, I guess down the line, they could do a blackmail thing. You better do what we want. Or we’ll liquidate or something. I see what you’re saying.
GLENN: It’s not like it’s the top of my concerns. But it is — it is a part of it.
It’s like, wait a minute. These — these guys are getting really powerful.
BILL: They are very powerful. But there’s nothing you can do about that in a capitalistic society. The more successful corporations become, the more powerful they become.
BILL: You can expose it. You can tell folks what’s going on. And the information flow they’re getting is not honest. That’s certainly noble. But you can’t stop them from accumulating assets.
GLENN: No. But you can start to say to our representatives, “I don’t want you in bed with these people. There are no special favors for these people.”
BILL: No, absolutely. Right. Right.
GLENN: So, Bill, I want to take a break. We have a ton to talk about, the news of the week. But I would like to pick your brain, honestly, because I have tremendous respect for you, as you know, on multiple fronts. But one of them is you are a very shrewd businessman. You are very smart.
You took every show. You know, I run on passion and gut and feelings. And you are much more of a scientific kind of guy. And you’ve made a brilliant move this week in not going — running to somebody else and saying, “Okay. I’ll fall under your umbrella.” You’re doing it yourself.
I want to talk to you about the future of cable news. I want to talk to you about the future of information.
BILL: Sure. It’s fascinating what’s happening.
GLENN: It really is. It really is.
BILL: And nobody is talking about it. So your audience is going to get a lot of information fast. After these announcements of interest.
GLENN: Wow, thank you.
GLENN: Back in just a second with Bill O’Reilly from BillO’Reilly.com.
GLENN: So let me go to Bill O’Reilly from BillO’Reilly.com, who just started his news program, the No Spin News. Every day you can see it and you can watch it at BillO’Reilly.com.
Bill, let’s switch gears. I’d kind of like some advice from you and to pick your brain. What we did six years ago, when I left Fox and I built TheBlaze and the first OTT model around this, everyone said, “Glenn, no one will watch this on the Internet. They’re not going to watch it on the phone. They want it on this.”
It’s why, honestly, we spent as much money as we did to make my network look — quite honestly, the model was MSNBC. If it — if it can’t look as good as NBC in visuals, then people won’t accept it.
Those days are over. We’ve laid the groundwork and the rails. And now you are the first one to come out as a really big guy and say, “Okay. I’m going to go and do this model, and I’m going to do it by myself. I don’t need to join a network or whatever. I’m going to do it by myself.” How long before, Bill, this becomes the absolute norm?
BILL: You know, it’s hard to say. Our blueprint is that we want to deliver on a daily basis 30 to 40 minutes of honest news analysis, honest in the sense that it’s fact-based.
And we’re going to do that. And so we did a prototype this week on BillO’Reilly.com, where I was in a studio in a spiffy jacket and tie. And we had guests via Skype. And it went very well. I mean, it looked good. People liked it.
We have it up now, BillO’Reilly.com. Anybody can see the prototype. And it — and it was tough. It was tough analysis. Talk about North Korea and stuff like that.
Now, we haven’t decided exactly when we’re going to launch this on a daily basis because we’re doing our podcasts from my home office now. And it’s working very, very well. But it’s going to happen. And even if I decide to come back to cable TV, we’ll still do this 30 to 40 minutes per day, because we don’t want any — I’m sorry about that. That’s enthusiasm.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh.
BILL: Enthusiasm from the —
GLENN: That’s Bill’s head writer.
BILL: From the community.
Anyway, we don’t want any intrusion.
BILL: Corporate intrusion or Media Matters intrusion or threats or any of that. We want to control the product, as you do.
GLENN: Right. So you can control —
BILL: And I think this prototype that we put out is going to take root. And I think it’s going to be very successful.
BILL: The reason this is necessary, this is the key to it all, is there’s been a profound change in cable news. And as we discussed in previous episodes of the Beck program, network news is largely irrelevant now. Remember Scott Pelley, the anchor of CBS News?
GLENN: No. Neither does anybody else.
BILL: Well, Scott packed it in, and nobody even knew.
BILL: I mean, nobody even said a word. It was like, poor Scott. He was there six years on every night. He was taking Walter Cronkite’s seat, and he’s out of there, and nobody even cares. That’s how irrelevant the Nightly News is.
The morning is entertainment. So when cable news starts then to change — fundamentally change, not into a news service anymore. They’re not a news service. They’re basically a party apparatus. So MSNBC, CNN, they’re a Democrat Party apparatus. And Fox News, to some extent, not to the extent of the others, it reflects a Republican point of view. Well, where do Americans go for the truth? People seeking the truth and not having a vested interest in one political party or one political philosophy. There’s nowhere to go.
So that this, in a capitalistic society, this Blaze, the Beck Blaze, O’Reilly, BillO’Reilly.com, this now presents a very, very attractive alternative to millions of Americans who love their country and want to know about it in a truthful way.
BILL: You’re stunned at that analysis?
GLENN: No, no, no. I was actually —
BILL: You’re absolutely stunned. It’s so right on. Nobody has ever talked that way to you.
GLENN: I was actually hoping for a deeper insight. Why don’t you put the dog on the phone?
All right. When we come back —
GLENN: When we come back, we’re going to have to go over the strategy of North Korea, how Bill thinks that is going, where that ends up, and all the rest of the news of the week with Bill O’Reilly. You can hear him every day at BillO’Reilly.com. That’s BillO’Reilly.com. BillO’Reilly.com.
GLENN: So let’s bring Bill O’Reilly from Bill O’Reilly back. BillO’Reilly.com. And talk to him a little bit about North Korea.
First of all, Bill, are we going to war with North Korea?
GLENN: Okay. If — if it is just between us, we’re having a private council, you’re the president of the United States, and you’ve got your council split in half. And half says, “Mr. President, we’ve got to go. They’ve crossed too many red lines. It’s only going to be a problem down the road. We got to go, and I’d like to recommend a first strike.” The other half says, “No first strike and, no, don’t go to war because millions will die.” Which do you lean towards?
BILL: Okay. You can’t do a preemptive strike with nukes on anybody. That’s not acceptable in the world we live in. You could do, you know, some bombing like — like you did in Syria, take out a strategic military target. I mean, that’s certainly possible. But I don’t see that happening.
What I see happening is this is — Trump is basically telling the world, “Look, I’m capable of this,” which is true. I’m capable of it.
Which Obama was and everybody knew, no matter what you did, Obama wasn’t going to do anything drastic. And it was like Merkel today, the German chancellor comes in and says, “Well, there really isn’t any military solution to North Korea.”
Now, just step back and analyze how stupid that statement is from Angela Merkel. What if North Korea launches a missile at Guam or Japan or South Korea? What if they do that? I mean, that’s what this idiot is threatening to do.
And Merkel says there’s no military solution to that. So, what, you let them do that? That’s exactly the wrong message.
And Trump’s message is basically symbolic. It’s a symbolic message. I’m capable of this. But will he do it? No. Only if they attack, they being North Korea, one of our allies or any interest that the United States has. Then he will. But I don’t see any new component in this. Because that’s Armageddon. Once you start with the nukes, then, you know, the stuff kills south Koreans. It kills Chinese. You really can’t do that.
GLENN: So here’s where I’ve come down on this, on my understanding of what Donald Trump is doing. And it may be more wishful thinking. But I don’t think it is.
As I’ve watched this game play out and I know, you know, how horrible war with North Korea would be and now especially with China saying, “You do a first strike, we’re on their side. You fight back, we’re going to leave them to their own business. And you guys can have at them.” There’s no way we’re going for a first strike.
If we do, we turn the whole world against us, I think.
BILL: Yeah. And the generals — look, Kelly is the guy calling the shots, a lot of the shots now. He’s never going to do it.
GLENN: Yep, I agree.
BILL: People got to calm down. And the reason that this has taken on hysteria is because it’s August. There’s no other news. Cable news is all — I mean, they’re just going crazy. And they’re whipping everybody up. And the left wants everybody to think that Trump is Dr. Strangelove. And so that’s why it’s whipping up.
But if you look at it, it’s probably not going to lead to anything. It’s going to fizzle out like most of the North Korean missile tests do.
GLENN: So here is the second part of that: If this indeed is strategy and Donald Trump is playing the strong hand because nobody has the United States for a long time and wants to put everybody on notice and does have a little bit of a twitchy eye, he may in the end, if this works, be remembered as Ronald Reagan, when it came to the Cold War. This is exactly the argument we had from the left on Ronald Reagan.
BILL: Yeah. But it’s a different situation because you have irrationality in North Korea. I mean, this guy is pretty irrational.
But, you know, I want to personalize it a little. And I can do that by a plug. You know, Killing the Rising Sun is about — primarily about the atom bomb drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And the power of those bombs was so horrific — now, they’re 10,000 times as powerful. And if you really want to know what happened — and kids should know it too. We have a kid’s book: The Day the World Went Nuclear, off Killing the Rising Sun. We take you right down, we put you right down at Hiroshima when that bomb dropped, and you can feel what happened. And so that’s why the horror of nuclear war, it gets people crazy. I mean, it really does. It gets people crazy.
And all Americans should know what the actual horror is. That you’re going to have people vaporized on the spot, that you’re going to have fallout that states for 50 to 60 years. Makes Chernobyl look like Disneyland. So I think that when you take that into consideration and then you’re President Trump or whatever, you’re not going to do that unless you absolutely have to do it. But I can see a surgical, you know, conventional strike on North Korea, if they keep it up.
GLENN: Bill, you were probably, oh, around retirement age back in ’82 and ’83, when — when The Day After came out. And that was — ’82 was the year I graduated from high school. So I had a very different look at it then. I just looked it up this week. I was just kind of zipping through it on YouTube. And I remember how scary that was. But because of my age back then, I really didn’t see it as really what it was. Nothing’s changed. That is Hollywood and the press and the networks trying to make you more afraid of Ronald Reagan’s rhetoric than really the Soviet Union. And trying to thwart Ronald Reagan. Would you agree with that?
Did you see that that way?
BILL: Yeah, the left historically never wants to fight for anything. And anybody who counters that is a war-mongering fascist. So even before World War II, there was a big strain of Americans that didn’t want to confront Hitler or Tokyo. They didn’t want to get involved.
BILL: And some of those were conservative people.
GLENN: Yeah. The America First — the America First campaign.
BILL: Yeah, just stay away. We got two oceans protecting us. Well, now we don’t have any oceans. Okay? So it is an emotional issue, but people should know, this isn’t like Iraq or Afghanistan. You know, sending in the Special Forces to track down ISIS. It’s nothing like that.
This guy is playing with something that could obliterate millions of people. And so I — I have, you know, confidence in the American system that we’re not going to do anything irresponsible. That’s the key word. The rhetoric is the rhetoric, all right? Trump is definitely sending a message to the world that he’s capable, like Reagan. Okay? But I don’t think anything more will come of this, at this point.
GLENN: Okay. Let me give you just some quick hits here and just get your comments on. Chelsea Manning being described as an American beauty in a woman’s swimsuit on the beach in Vanity Fair. Comments?
BILL: What do you want me to say about it?
GLENN: Just any comment on —
BILL: I mean, look, if she wants to be in a bathing suit and on a beach, she has the perfect right to do that. If Vanity Fair wants to make a deal about it, I don’t care.
GLENN: It’s not that. It’s that she’s an American traitor. How many people lost their lives because of her?
BILL: Oh, I see. Okay. Yeah.
GLENN: And now we’re being spoon-fed, that, no, she’s just a beautiful woman.
BILL: And if I could just remind everybody, President Obama commuted her sentence. Okay. So that’s why she’s in the bikini. Now, maybe that was part of the deal. I’ll let you out, if you go into a bikini in Vanity Fair. That’s the deal.
PAT: That’s a weird deal.
GLENN: That’s a weird deal.
PAT: But okay.
BILL: It could have happened.
PAT: It could have.
GLENN: Paul Manafort, the raid of his residence by the FBI.
BILL: You know, not since Eliot Ness and the Untouchables has there been a crime drama at this level.
You know, Manafort, I’ve always said this from the very beginning: If there’s one Trump person that’s got a deficit in this whole thing, it’s him. Because he made some big money representing pro-Russian interests in the Ukraine situation. He had the contacts. He knew the guys.
GLENN: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
BILL: He knew Boris and Natasha. And so, you know, they went in. They try to find out what he has, and I’m glad I’m not Paul Manafort.
GLENN: Mitch McConnell said the reason why the G.O.P. is getting a bad brand or bad name is because Donald Trump and others had excessive expectations.
BILL: I just think this guy is such a dweeb. I hate to be — you know, I just think McConnell is such a dweeb. D-W-E-E-B. Word of the day.
GLENN: Yeah. Word of the day.
BILL: I mean, this guy, when I was very close to getting Kate’s Law on the floor of the Senate, it was him who sabotaged it. Because he wanted to attach all kinds of stuff that he knew wasn’t going to pass it.
I just think this guy is just — I don’t know him. I don’t — he never came on my program. He was always afraid to do that.
I just don’t have any use for him at all. So I wish — I wish there was more dynamic leadership on both sides. On the Democratic side, you have Chucky Schumer threatening all of his people.
If you don’t do what I say, we’re going to run somebody against you in the primary and cut off your money. That’s why he’s got all these Democrats, you know, voting against their country’s best interests.
And on the other side, you’ve got Mitch McConnell playing whatever game he’s playing. So it’s just really — and I think Americans have got it. It’s disgusting. It really is.
GLENN: Bill O’Reilly, writing some great history books and books now for your kids as well. You can hear his commentary every day at BillO’Reilly.com.
You can get his podcast and his members also are chiming in now on, how do we make this internet newscast work for you? And he’s taking your comments on it. And you can watch it now at BillO’Reilly.com. Thanks, Bill, appreciate it.
BILL: Now, Beck, one more thing before you dump me here, if I send you an advanced copy of Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence, will you read it, Beck? Will you read the book if I send it to you in advance? It’s out September 19th.
GLENN: Are there some things in the pages that maybe might fall out?
BILL: You’re going to find out what Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson were really like.
GLENN: I only care about Benjamin. If Benjamin happens to be in those papers and it slips out of the book, I might read it.
BILL: All right!
GLENN: But I’m interested in the Benjamins. Thank you very much, Bill. Appreciate it. God bless. BillO’Reilly.com. BillO’Reilly.com.