Bill O’Reilly was back in the hot seat on Monday’s show, answering Glenn and Stu’s questions about the latest New York Times piece on his record at Fox News. He clarified what the Times left out of the piece and exactly why he paid settlements after lawsuits he says made false allegations.
“No. 1: I want the story to go away because it’s brutalizing my family, and No. 2: I’m not going to run and hide because I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.
Listen to O’Reilly in context and in his own words for his answers to these questions:
- What were O’Reilly’s reasons for settling?
- Exactly how many lawsuits did he need to resolve during his time at Fox News?
- Why was the settlement $32 million if the allegations were false?
- What is O’Reilly’s response to Megyn Kelly’s latest comments?
- Would he make the same decisions if he could do it over?
So what do you think? Does Bill make a compelling argument?
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: Friend of the program and friend of mine, Bill O’Reilly. Welcome, sir. How are you?
BILL: Taking a beating. But still standing.
GLENN: So, Bill, you and I spoke over the weekend.
GLENN: And I said to you that I wanted to ask you some honest questions. And just personal for me, because I — you know, I don’t know. And anybody can lie to anybody. But you would be — I mean, you would be one of the greatest liars ever because of the consistency of your lies, if you were lying to me, and the consistency of your behavior around me and my staff, which we have toured together.
GLENN: I have seen you on Friday nights. I have seen you in hotels. My staff has. And I have women that work for me. And we’ve never had any problem whatsoever, or an inkling that you might be one of those guys.
BILL: Yeah. Well, I was in the — I’ve been in the broadcast business for 43 years. Twelve different companies. Never one time was there any complaint filed against me with human resources or anybody’s legal team. Nothing. Zero.
GLENN: Megyn Kelly —
BILL: So I think the track record speaks for itself. And I think that people, when they look at the statement that we have posted on BillO’Reilly.com, when they look at the affidavit, and now the three letters that I sent you — did you get the letters from Gretchen Carlson?
GLENN: I did. I wanted to know if I were — was allowed to publish them.
BILL: Oh, yeah. Sure.
So what I’m trying to get across by coming on with you today, are two things: Number one, I want the story to go away. Because it’s brutalizing my family. And number two, I’m not going to run and hide, because I didn’t do anything wrong.
And I think that the evidence that we put forth is very strong. Very compelling. That the New York Times wants to take me out of the marketplace. This is the second time they’ve attacked me. And the article on Sunday regurgitated the first article. That was like 75 percent of it. They had to run it twice in case you didn’t get it last April. And they know that I’m at a disadvantage, because I can’t comment specifically on any case that has been resolved. That’s one of the — one of the —
BILL: — legal — legal compelling things, that when you resolve something, it is always done in a nobody says anything. And you know who knows that best? The New York Times. Because they settled a number of harassment complaints, in a confidential way. Yet in their article on page one today, screaming about, well, we shouldn’t have this kind of provision, they don’t mention that. And they don’t mention a lot of things.
So I think — go ahead.
GLENN: So, Bill, I want to ask you a couple of questions. The biggest question that is on everybody’s mind is, okay. You can settle. But $32 million, coming out of your own pocket, nobody does that.
GLENN: So did you —
BILL: What do you want to say —
GLENN: So did you —
BILL: The only comment I could make on that issue, without getting the thing back into a legal arena, would be the first article that the New York Times wrote quoted figures and added them up. And it was wildly wrong.
But I can’t confirm or deny anything, because once I do that, then it goes back into the legal arena, which you don’t want. And they know that.
So they could say whatever they want to say. They know that. They know we’re hamstrung, my attorneys and investigative team. We can’t.
GLENN: Was this settlement by you alone, or was Fox involved?
BILL: I can’t — Beck, as I told you off the camera — I know you have to ask some questions for your audience — I can’t comment on any specific case at all. If I could, I would. But I cannot.
GLENN: Can you tell me about the relationship that you had with Lis Wiehl?
BILL: No, I cannot — what we had — what we have posted is an affidavit from Ms. Wiehl. It’s one affidavit. That’s posted on BillO’Reilly.com. That’s it. We could post. We did. There it is. And I can’t speak to anything other than that.
I know it’s frustrating.
GLENN: No, it’s really frustrating.
BILL: It’s very frustrating for me. You can imagine me, sitting here, all right? Being accused of everything under the sun. And the endgame, let’s leave O’Reilly with Harvey Weinstein. Let’s make him that. That’s what we want to do. All right? So we take him out of the marketplace forever. He never gets to give his opinion on issues again. We take him out because we hate him.
And the New York Times obviously hates me. It’s dishonest in the extreme. And it’s frustrating for me. But unless I want another seven or eight years of constant litigation that puts my children in the kill zone, I have to maintain my discipline.
GLENN: Okay. So —
BILL: The only reason — I can tell you this, Beck. In 20 years plus at the Fox News Channel — how long did you work there, by the way?
GLENN: Four years, three years — two years. Ten minutes. I don’t remember.
BILL: All right. I was there twenty years and six months. I resolved three things. That’s all I resolved in 20 years and six months. I resolved three things. And the only reason I did resolve them was to keep my children safe. So I can tell you that.
GLENN: Okay. So let me — let me go one more place.
STU: We should point out, that’s smaller than the reported number, Bill. Are you saying that the reported money is inaccurate.
BILL: All I’m telling you is the truth. Twenty years, six months, Fox News Channel, I resolved three things. That is the truth.
GLENN: Bill, on the — on the Wiehl affidavit, the New York Times fails to recognize here that this is a legal document. And she is a member of the bar. And that if she signs something that was not true, she should be disbarred. She’s not —
BILL: It’s worse than that. And I’m not impugning or saying anything, I’m talking in a general sense now.
GLENN: She’s not saying this. But the New York Times is just speaking for her. Go ahead.
BILL: Wait. Wait. If any American citizen signs an affidavit that’s notarized, all right? It’s under the perjury law. So you can be prosecuted, if what you’re saying is not true. Which is why the affidavit becomes so vitally important.
And here’s the kicker. We gave that to the New York Times. They had that. They did not print it.
Then their weasel reporter, the most dishonest man on the face of the earth, tweets out, “Oh, O’Reilly says we didn’t mention the affidavit. And we did.”
I didn’t say you didn’t mention it. I said you didn’t print it. And you should have printed it up top, because that’s the story. But they didn’t want that to be out, because that wrecks their story. Which they had already written, no matter what I said or gave them. And we gave them an unbelievable amount of stuff, from day one of my tenure with Fox News. They know.
But they don’t care. Because this was a hit job, to get me out of the marketplace. And then you’ll have the left. Paranoid. Okay? You can back that up 50 different ways. Media Matters is involved. CNN is involved. I mean, it — and it’s beyond any doubt — so, again, I will tell you everybody, we’ve got our statement posted on BillO’Reilly.com. Would he give you the affidavit posted. We’ve got letters from Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly to me, posted. Everything is there.
You still want to think I’m a bad guy. Go ahead. The truth is the truth.
GLENN: Okay. Hang on. I have to take a break. And then I want to come back and talk about what Megyn talked about today. Because this is a separate issue. But I think you should address that as well. Coming up in a second.
GLENN: This is Megyn Kelly on today’s broadcast.
MEGYN: Malicious smear, claiming that no woman in 20 years ever complained to human resources or legal about him. Maybe that is true. Fox News was not exactly a friendly environment for harassment victims who happened to report, in my experience.
However, O’Reilly’s suggestion that no one ever complained about his behavior is false. I know, because I complained.
It was November of 2016, the day my memoir was released. In it, I included a chapter on Ailes and the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News, something the Murdochs knew I was doing, and to their credit, approved.
O’Reilly happened to be on CBS News that morning. They asked him about my book and about Ailes, who by this time had been forced out in disgrace. O’Reilly’s response?
BILL: I’m not that interested in this.
MEGYN: No? In sexual harassment? You’re not interested in sexual harassment?
BILL: I’m not interested in basically litigating something that is finished, that makes my network look bad. Okay? I’m not interested in making my network look bad, at all. That doesn’t interest me one bit.
GLENN: So her complaint, Bill, that she filed was that you made it tough for people to come out against the network, because of statements like that.
BILL: Number one, she didn’t file a complaint. Not that I know of. Never brought to our attention that Megyn Kelly did anything. All right? So I’d like to see it. Because I don’t believe that’s true at all.
Number two, what she did not say is that there’s an anonymous hotline, and there had been for years at Fox News where anyone could have called up and say, “So-and-so is doing something to me, and you better stop it.” All right? That’s anonymous. Doesn’t mention it.
Number three, I’d like you to read the notes that I gave you, Beck, to your audience from Megyn Kelly to me, the personal notes.
GLENN: Do you happen to have them in front of you? Because my i Pad just went down.
GLENN: Hang on.
So Megyn Kelly wrote to you, “Dear Bill, what a class act you are. Something to my baby — please come to my baby shower — no, no, what a class act you are. Thank you for coming to my baby shower.”
BILL: Coming to my baby shower. Right.
GLENN: “I was truly touched. I know how busy you are, especially that time of the day. It meant a lot to me and Dory. Thank you for the darling body suits and snugglies. It’s kind — no, it’s hard to believe we’ll soon have a human being in our lives to fit into those. You’ve become a dear friend, no matter what they say. And I am grateful to have you in my life, Megyn Kelly.”
BILL: Yeah, that’s letter number one. Letter number two.
GLENN: Letter number two: Thank you for the — something on Dory’s book —
BILL: Mention. Thank you for the mention on Doug’s book. Doug is her husband.
GLENN: Oh, Doug’s book. Okay.
I realize you didn’t have to do that, especially after mentioning it already. I appreciate how supportive you have been to me over the years here at Fox News. You’re a true friend and mentor.
And I want to give one more letter. This is the one — and these are going to be published up at TheBlaze and GlennBeck.com. This one is from Gretchen Carlson.
GLENN: “Bill, thank you for being the calm in the sea. Thank you so much for supporting me. Thank you for being my friend. It means the world to me, G.C.”
BILL: Yeah. So, look, I think that anybody — any fair-minded person — and I really appreciate you reading those to your listeners — I think that they can now start to formulate a picture here.
Because the behavior that you pointed out at the beginning of the 11 o’clock hour, Eastern time is on the record. Forty-three years, no complaints. Twelve different companies. And then you, Glenn Beck known me for now, what? Ten years? Twelve years?
GLENN: Yeah, something like that.
BILL: You’ve been with me on the road. You know who I am. You know what I do. And now with the statement that we provided on BillO’Reilly.com, with the affidavit, this one affidavit, and with these three letters, two by Megyn Kelly and one by Gretchen Carlson — a picture should start to emerge for any fair-minded person. And that’s all I can hope for, that the American people will see that this is an attack on an American citizen, me, for political purposes. And you know what? It’s done enormous damage to me and to my family. And it is a horror, and it should never happen in our country.
GLENN: Bill, what happens if companies settle lawsuits and then the affidavits and the nondisclosures don’t mean anything?
BILL: Well, it’s over now. Anybody who would be settling anything now is insane. Because —
GLENN: So is that —
BILL: In my case, all the confidentiality stuff was violated.
GLENN: You told — you told me about a year ago, the biggest mistake you made was settling. So is this a good thing or not?
BILL: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.
No, if I had to do it all over again, I never would have done it. But you got to understand how much pain this brings children. And I thought I could spare my children that. I would do anything for my children, anything to protect them. I would give up my life for my children. And that’s why I did it.
But we actually thought that people would uphold their oath. And what they agreed to. And they haven’t.
But let me get back to Megyn Kelly for a moment. I never had any problem with Megyn Kelly. In fact, when she was getting hammered earlier this year, I wrote a column speaking up for her. You know, I don’t know why Megyn Kelly is doing what she’s doing. I don’t know why. I’ve helped her dramatically in her career. I gave her the name of her show, The Kelly File. She actually did a charity even for me. I mean, it is just incomprehensible.
GLENN: Okay. Bill O’Reilly from BillO’Reilly.com. We’ll talk to you again, Bill. Try to have a better day. God bless.