Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Maverick Bill O'Reilly - Is the O'Reilly Factor moving to the left?

bill oreilly, independent, conservative, liberal
Where is the O'Reilly Factor on the APF political spectrum?

When a candidate exits the primaries as party nominee, they invariably move to the center to appeal to the wider electorate. When corporations and lobbyists foresee a change in power they will divert their donations to curry favor with the likely incoming powerbrokers. It's a strategic business move not an emotional ideological one. In that spirit, bets will be hedged by donating to the underdog to cover all the bases.

This happens in punditry also. Sort of. You will rarely find a pundit betray they're ideology completely but like the aforementioned they will be pragmatic and value they're self interest above all else.

During the Republican primaries, Talk radio was unanimously against the now Republican nominee John McCain for his perceived lack of Conservatism. McCain is widely considered as the face of the RINOs - "Republicans in Name Only" as popularised by Rush Limbaugh. The fear of an Obama/Democrat presidency meant they had to hold their nose and endorse McCain. In the fog of Obama bashing and the welcome selection of Sarah Palin as VP, people might have forgotten how passionately opposed pundits had been to McCain.

Right wing pundits moving to the center to endorse McCain is one thing. Going to the other side is another. Bill O'Reilly is one pundit accused of moving to the left in anticipation of a paradigm shift in the White House. Seen by some as being as being opportunistic, cynical but also typical in character.

Below are sample of commenters from the Hannity Forums detecting an O'Reilly heel turn - What happened to Bill O'Reilly?
Is it just me or does it seem like Bill O'Reilly has become a left wing liberal loving sell out? Seems like he's lost his marbles or something...
posted by KookyLiberals
A few theories are floated
Maybe Obama drugged him when he was on his show.
posted by CMike11

Bill has been very pro-Obama since the interview.. And this Obama Chronicles stuff is making me not want to watch. I don't care about him and Michelle's childhood.
posted by GreenHalloween

You aren't saying he's been hopenetized
posted by NgrTsar
A few come to O'Reilly's defence
O'Reilly was never a conservative. He's an issue- at- a- time pragmatist.
posted by BillBrown

Bill's always been more of a moderate than a conservative. Just because he has a few positions that give conservatives a and doesn't call Obama 'Barry' doesn't mean he's a flaming leftist.
posted by Charlie A
Read the full forum discussion here

Below are some episodes of O'Reilly taking fire from the Right in recent weeks:

VIDEO: Fellow FoxNews commentator Neil Cavuto takes O'Reilly to task

O'Reilly condemns Right wing Talk Radio, Conservative talker Mark Levin chastises O'Reilly in response.
BILL O'REILLY: Most talk radio is conservative-dominated, ideologue, Kool-Aid–drinking idiots... These [conservative talk] idiots are misleading you, they're lying to you... Walk away from these liars, these right-wing liars. They're not looking out for you.
Listen to the full O'Reilly audio here

Mark Levin in response
MARK LEVIN: ... he's [got] a fledgling radio show with no ratings and he'll be off the radio soon because he's a failure. It's the non-factor - Bill O'Reilly... utterly unencumbered by information which is typical of him... what a joke, what a moron. He doesn't understand. He is Ted Baxter
Listen and Download the full Levin audio here

This isn't the first time Levin has called out O'Reilly. Read Steve Young's post on a previous wrestling feud between Levin and O'Reilly here.

True, Bill O'Reilly has never been fully accepted by the Right nor has he sought to. Demonstrating how universally panned he is by his fellow pundits, Leading conservative partisan Rush Limbaugh (echoed by Levin) finds a point of agreement with Leading liberal partisan Keith Olbermann in characterizing O'Reilly as "Ted Baxter".
Whilst Bill insists he is independent, I've stated that I'm not entirely convinced. In many ways Bill O'Reilly and John McCain are similar. They both share a reputation as hotheads and are in limbo as ambiguous (but popular) independents, unwelcome in their own party but also not embraced by the opposition.

- Read Bill O'Reilly's Bio
- Read Neil Cavuto's Bio
- Read Mark Levin's Bio

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