To some, Bill O’Reilly is a semi-demented cable TV talk show host who can be an obnoxious, insufferable, opinionated, rude loudmouth whose views, the kinder ones say, are typical right-wing drivel. But there is much more to O’Reilly than what meets eye. O’Reilly is the paradigm of idiosyncrasy in television journalism.
On the rough road to the top, O’Reilly learned how to give the public what it wants and thinks it needs. From his early education at the hands of nuns to an advanced degree in public policy from Harvard, from working at local television stations and rising through the ranks to network news, O’Reilly spent nearly twenty-five years learning his craft before he became an overnight star at Fox News.
In this very intimate look at the man and what matters to him, veteran media critic Marvin Kitman explores all the experiences that led to the making of Bill O’Reilly—a nonconformist in a business that demands conformity as the price of success, and a man who has risen to the top by not playing by the rules of broadcast news. Kitman shows that O'Reilly is not a knee-jerk conservative, but an “independent” freethinker with a mind of his own, and he believes what journalism needs is more Bill O’Reillys. Not screamers, the blowhards like the current O’Reilly clones rushed on the air since his success, but trained journalists, reporting the news and telling us why, in their opinion, the world is a crazy place.
Supported by twenty-nine interviews with O’Reilly, Marvin Kitman chronicles a descent from reporter of news to spewer of views.