TV News Poll: Bill O'Reilly Viewed Most Negatively Among News Figures
Trump and Clinton supporters were asked if they felt favorably or unfavorably about top broadcasters in a recent National Research Group survey commissioned by THR.
Bill O'Reilly has been voted the most unfavorably viewed news figure, according to a poll conducted by the National Research Group and commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter. Of the 1,000 respondents (all frequent news consumers, split 50-50 between Trump and Clinton supporters), 24 percent said they felt "very unfavorable" toward O'Reilly.
At 20 percent of respondents, Sean Hannity ranked as the second-most-unfavorably viewed news personality. Megyn Kelly and Rachel Maddow both tied at 17 percent "very unfavorable" responses, and Brian Williams was viewed very unfavorably by 14 percent.
The survey was conducted April 1-2, the same weekend an exposé by The New York Times revealed that O'Reilly had been accused of sexually harassing or verbally abusing five women, who collectively received $13 million in payments in exchange for not pursing litigation or speaking publicly about the accusations. Over two dozen advertisers have since pulled out of The O'Reilly Factor. Attorney Lisa Bloom — whose client came forward with harassment claims involving O'Reilly — has called for an investigation into Fox News, and O'Reilly has taken a "previously scheduled" vacation with plans to return on April 24.
However, the scandal has drawn in more viewers for his show, with O'Reilly Factor ratings increasing and topping all of cable news last week.
"In a different time, O'Reilly's situation should have destroyed his career," says NRG CEO Jon Penn. "But in today's polarized climate, it amplifies his appeal among Trump voters. To his supporters, the O'Reilly brand personifies aggression, controversy, independence and fearlessness, [and] his talking points are 'real' — it's the rest of the media news that is fake."