- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Stephen Colbert quite often professes on his show a deep love for Bill O’Reilly, but the feeling, it seems, isn’t exactly mutual.
When asked about a conversation that he had with Colbert in 2005, the Fox News host’s recollection of the exchange was quite different than the one his Comedy Central counterpart shared in the new issue of Playboy. Colbert told the men’s magazine that, near the beginning of his show’s run, O’Reilly told him to avoid bringing on the same kind of guests — but as O’Reilly told THR Thursday night in Manhattan at a screening of Lincoln, “I don’t even remember giving him that advice.”
Instead, he said, “I thought the advice I gave Colbert was ‘get out of the business.’ I think that’s what I told him. He didn’t take it.”
O’Reilly, though, doesn’t have total contempt for Comedy Central’s political team. He recently debated Jon Stewart in a special pay-per-view event, and sucked helium during a debate with Chris Matthews in a staged bit on the network’s Night of Too Many Stars, which raised money for Autism charities.
“I did the Autism thing because it’s a good charity,” he explained. “I did the Rumble thing because we raised almost $1 million for charity, and I was pleased to do it. I like Stewart, we get along well, and everybody wins.”
On a less comical note, it’s been a tumultuous week for conservatives, with a number of pundits and politicians making remarks that drew heavy criticism and press scrutiny. Indiana GOP candidate for Senate, Richard Mourdock, has come under fire in newspapers and TV shows across the country for saying that a pregnancy due to rape was “God’s will,” but O’Reilly isn’t convinced of the controversy’s long-term impact.
“You know, it’s his opinion, that’s what he believes,” he said. “I don’t think it has any influence other than the people of Indiana voting for him or not.”
When asked about the “shuck and jive” Facebook post written by Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter‘s calling President Obama a “retard” on Twitter, O’Reilly had little interest in the online drama — or partisan politics.
“I have no idea, I don’t follow Facebook, I don’t do any of that,” he protested. “I’m not an ideologue, I don’t know what the conservatives or liberals are doing.”
Indeed, even with the election less than two weeks ago, O’Reilly spent the night focused on the past. A devoted student of President Lincoln — he is the author of a book about 16th president — the host pined for old Honest Abe. When asked where he thought Lincoln ranked amongst the greatest presidents of all time, his reply came without hesitation.
“The best. No doubt about it,” he said. “Helped keep the union together. He had the worst hand dealt to him.”
Email: Jordan.Zakarin@THR.com; Twitter: @JordanZakarin
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day