Bill O’Reilly Blasted Over Factually Challenged ‘Killing Reagan’

Bill O’Reilly is disliked by most liberals but has always been very successful at riling up his right-wing conservative audience. However, he has come under major fire from conservatives over his book Killing Reagan, which many people believe is lacking in facts and substance.

National Review, a site that has usually praised Bill O’Reilly in the past, asks if the Fox News star has finally gone too far.

“A number of outraged Reagan historians have questioned Killing Reagan’s methods, sources, and conclusions. So did Will [Washington Post Columnist]. But Will added the stinger that the conservative O’Reilly and his co-author had played right into the hands of left-wing Reagan detractors. That heresy made O’Reilly go ballistic — shouting, interrupting, and accusing.”

Bill O'Reilly has a hard time being criticized, but doesn't have a problem criticizing others. [Photo by Randy Holmes /Getty Images]

It seems like you can’t criticize Bill O’Reilly these days. Otherwise, he’ll start the name calling. Conservative critic Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote an article about this topic. One of the examples Wemple gave was how O’Reilly (and Fox News) responded when he was caught allegedly lying about his participation in the Falklands War.

“How to respond? Attack motives, of course. The reporting was ‘nothing more than an orchestrated campaign by far left advocates Mother Jones and Media Matters,’ said the network in a statement echoing various comments from O’Reilly himself about the political motives of his critics.”

Let’s hope that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t read the Washington Examiner, which talks about Reagan biographer Craig Shirley calling the book “a pile of garbage.”

“No, but if I knew what claptrap he was going to write, I would have fought to stop the publication. By the way, I believe he has stopped calling himself a ‘historian’ so I assume he will rightly now call himself a ‘novelist’ because he doesn’t write history, that’s for sure,” Shirey says in an interview, indicating that he did not stop the book’s publication.

Let’s also hope Bill O’Reilly didn’t read the Killing Reagan review from USA Today, which said the book was a misfire.

“It’s perhaps surprising, given Reagan’s iconic status for many of O’Reilly’s Fox viewers, that Killing Reagan often focuses on the negative parts of Reagan’s life and career. The authors delve into his extramarital affairs in Hollywood, indifferent parenting, disputes with his second wife, Nancy, and the multiple instances in which Reagan appeared to be not quite there.”

The review goes on to note that despite not pandering to his audience, some of the claims in the book are not well supported. RealClear Politics went as far to say that the book is fiction posing as a biography. The authors of the article, Ed Meese and John Heubusch, watched interviews of Bill O’Reilly talking about the book and laughed about the fact he calls himself an “investigative historian,” which they say he definitely isn’t.

Even though Bill O’Reilly has had a great year in the cable television ratings, his brand is suffering. It’s not suffering because he is being increasingly criticized by the left, but because his own fans appear to be turning on him. Perhaps calling out his critics with personal insults isn’t helping his brand out either. O’Reilly has nothing to lose professionally; he has millions of dollars to always fall back on and can continue to make as many books and documentaries as he wants. However, O’Reilly needs to think more about his legacy. What do you think about all the latest controversy over Bill O’Reilly? Let us know in the comments section.

[Photo by Larry Burton/Getty Images]