A television show on the Fox News Channel, airs 8PM east coast and 5PM west coast, that rivals Rush Limbaugh, Chris Matthews and Larry King. The show began in 1996 and since it was during the latter of the Clinton years and all of his controversy the show got right off the bat challenging many liberal and conservative thinkings alike.
The show itself is a cross between a talk show and a news forum where Bill O'Reilly would always begin with his "Talking Points", basically a bulleted list of stuff to talk about the important subject of the day. Normally two guests will be invited to talk about both sides of the perspective with Bill being the moderator so that there is a "no spin zone" to provide a fair and balanced forum for the viewers to decide for themselves what to think.
The program lasts for an hour and usually goes through 3 or 4 segments with subjects ranging from campaign finance reform to the Clintons to some kid scoring a perfect 1600 on his SAT's. The show concludes with "The Most Ridiculous Thing of the Day" where something stupid is pointed out and finally "Viewer's Mail" where people from around the world come to opine.
Sometimes people deride the show as being ultra-conservative while others call him a liberal bigot. Bill O'Reilly maybe a bit old-fashioned and opinionated but that doesn't automatically make him either conservative or liberal, he doesn't favor giving people a free ride and he doesn't favor lowering taxes just so the rich can be richer either. O'Reilly's style is more of a logical and responsibility-driven way of thinking, though sometimes when you watch his show you do feel kind of icky, unclean, and somehow Republican but maybe I guess accountability is something the conservatives have.
Watching the show is more of a hate-it or love-it deal and that point is driven home during the Viewer's Mail segment where people who write in to the show are either raving about his interview tactics to poo-poo-ing his apparently biased agenda to kill all liberals. The genius in O’Reilly’s work is that he picks the fight and most often times or not he comes out winning. The guests on the show are either inherently incoherent idiots or they’re just as opinionated or as famous which suddenly makes the show very controversial which of course piques interests and garner viewers. Like I note below, most of the subjects on the show leave little leeway for you to come up with some gray stuff and it’s mostly just an either for or against mentality and at the end of the day both decision are presented and preserved by O’Reilly.
I've watched the show since 1998 and I have to note only two things that I don't like about the show at its current state:
1) As the show got more and more popular the topics and guests featured are now duller and duller, to me it seems most of the guests are just contrived pundits and probably invited at the last second just to appeal to the "fair and balanced" mantra. O'Reilly's genius seems to be in topics they choose to entertain. A segment on how some chick was filmed topless during Mardi Gras that's sold via late-night commercials is suing because her privacy was invaded doesn't really offer much leeway of opinions. And if you didn't like the girl's stupidity than it's assumed O'Reilly is god but if you felt compassionate to her plight of privacy then O'Reilly becomes the punching bag.
2) Again as the show got more and more popular O'Reilly is shilling for his products more and more. I could understand books and mugs but when you have O'Reilly varsity jackets and pendants then I think that's bit of selling out.
But these gripes are just minor and personal. The O'Reilly Factor is growing steadily with more and more viewers tuning in. And while some people might feel good or bad vibes from show at least O'Reilly is doing a service to the country for bringing various issues that would otherwise be buried at a local level into the national consciousness.
Bill has since written two books, the aptly titled The O'Reilly Factor and The No Spin Zone, to date and he is also a columnist for WorldNet Daily News.