Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann Told by Bosses to End Feud

August 1, 2009

(ChattahBox)—You may have noticed that the highly entertaining nightly feud between Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has cooled down of late. That’s because their network bosses had enough and put the kibosh on the back and forth insults, despite the rating surge that resulted in the nightly bloodbath.

Both men hosted nightly programs at 8:00 PM, a few blocks apart in Manhattan, but they are light-years apart in philosophy. Bill O’Reilly, on his “The O’Reilly Factor” show, is an angry right-wing Conservative, known for talking (yelling) over guests who disagree with him. He once referred to Olbermann as a “vicious smear merchant,” but took out his anger mostly on General Electric, the parent corporation of MSNBC.

Bill O’Reilly is known for his vicious ambush journalism and he once dispatched his young ambusher, Jesse Watters to disrupt a G.E. shareholders’ meeting. O’Reilly even went so far last year to say on his show, “If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt.”

Immelt reportedly said after that episode, that he would “never forgive Rupert Murdoch” for Fox News’ behavior.

Keith Olbermann a liberal progressive, attacked O’Reilly personally, calling him “Bill-o the Clown,” and regularly “honoring” O’Reilly as “The Worst Person in the World,” a nightly segment on his show.

The parent companies, G.E. and the News Corporation decided early this summer that the feud between the two networks needed to cool down. Negotiations between the two parent companies began in earnest in May during a conference sponsored by Microsoft and hosted by PBS’ Charlie Rose.

Jeff Zucker, chief executive of NBC Universal, and Gary Ginsberg, an executive vice president of the News Corporation, reportedly negotiated the final cease-fire. “It was time to grow up,” said one senior employee of the two the companies.

Phil Griffin, MSNBC president, told all MSNBC producers to restrain from criticizing Fox directly, according to two employees. Fox News, reportedly told some staff members to “be fair” to G.E.

The bigger issue here is the involvement in parent corporations deciding on the content of news networks. The fact that a “feud” may have affected corporate profits or a parent company’s reputation should not be a factor in censoring the news.

So, one of the most vicious feuds in television history is at an end for now, maybe. That’s not to say the two networks are going to join hands and sing Kumbaya anytime soon.



3 Responses to “Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann Told by Bosses to End Feud”

  1. Old Man Dotes on August 1st, 2009 12:12 pm

    They’re both idiots. I won’t watch either network as long as they are still employed there.

  2. Al Masters on August 2nd, 2009 11:06 pm

    You are so right. Their show are “light years apart”. Orielly crushes the O-man every night in the ratings. Even his 11pm repeat blows away O-mans first run. Not mentioning that would be like discussing the Yankees vs the Red Sox and not mentioning the 26 to 7 worlds series disparity. In fact that analogy is pretty close to the Orielly Oberman feud. Your bias is clear and noted.

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    […] a recent New York Times report that the parent companies of MSNBC and Fox News had reached a cease fire agreement to quiet […]

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